Maharashtra Transport Minister Diwakar Raote said on Monday that 54,000 mangroves will be cut by the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project, PTI reported. Responding to a question by Shiv Sena legislator Manisha Kayande, the minister said the Maharashtra government has proposed to plant five mangroves for each one that is cut for the project.
“As the pillars of the project will be high, the cutting of mangroves will be less,” he told the Legislative Council, The Hindu reported. “It will not affect the environment much.”
Raote claimed that farmers were keen to hand over their land for the project, given the appropriate remuneration. “The proposed land acquisition for the bullet train project is 1,379 hectares of which 724.13 hectares are private land in Gujarat while 270.65 hectares are in Maharashtra,” he said in response to a question by Congress legislator Sharad Ranpise. “As much as 188 hectares of private land in Palghar district are going to be acquired, of which 2.95 hectares have been purchased as per the private negotiation policy of the state.”
The minister said that in Thane district, 84.81 hectares of land belonging to 6,589 farmers have been acquired by the government. Raote conceded that 3,498 people in Palghar will be affected by the bullet train project.
In Mumbai, the Devendra Fadnavis-led government will purchase 39.252 square metres of private land for the project in Vikhroli, the Hindustan Times reported.
The bullet train corridor from Mumbai to Ahmedabad would be an elevated 508-km high-speed rail line meant to benefit diamond merchants, textile traders and other professionals shuttling between the two cities. The project is slated to cost Rs 1.1 lakh crore, of which the Japan International Cooperation Agency is slated to fund Rs 88,000 crore at an interest rate of 0.1%. The project has faced stiff opposition from farmers and land owners in both Gujarat and Maharashtra.