Mumbai, (The Hindu): Palghar administration, in a move to tackle residents’ opposition and ensure smooth completion of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project, has come up with a development plan.
The district, which has large tribal population, is likely to see development in social and infrastructure sectors under Palghar development corridor. The plan will be implemented with the help of the National High Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRC), the implementing agency.
Of the total 508-km railway line, around 108 km will pass through 73 villages. The corridor will not only cover the 73 villages, but also 85 villages around them.
The objective behind the development corridor is to add values to the lives of the people. “The bullet train aims to bring prosperity and development. If the people who are going to give their land do not find betterment in their lives, then what is the use of this project?” Palghar Collector Prashant Narnaware said.
The plan, which has been initially finalised for five villages, has two components: physical and soft. Under the first category, special attention will be given to improving water supply, road, infrastructure, school and anganwadis.
The second component focuses increasing livelihood opportunities, such as forming agriculture groups, farmer companies, and ensuring end-to-end mechanism for farm products. It also includes development of adolescent girls, and bringing down malnutrition and infant mortality. “The NHSRC will be sharing the financial burden,” Mr. Narnaware said.
The Collector said Palghar will be getting two bullet train stations — Virar and Boisar — which can be developed as business hubs.
“We are also developing Wadhvan port and the Mumbai-Baroda expressway. The modes of communication are necessary for the overall growth,” he said.
According to officials from the NHSRC and the district administration, the State, in comparison to Gujarat, lags in terms of centre line (the exact route of the bullet train) markings. Only 10% work has been completed due to opposition from locals. The entire process is expected to be over in the next one year.
As per the procedure, the route will be first mapped via GPS, which will be overlapped on aerial map using survey numbers and following identification of the estimate route, the list of land owners will be published.
The final location survey will be carried out to give the centre line, and later, the row will be demarcated. A joint measurement survey will be held, following which compensation for each land owner will be fixed based on actual size of land to be acquired.
In case of consent from the owner, one-on-one negotiations with the NHSRC will give him/her five times the market value of the land, under specific provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013. If protest continues, the land will come to the government without benefits and at a price fixed by the government.
“The relief and rehabilitation package also includes 5 lakh per family, and in case of loss of livelihood, 3,500 per month for the next one year,” Pankaj Uke, general manager (operations), NHSRC, said.
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