The farmers are demanding that the government either withdraw the project or give government jobs to their sons.
Mumbai: Palghar farmers are still refusing to give away their land to the NHSRC (National High Speed Rail Corporation) for execution of the high-profile Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project.
The farmers are demanding that the government either withdraw the project or give government jobs to their sons. Some farmers claim that while the authorities are seeking irrigated land which yields crops twice a year, there is no such immediate requirement for the project.
Farmers have been stalling the land survey for the project for a long time. Last week, a meeting conducted by the officials with the landowners was disrupted by the aggrieved farmers. However, the NHSRC has decided to convince the farmers in one month through improved communication with them.
Santosh Pawade, member of the Shetkari Sangarsh Samiti, said, “The land which they have demanded is irrigated land, which can yield crops twice a year.
There is no requirement of the bullet train right now. Along with their land, some farmers will even lose their homes and the government has no plans for such people. This is why we have not let them conduct the survey.”
Despite being Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project, it is already running behind schedule due to stiff opposition from the farmers.
The project requires 850 hectares of land in Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. So far, NHSRC has managed to acquire only 0.9 hectares of land in the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC).
Speaking to The Asian Age, Dhananjay Kumar, spokesperson of NHSRC, revealed that an action plan of one month has been prepared in order to hasten the process. “In order to improve communication, we have formed a team of 18 people who will speak to villagers. In the next few days, around 1 lakh posters will be put up to educate people about land acquisition and compensation,” he said.
2009: Bullet train is introduced in the 2009-10 budget
2014: NDA government approves the project
2016: NHSRC is appointed as Special Purpose Vehicle to execute the project
2016: JICA inks pact as General Consultancy
2017: Survey begins for land acquisition in parts of Maharashtra
2022: The project is expected to be completed as per the present deadline