Farmers Protest Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train Project, Oppose Cutting of Trees, Low Compensation

Reported by

Aditi PatilLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

October 19, 2020

Location of Conflict

Vadodara

,

Vadodara

This is A Schedule Five District

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Railways

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

40666

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

966

ha

State

Gujarat

Sector

Infrastructure

The ambitious Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project, which will connect the two cities with a high-speed rail line network, has met many hurdles. On April 8, 2018, farmers and activists in Gujarat and Maharashtra held a joint meeting in Surat to oppose the project, which is being implemented by National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL).

According to Jayesh Patel, president of Khedut Samaj (Gujarat), a farmers representative body, 192 villages in Gujarat and around 120 villages in Maharashtra will be affected by the bullet train project. The villages in which the land is to be acquired for the project include Telod, Ochhan, Mesrad, Mangrol, Kambola, Bodka, Handod, Khanda, Manpur, Pingalwada, Untiya, Medhad, Itola, Dasrath, Ajod, Padamla and Sankarda. Farmers in these villages are afraid of losing their livelihoods and not getting fair rates of compensation as the land acquisition laws in Gujarat were changed in 2016.

Members of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, an environmental committee based in Uttarakhand, as well as Khedut Samaj submitted a joint memorandum to district collectors of the affected districts as well as the chairman of the NHSRCL, seeking cancellation of such sudden meetings and demanding a fresh consultation with the stakeholders.

In December 2018, a three-member team led by Katsuo Matsumoto, chief representative of the Japan International Cooperative Agency (JICA), which will provide the units for the bullet train, met environmental activists and farmers in Surat, Navsari, Valsad and Bharuch whose lands will have to be acquired for the project. Matsumoto reportedly told the farmers and activists that he would present the issues of the farmers, in terms of compensation, social and economic impact, rehabilitation and resettlement and environmental concerns, before the top authorities of the JICA. In February 2019, farmers from 29 villages in Navsari held a protest rally against the bullet train project.

On September 19, 2019, the Gujarat High Court dismissed 120 petitions by farmers who had challenged the land acquisition process for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project, upholding the validity of the land acquisition law amended by the Gujarat government in 2016. An appeal has been filed and is pending before the Supreme Court of India against the decision of the High Court as per the order issued by the SC issuing notice to the State of Gujarat on 2 March, 2020.

The ambitious project is a joint venture between India and Japan and is expected to now become fully operational only by October 2028 from the earlier tentative date of December 2023 due to delays arising out of Covid-19. Although, on the required land for the project, the Chairman of the Railway Board was quoted on the 5 September, 2020 saying that the "Land Acquisition for the project is 80% complete".

Region Classification

Urban

Type of Land

Both

Private and Common

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land), Forest and Non-Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

110000

Type of investment:

Cost of Project

Land Area Affected
(in Hectares):

966

ha

Starting Year

2014

Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:

National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited, Government of Gujarat

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, Gujarat Khedut Samaj, National Alliance of People's Movement, Ekta Gramin Praja Vichar Manch, Adivasi Ekta Parishad

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Arcadis India Pvt. Ltd, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict: