In order to allay apprehensions regarding land acquisition for the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project, the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) will be issuing “entitlement cards” that will carry details of the compensation awarded to each of the 6000 private land owners whose property will be acquired for the project.
“Land acquisition has many steps. Now we are almost in the last step of joint measurement survey. Compensation will be decided once the joint measurement survey is over. We have decided the entitlement matrix philosophically, which is more than what is provided in the (Land Acquisition) Act. For example, we will be giving them 25 percent extra for the terms of the consent. There is lot of compensation for Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R&R) and so we are entitlement matrix. Once the joint measurement survey is done, we will know what kind of compensation an individual will get,” Achal Khare, managing director of NHSRCL said while interacting with mediapersons on the sidelines of a lecture organised at IIT-Gandhinagar on Saturday.
“To allay their apprehensions, we will be providing each land loser an entitlement card which will have his bank account number and all the items against which he is going to get compensation. This will be monitored by the company, till the time he gets his last compensation,” he said. The project will involve land acquisition of 1400 hectares in Gujarat and Maharashtra. This will include 1120 hectares of private land, where a total about 6000 land owners will have to be compensated.
This comes after farmers organisations have been protesting and demanding the provisions of the “Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013” be implemented while acquiring land for the project. Congress Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat, Ahmed Patel recently wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that he has received several complaints from farmer representatives that rules and procedures under the Land Acquisition Act 2013 was not being adhered to and Gujarat government was conducting the land acquisition exercise under a diluted version of the 2013 Act.
“Right now there are a lot of concerns about how much we are going to get. We are doing presentations… But I can assure that we will be compensating much more than they are expecting,” he added. Khare said that the company will be holding “Chai pe Charcha” type of discussions in areas where “more explanation were required” to convince land owners. “Such discussions will be held more in Maharashtra”, the official added.