Farmers Protest Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train Project, Fear Loss of Livelihood, Unfair Compensation

Reported by

Aditi PatilLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

June 29, 2021

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

Starting Year

2014

State

Gujarat

Sector

Infrastructure

The ambitious MumbaiAhmedabad bullet train project, which will connect the two cities with a highspeed 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 to the chairperson of the NHSRCL, demanding a fresh consultation with the stakeholders. In December 2018, a threemember 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 filed by farmers who had challenged the land acquisition process, 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 against the decision of the high court. 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 Covid19. Although, on the required land for the project, the chairperson of the Railway Board was quoted as saying that the "land acquisition for the project is 80 per cent complete". On February 4, 2021, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal stated that the work will be started soon.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Refusal to give up land for the project, Complaint against procedural violations, Opposition against environmental degradation

Region Classification

Urban

Type of Land

Both

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

Year of Estimation

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Land Acquisition Laws, Constitutional Law, Forest and Scheduled Area Governance Laws

Legislations/Policies Involved

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community? What was the decision of the concerned government department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Constitutional inconsistencies between state and Central land laws, Controversial land acquisition by the government , Violation of LARR Act, Non-implementation/violation of the PESA

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

High Court of Gujarat, Supreme Court of India

Case Number

Special Leave Petition (Civil) Diary No(s). 46373/2019; Special Civil Application C/SCA/9864/2018

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

Arrest/detention/imprisonment

Whether criminal law was used against protestors

Official name of the criminal law. Did the case reach trial?

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Surat

Nature of Protest

Campaigns (Grassroots organisations/press releases/media), Complaints, petitions, memorandums to officials , Protests/marches

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited, Government of Gujarat

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Arcadis India Private Limited, Japan International Cooperation Agency

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of Corporate Authorities Approached

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

National Alliance of People's Movement

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:
No Images Available

Documented By

Aditi Patil

Reviewed By

Aditi Patil

Updated By

Aditi Patil

Edited By

Aditi PatilLand Conflict Watch
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