The National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) had so far paid Rs 7,027 crore for acquiring 80 per cent of 1025 hectares of private land that needs to be acquired for the Rs 1.08 lakh crore Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project.
While the civil work for the project has begun in Gujarat, the land acquisition process in the state is yet to be completed. As on October 13, 2021, 97.6 per cent of private land has been acquired in Gujarat, while the pace of acquisition in Maharashtra continues to be slow, with only 31 per cent of land needed for the project being acquired, states the land acquisition data shared by NHSRCL with The Indian Express.
For a project, where the foundation stone was laid four years ago on September 14, 2017 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, the land acquisition process has completed 100 per cent only in Union territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, where Rs 70 crore is being paid by NHSRCL for acquiring 7.52 hectares.
In Gujarat where the process is at an advanced stage, the only districts where acquisition has been 100 per cent complete are Kheda and Anand, where 99 and 47 hectares of private land were acquired, respectively. Bharuch is another district in Gujarat that has completed 99.81 percent acquisition. Only three plots remains to be acquired in Bharuch.
In a state which is expected to see the first phase of bullet train project getting operational, the lowest percentage of acquisition has happened in Vadodara where 94 per cent of 108 hectares have been acquired. Over 111 private plots remains to be acquired in this single district. Similarly, Valsad where 98 per cent land acquisition is complete, over 102 plots are remaining to be acquired. Surat which has the biggest chunk of private land (137 hectares), has finished 96 per cent of the acquisition.
Of the Rs 7,027 crore paid so far as compensation to private land owners, 79 per cent of the amount (Rs 5,535 crore) has been given to private land owners in Gujarat, while Rs 1,421 crore has been given in Maharashtra.
In the three districts of Maharashtra where land acquisition is taking place, the process is yet to begin in suburban Mumbai where close to four hectares of land is needed. In Palghar district, only 19 per cent of the land has been acquired which is the lowest for the entire project. Neighbouring Thane district has however seen a 61 per cent acquisition.
The earlier deadline set by Government of India for completion of land acquisition for the bullet train project was December 2018 and the commissioning of the 508.17 kilometer route was targeted to be completed by 2023.
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