The Bombay High Court on Thursday (9 February) dismissed a petition brought by Godrej and Boyce Manufacturing Company Limited challenging the Maharashtra government's grant of Rs 264 crore in compensation for acquiring its land for the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project.
A division bench of Justices R D Dhanuka and M M Sathaye said that the initiative is one of its kind and of national importance and in public interest. They also emphasised that collective public interest won over personal interest.
The country’s first ‘bullet’ train, a nickname the train gets from its bullet-like shape and speed, will pass through Gujarat, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Maharashtra.
The Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail project will have 21 km of rail track underground, with the remaining 508.17 km elevated. One of the underground tunnel's entry locations is on land owned by Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Company Limited (in the Vikhroli region).
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, reports Financial Express.
The company had contested the Maharashtra government's land acquisition proceedings, claiming that the final award of Rs 264 crore was far less than the Rs 572 crore initially provided to it by the government for land acquisition.
The National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL), which is implementing the bullet train project, is represented by Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh.
Singh informed the high court that while the NHSRCL had acquired all of the land required for the project in Gujarat and had started construction there, it had only obtained 97 per cent of the requisite land in Maharashtra.
Out of the total requirement of 1,392.63 hectares for the project, 1,374.20 hectares of land has been acquired in December, according to Indian Railways. This is a significant boost to the coveted project as only 90 per cent land (1,264 hectares) was acquired until July last year.
India’s First Bullet Train Project
Presently, the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail is the only sanctioned high-speed rail project in the country.
The High-Speed Rail operating at 320 kmph will traverse along west India’s landscape, covering 508.17 km distance between Mumbai and Ahmedabad in just about two hours.
This will save time compared to current travel time between the two terminal stations by about nine hours (by bus) or six hours (by conventional railways).
It will cover 155.76 km in Maharashtra, 4.3 km in the Union Territory of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and 348.04 km in Gujarat, with 12 stations en-route.
The entire project has been divided into 28 contract packages including Training Institute at Vadodara.
At present, 19 packages have been awarded out of which work for three packages have been completed. One package is under evaluation, Notice Inviting Tender (NIT) has been published for three packages and for the remaining five packages NIT is yet to be published.
The physical progress till 23 November was 24.1 per cent, the Ministry said, adding that while almost 30 per cent of the work has been completed in Gujarat, in Maharashtra, around 13 per cent has so far been achieved.
In Gujarat, the construction of bullet train stations has started in Anand, Surat, Vadodara, Bharuch, Vilimora, Vapi and Navsari districts.
The contract for the construction of a bullet train station at the Bandra-Kurla Complex and the one for the construction of an underground tunnel have also been allotted. Pier and girder works will soon be visible in Maharashtra like in Gujarat, officials said.
An appeal from Swarajya
At Swarajya, we rely on our readers' support through subscriptions to sustain our media platform. Unlike larger conglomerates, we are unable to relentlessly chase advertising money — our model is largely built on your patronage.
Your support has never been more crucial. We work tirelessly to deliver 10-15 high-quality articles daily, ensuring you receive insightful content from 7 AM to 10 PM.
If you believe India's story has to be articulated in a way it has never been done before without shrugging it off, become a patron (or) subscribe now for ₹̶2̶4̶0̶0̶ ₹1999 and get 12 print issues, unlimited digital access for 1 year, a special India that is Bharat T-shirt (Offer ends soon).
We are counting on you!