The Supreme Court has circulated the notice to the Central Government, Gujarat State Government, National High-Speed Railway Corporation Limited and others on the plea which was tendered by the Gujarat Farmers against the Judgment made by the bench of Gujarat High Court, summoning the method of Land Acquisition for the construction of bullet train project. The notice was subserved to the standing counsel of the State of Gujarat which necessitates being replied within four weeks and retort, if any, can be filed within two weeks, thereafter. The High Court upheld the validity of the Gujarat Land Acquisition Act of 2016 as they didn’t find any sort of excessive delegated power and subsequently this Act was approved by the President of India.
In the year 2018 of 1st December, The Corporation acquired the first tract for the construction of Bullet Train in the Village of Paye in Thane District and 0.9 acres was received from the State Government of Maharashtra in Bandra-Kurla Complex. The bullet train project will be of 509-km for which1400 acres of land is required, both in Maharashtra and Gujarat, valuable asset of the whole project is 1.08 Lakh-crore. There were hurdles for the Corporation in acquiring the land from villages like Palghar and Dahanu, in which the spokesperson of the Corporation did mention that they are confident in completing the formalities and acquiring necessary land within thirty days. The Central Government promised to provide 300 hectares of land in 15 days to start their dream project.
(i) The government gave an announcement on 31st May 2019 to acquire land under the Land Acquisition Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act of 2013 (LARR).
(ii) Farmers alleged that the measurement was taken fraudulently.
(iii) The project might not be ready to commence from 15th August 2022 as scheduled by the Central Government.
(iv) Japanese Government agreed to provide 88,000 crores loans to finance the project.
(v) The Bullet Train may run with an average speed of 315 km/hr and a maximum speed up to 350 km/hr, it will contain 10 coaches accommodating around 750 passengers.
Gujarat High Court:-
The bench consisted of Justice Anant Dave and Justice Biren Vaishnav did decline to entertain the petition which was brought by the farmers against the acquisition of land. It was noted that it is a multi-state project, executive powers of Gujarat to acquire the land was approved by the Central Government. Whereas, the petition of those farmers mentioned challenging the notification made by the Gujarat Government to acquire the land and contended that the State Government doesn’t have the power to acquire land in a multi-state project. Furthermore, the bench did look upon the power of delegation which was approved by the President of India; hence it enjoys the validity for undertaking the land acquisition. It did justify the action of the Gujarat State Government is not performing the Social Impact Assessment (SIA) as it was appropriated satisfactory under the guidelines of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). However, these farmers can approach to Government for higher compensation for their lands and insisted that compensation should be based on the current market value of the land.
Edited by J. Madonna Jephi
Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje
1. The Wire.in, Modi’s Bullet Train Project Runs Into Initial Land Acquisition Trouble https://thewire.in/political-economy/modis-bullet-train-project-runs-into-initial-land-acquisition-trouble
2. Live Mint.com, SC notice to Centre on pleas against land acquisition for bullet train project https://www.livemint.com/news/india/sc-notice-to-centre-on-pleas-against-land-acquisition-for-bullet-train-project-11579273269602.html
3. The Hindu, Gujarat HC rejects farmers’ petitions challenging land acquisition for bullet train https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/gujarat-hc-rejects-farmers-petitions-challenging-land-acquisition-for-bullet-train/article29463330.ece