Amid protests by a group of farmers from 73 villages affected by the proposed Ahmedabad-Mumbai High Speed Rail Corridor, authorities have acquired 3.5 hectares land for the project in Palghar district, officials said.
On Wednesday, amid protest and heavy police presence, district authorities along with officials from the NHSRCL (National High Speed Rail Corridor limited) reached Jamshed village in Dahanu taluka to measure the land.
“The police presence is just to manage the crowd, we don’t anticipate any problems. Only land of villagers, who have given their consent, is being measured. We respect the views of people who are protesting,” an official said.
Sandip Pawar, Deputy Collector of Palghar, said they have already measured and surveyed land in 44 villages, while work in 29 villages was pending. “We have surveyed 21 villages in Virar, three in Dahanu and 20 in Palghar. The other 29 villages are also soon going to be surveyed,” he said.
Referring to the protests, Pawar said, “There is some protest, but we are obtaining more and more consent letters. We are counselling the villagers and they are being offered a fair price.”
While authorities claim that they have acquired over 3.5 hectares of private land, locals allege that they have not yet accepted the proposals.
“Some villagers have been fooled into parting with their lands, but we are not going to give up our land. We are gathered here to ensure that not the entire land of the villagers is surveyed and marked. We have communicated our issues to the Japanese team too,” Jamshed-resident Girji Pokla (45) said.
Officials said 108 km of the 530-km high-speed rail corridor lies in Palghar. “We have to acquire 302.53 hectares of which 221.38 hectares are privately owned. Rest is state and forest land,” an officer from the Collector’s office said.
The cost of the project is Rs 1.10 trillion and over 21 km of the route will be connected via an under-sea tunnel, sources said.