Land acquisition for the National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited’s (NHSRCL) Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train project has gained momentum in the last one month with 12 villages in Palghar district, which were covered under PESA (Panchayats – Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, passing resolutions through their gram sabhas to give up land for the project.
The bullet train will pass through Mumbai suburban, Thane and Palghar districts.
Sandip Pawar, the land acquisition officer for Palghar district, said, “As per our records, 19 villages covered under PESA Act and tribal-dominated, had given their consent earlier. Now, 31 villages have given concurrence to give their land. Ten are still opposing the project and we are in discussion with them. We will settle their claims or go for direct purchase of land.”
“Now, nearly 85 per cent of the land needed for the project has either been acquired or is being acquired. We only need to get land from 10 villages covered under PESA Act,” he added.
In Vasai, around 2,000 tenements needed for the project are spread over various buildings and chawls. Pawar said that certain buildings will be demolished and the tenants be given new houses.
In Thane, Collector Rajesh Narvekar said, “Nearly 75 acre of land was to be acquired in Thane and Bhiwandi talukas. We have got 42 acres by the consent of the landowners. There exist family or boundary disputes for the remaining land. But we have deposited the acquisition amount in court and will take over the remaining land by September end or early October.’’
In Gujarat, nearly 97 per cent of the land needed for the project has been acquired.