One of the most ambitious projects of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train project is facing resistance from farmers, with villagers disrupting the joint measurement survey to take place in many places across Gujrat.
Farmers have said that the notification for land acquisition has been brought out without carrying out the environmental or social impact assessment. The local farmer leader Jayesh Patel informed The Economic Times that there had been no consultation with the local bodies before bringing out the notification.
About 110 hectares of land across 21 villages was proposed to be acquired under the project. The farmers are also of the contention that the land proposed for acquisition is a fertile and well-irrigated land which produces export quality of fruits. The production from these lands has helped the local economy to flourish.
After the announcement of this high-speed rail project, the BJP-ruled state diluted certain provisions of the 2013 land acquisition act passed under the UPA government by making amendments in the state legislature. Mandatory provisions like social and environmental impact assessment, rehabilitation and other safeguards including the consent of 70-80 percent of farmers were done away with.
Land acquisition for the bullet train project is being carried out under this amended state act of 2016. The project is expected to acquire around 850 hectares of land across the districts of Ahmedabad, Kheda, Anand, Vadodara, Bharuch, Surat, Navsari and Valsad, affecting around 5,000 families. The bullet train project is also facing similar protest in the Palghar in Maharashtra for the acquisition of land.
The Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed rail corridor is an under-construction high-speed rail line connecting the cities of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, and India's economic hub Mumbai, Maharashtra. It will be India's first high-speed rail line. The Rs 1.10 lakh crore project is expected to be fully operational by 2023. Japan is extending a loan of Rs 88,000 crore for it at an interest rate of 0.1 per cent. The bullet train which will cover a distance of 508 kilometres long, will run between Sabarmati Railway Station and Bandra Kundra complex in Mumbai.