MUMBAI: The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) activists on Monday disrupted the land survey for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train project. The MNS has been opposing the project saying that it would lead to increase in Gujarati influence in Maharashtra.
Thane district chief of MNS Avinash Jadhav along with around 30 party workers obstructed the land measurement process for the Bullet train project at Shil village in the Thane district.
They reached the spot where the measurement was to begin for land acquisition at around 11 am and objected the process.
A huge police force was deployed at the Shil village.
However, the MNS workers didn’t budge and continued to oppose the process. At a point during their demonstrations, they even threw away the land measurement machines brought by the officials. Officials tried to resume the process. But, MNS workers whose numbers had grown by the time didn’t let the officials resume the process, one of the officials said on condition of anonymity.
According to the plan around 40 km of the Bullet Train route will pass through Thane district and in Shil village around 2.41 hectare of land is to be acquired. The district administration has been carrying out the land surveys at various places across the district for past few days. The villagers at Ansarpada near Diva had opposed the land survey last month. MNS workers took the step today after party chief Raj Thackeray had opposed the project during his rally at Vasai last week.
“We have just disrupted the land survey today. But, if government tries to push the project without taking into account the sentiments of the locals we shall stall the entire process,” Jadhav said.
“We don’t want bullet train. We want employment,” he added.
“Bullet train is only a means to bring Gujarat closer to Mumbai,” Raj Thackeray had said while speaking at Vasai.
He had also appealed farmers not to give away their land for the proposed bullet train and Mumbai-Vadodara Expressway.
The MNS had made their opposition to the bullet train project earlier last year after the Elphinstone Road bridge stampede.
“Mumbai needs basic railway infrastructure rather than expensive projects like the bullet train and the MNS shall not allow a single brick of the bullet train project to be laid in Maharashtra,” Thackeray had said back then.
Meanwhile, it could not be ascertained immediately from the district administration whether the land survey will continue or will be stopped for a while.