As many as 1000 farmers affected by the proposed Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project submitted affidavits to Gujarat High Court on Tuesday. They have raised their objection towards the project and wrote a letter to the Japan government, alleging violation of the guidelines of the Japanese agency for acquiring farmer’s land. A Division Bench of the High Court, comprising Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice V M Pancholi, is hearing five petitions challenging the land acquisition process for the high-profile project. 1000 farmers have submitted their separate affidavits before the High Court raising a point that several cultivators are affected by Gujarat’s ambitious bullet train project of Rs.1.10 lakh crore and thus, are opposed to it.
The affidavits have been submitted by farmers from various districts of Gujarat from the bullet train route is planned to pass and stated that they do not want acquisition of their land for the project. Earlier, the Gujarat government claimed that “much larger proportion of landowners whose lands are proposed to be acquired (for the Bullet Train project), have offered their lands by consent.”Appearing for the petitioners, advocate Anand Yagnik said, “The Gujarat government is presenting a case before the court that many farmers are ready to give up their land with consent, which is incorrect. And to negate its claim, today, 1,000 farmers who are going to be affected by the project have submitted their affidavits while opposing acquisition of their land for the project.” Petitioners have stated that their land pieces are being acquired without their consent and any rehabilitation package offered to them. In the affidavits, they said the acquisition is being done by the state government by amending central law that has done violating the mandatory provisions of conducting social impact assessment and consent of the affected parties. Meanwhile, Gujarat HC bench has asked the Central government to submit its affidavit by September 26 in response to the farmers’ petitions. If it is not submitted before the due date then HC would admit the petition and may give interim relief to the petitioners.