Bullet Train
In picture: Bullet TrainTwitter/DD News

The National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) has found the alternate land suggested by Godrej and Boyce Manufacturing Company Limited, "suitable" to carry out construction. Earlier Godrej and Boyce Manufacturing Company Limited had objected to the acquisition of its prime 39,547 sqm property in Vikhroli for the mega project.

The Indian Express reported that the alternate plot is situated 215 meters towards the west along the laid out path of the bullet train as mentioned in the affidavit filed by Uday Prasad Singh, Chief Project Manager, NHSRCL. Some parts of this land is facing legal dispute as well.

The affidavit also said that the first alternate route also had mangroves spread over an area of approximately 2,941sqm where the construction could not be taken forward. The state government has been asked by the court to examine the plots and cross check if it is overlapping with any mangroves, coastal and ecological zones. The next hearing of this case is scheduled for September 3.

Bullet train
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R) and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pose in front of a Shinkansen bullet train before heading for Hyogo prefecture at Tokyo Station, Japan November 12, 2016, in this photo taken by Kyodo.Reuters

The five-page affidavit submitted to the Bombay High Court said, "I say that upon the receipt of the petitioners second Alternate Proposal, the respondent no 4 (NHSRCL) have, after visiting the site, vide their letter dated July 26, 2018, conveyed their acceptance in principle stating that the site is prima facie suitable and they will examine in detail all other technical aspects and also submitted a slightly modified sketch for the petitioners' consideration."

The Rs.1.08 lakh crore Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train project is staring at delays as the communities across Maharashtra and Gujarat are protesting against the proposed land acquisition. The Government of Maharashtra has amended its land acquisition act where the clause of taking consent from the villages has been diluted.

The protest has been getting support from the political groups as many opposition parties are accusing the Modi government of snatching lands of the poor. Even its ally at the Centre and Maharashtra, Shiv Sena is also raising doubts over the way the land acquisition is being carried out.

Land acquisition under the bullet train project spans over 1,400 hectares out of which around 1,047 hectares is in Gujarat and the rest is in Maharashtra. It covers a total of 299 villages of which 195 are in Gujarat and 104 in Maharashtra.