Opposition to Land Acquisition for Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train Project in Maharashtra

Reported by

Aditi PatilLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

March 12, 2021

Location of Conflict




Reason or Cause of Conflict




People Affected by Conflict


Land Area Affected (in Hectares)



Starting Year






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

Region Classification

Urban and Rural

Type of Land


Type of Common Land

Total investment involved (in Crores):


Type of investment:

Cost of Project

Year of Estimation

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Land Acquisition 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:

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

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

Nature of Protest

Campaigns (Grassroots organisations/press releases/media), Protests/marches

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Ministry of Railways,

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:

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:

Bhumi Adhikar Andolan, Adivasi Ekta Parishad, Maharashtra Rajya Kisan Sabha, National Alliance of People’s Movements, Bullet Train Virodhak Janmanch

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
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Documented By

Aditi Patil

Reviewed By

Aditi Patil

Updated By

Aditi Patil

Edited By

Aditi PatilLand Conflict Watch

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