Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project hit due to delay in court cases

Anushka Khare Posted on: 2018-09-24 07:00:43 Viewer: 1,036 Comments: 0 Country: India City: Ahmedabad

Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project hit due to delay in court cases

SURAT/PALGHAR: The scrutinies over bullet train project in Gujarat and Maharashtra bypassing the consent clause under the Land Acquisition Act and a strategic silence by the authorities despite court notices are distinct patterns. A farmers’ outfit with five lakh members, Gujarat Khedut Samaj, has approached the high court challenging the state governments for amendment of Section 10A of the Act that exempts the project from social impact assessment. In the neighbouring Maharashtra, tribals also planning to stand for the action.

On September 18, the Gujarat High Court asked the Centre to submit its affidavit in reply to the farmers’ petitions by September 26, which will at least provide the interim relief to the petitioners. The President, Gujarat Khedut Samaj, Jayesh Patel said that this case is going on from the last two months, but the Centre has remained silent. During one hearing, the additional solicitor general said the reply has been sent to the PMO for approval and will be submitted in court thereafter.

Mr. Patel also said that this delay is despite the fact that the Supreme Court directed the high court to expedite hearing as the Gujarat government has initiated the process of land acquisition. We have again approached the SC regarding the Centre’s delay in filing its reply, which is slowing the high court hearing even as land acquisition process in going at a fast pace.

Hearing is likely to come up this week. Approximately total 1,000 farmers filed affidavits against land acquisition and some wrote to the Japan International Cooperation Agency about their grievances. Now, JICA has refused to release further installments of funds for the project till farmers’ issues are resolved. An advocate Anandvardhan Yagnik, who is representing the Samaj said that in 2015, you enter into a contract with Japan and assure to abide by JICA guidelines, but eight months later you introduce a state legislation diametrically opposite to the very guidelines, and the President gives assent.

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