Those Hit By Bullet Train Project Move Court, Seek Rehabilitation

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As many as 318 people evicted from a slum colony to make way for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project have moved the Gujarat High Court seeking a direction to authorities to facilitate their rehabilitation.
The petition came up before a division bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Biren Vaishnav on Monday.

The court directed to serve advance copies of the plea to the Western Railway (WR), the National High Speed Rail Corporation, the implementing authority of the project, and Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC).

The High Court has posted the matter for hearing on Thursday.

In the plea, moved by Bandhkaam Mazdoor Sangathan, a body of labourers, the affected dwellers of the JP Ni Chali slum in Sabarmati area said they lived in the slum for more than 30 years, but had been evicted by the authorities without any provision for rehabilitation and rendered homeless.

Despite a verbal assurance for rehabilitation from the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited, the railway administration issued a notice to them on February 22, 2021, for eviction within seven days, it said.

The plea further said despite representations made before the AMC and the WR, the railway administration started demolishing their houses on March 15, leaving them without any shelter.

They are in urgent need of rehabilitation, it added.

The introduction of the country’s first bullet train, which is known as the Shinkansen in Japan, is expected to mark India’s shift to an era of high-speed trains capable of hitting speeds of up to 350 km per hour.

Of the 508.17-km-long bullet train corridor, 155.76 km will be in Maharashtra, 348.04 km in Gujarat and 4.3 km in Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

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