The ambitious Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project, which will connect the two cities with a high-speed rail line, has been challenged in the Supreme Court. On December 16, 2019, farmers led by the Gujarat Khedut Samaj, a farmers representative body, filed a petition in the apex court, challenging a previous order by the Gujarat High Court. The project is a joint venture between India and Japan and is expected to become operational by 2022. According to Jayesh Patel, president of the Gujarat Khedut Samaj, 192 villages in Gujarat and around 120 villages in Maharashtra will be affected by the bullet train project. The villages in Gujarat 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 Gujarat Khedut Samaj submitted a joint memorandum to district collectors of the affected districts as well as the chairman of the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited, demanding a fresh round of 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 and assured them that they would present their issues to the top authorities of JICA. On February 6, 2019, around 2,000 farmers from 29 villages in Navsari held a protest rally and submitted a memorandum at the Navsari Collectors office highlighting at least 14 concerns, including cutting of trees and low compensation. Around 120 petitions have been filed by affected farmers and landowners in the Gujarat High Court till date, challenging the validity of the Land Acquisition Act amended by the Gujarat government in 2016. In September 2019, however, the court upheld the validity of the amendment.
Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:
National High Speed Rail Corporation , Gujarat Government
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)
Legislations Involved in the Conflict:
Land Acquisition Laws
Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:
Has the Conflict Ended?
When did it end?
Why did the conflict end?