The Ahmedabad-Mumbai High Speed Rail corridor, or bullet train project, was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, in September 2017. The project has been facing protests ever since. On May 17, 2018, nearly 1,000 tribal farmers held a protest in Mumbai's Azad Maidan against land acquisition for the project by the Maharashtra government. Farmers from Raigad, Thane, Nashik, Vidarbha, Konkan, Palghar, Dhule, Jalgaon, Dahanu, Gadchiroli and Nandurbar had gathered in the protest. Their primary demand was that the government should repeal a notification issued by the state governor in November 2017, which diluted the role of the Village Assemblies (gram sabhas) in infrastructure projects. This notification took away the land rights of the tribals guaranteed under the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996, which ensured self-governance through Village Assemblies for people living in Schedule V areas. During the protest, farmers in Thane and Palghar districts argued that the National High Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRC) officials had begun conducting surveys of their land without considering their consent, despite the other Village Assemblies unanimously refusing to give away land for the project. In February 2019, the project received the wildlife clearance, which allowed it to encroach upon the Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary (TCFS) and the Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai. The project involves diverting 3.2 hectares of forestland from the TCFS and 97.5 hectares of land close to the boundary of the national park. Throughout the state, the project would require land to be acquired from 108 villages. As per a report on June 2019, the Maharashtra government planned to invoke Section 96 of the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966, to compulsorily take over the remaining land for the project, which is stuck after the local people objected to a price-based, private negotiation acquisition earlier. The state government also plans to put in place a new compensation policy for land owners, giving up to four times the existing land rate in rural areas and twice that of the existing rate in urban areas. The original deadline to start the bullet train service was 2023 but it was later advanced by a year to August 15, 2022, to mark 75 years of India's independence. Due to Covid lockdown, the land acquisition has been delayed, as per the Railway Board.
Demand/Contention of the Affected Community
Refusal to give up land for the project, Opposition against environmental degradation, Complaint against procedural violations
Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:
Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Ministry of Railways,
Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:
Japan International Cooperation Agency
Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:
Bhumi Adhikar Andolan, Adivasi Ekta Parishad, Maharashtra Rajya Kisan Sabha, National Alliance of Peopleâ€™s Movements, Bullet Train Virodhak Janmanch
Legislations Involved in the Conflict:
Land Acquisition Laws
Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:
Out of Court
Name(s) of Court(s)
Nature of Protest
Campaigns (Grassroots organisations/press releases/media), Protests/marches
Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:
Reported Details of the Violation:
Date of Violation
Location of Violation
Has the Conflict Ended?
When did it end?
Why did the conflict end?