MNS activists heckle officials, disrupt bullet train land survey in Thane
MNS activists on Monday disrupted a land route survey that was being conducted near Thane’s Shilphata for the upcoming Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet Train project.
The party has opposed the project on the grounds that it is being undertaken to separate Mumbai from Maharashtra.
Around two dozen Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) activists waving the party flags, came to the Shil village on the old Mumbai-Pune Highway and carried out protests against the railway and government officials surveying the land in the vicinity.
The survey has been taken up by the National High Speed Rail Corporation Ltd (NHSRC), which has been entrusted with implementing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious Bullet Train project in collaboration with the Japanese.
From Ahmedabad, the Bullet Train route in Maharashtra will traverse through Thane and Palghar districts before entering Mumbai from the southern direction.
Despite the huge police presence in the area, activists blocked the vehicles of the officials and prevented them from carrying out the land surveys for the lands on which the project is expected to be constructed.
In Mumbai’s Thane, MNS workers protest & disrupt the officials during the land survey process for the Ahmedabad-Mumbai Bullet train.
— GoNews (@GoNews24x7) May 8, 2018
The activists even threw away the land measurement machines brought by the officials.
The blockade came days after MNS President Raj Thackeray urged the farmers in Thane and Palghar district not to sell or allow their lands to be acquired for the Bullet Train and the proposed Mumbai-Vadodara Expressway projects.
“Don’t sell your lands. It’s a ploy to purchase your lands in the name of the Bullet Train project and evict Marathi people from Mumbai which was separated from Gujarat in 1960,” Thackeray had stated at a public meeting in Vasai.
Last week, the All India Kisan Sabha too launched an agitation against the Bullet Train in Palghar and urged people to beware of the project coming up in the name of infrastructure development.
MNS Thane District chief Avinash Jadhav said that the party will continue to opposed the survey and measurement drive since “the people want jobs, not a bullet train”, and they will not allow the train to be launched here.
“We will continue to oppose this measurement drive as we want jobs and not a bullet train. There will be flash protests as well to force the authorities to suspend the work,” Jadhav said.
The 508 kilometre Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project, estimated to cost Rs 1,08,000 crore, is being built with the Japanese government providing a loan to cover 81 percent of the cost.
The project, meanwhile, has been opposed by all major parties including MNS, Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP among others.