Friday, July 12, 2024

Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project crosses hurdles as 100% land acquisition completed

According to the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail project, 21 km out of a total of 508.17 km of rail track is planned to be underground while the rest will be elevated.

The Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project received a green nod from the Bombay High Court on Thursday. Terming the high-speed rail project as of “national importance and in the public interest”, the court refused to entertain a petition filed by Godrej & Boyce company. The company had challenged the land acquisition proceedings initiated by the Maharashtra government and the National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) in Mumbai’s Vikhroli area for the project.

A division bench of Justice RD Dhanuka and Justice MM Sathaye has declined to stay with the project. The bench observed that the project was one-of-its-kind and that collective interest would prevail over private interest.

According to the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail project, 21 km out of a total of 508.17 km of rail track is planned to be underground while the rest will be elevated. One of the entry points to the underground tunnel falls on the land (located in the Vikhroli area) owned by Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Company Limited.

The division bench also ruled out any illegality in the compensation or proceedings initiated by the government authorities. The Godrej & Boyce authorities filed the petition challenging an order of September 15, 2022, passed by the Maharashtra government awarding compensation amount to it for the land acquisition process of the bullet train project.

The state government and the NHSRCL had claimed several times that the company was delaying the entire project, whereas, the company authorities questioned the land acquisition process. Last year in October 2022, the Maharashtra government deposited Rs 264 crore as compensation amount awarded to the company. It called the acquisition process “unlawful” and added that there were “multiple and patent illegalities”. The land acquisition process of the entire railway line for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project was complete except for the land owned by Godrej.

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