For its ambitious dedicated freight corridor project, the railways will complete the acquisition of 11,000 hectare linear land. The national transporter is also expecting to complete its compensation process amounting to R4,217 crore by the end of this calendar year.
For the 3,300-km project coming up on the eastern and western flanks of the country, the railways, through its special purpose vehicle Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation (DFCC) has till now paid a compensation of R3,160 crore to the people for their land. Of this, around R2,000 crore was given this year only.
We needed to acquire land in 60 districts of nine states. It has been a massive exercise for the railways. We needed several clearances, including forest land clearances, government land clearances, permission for eco-sensitive zones, clearance from wildlife departments and coastal regulatory zones, Taj trapezium, National Monument authority and Archeological Survey of India, RK Gupta, managing director, DFCC, told FE.
Though, the eastern and the western corridors are being funded by the World Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), respectively, the compensation for the land is being paid by the ministry of railways, which will also be the land-owning agency.
It was also the precondition of the funding agencies that no contract shall be awarded before 90% of the total land required for the project is acquired. The dedicated freight corridors project is being directly monitored by the Prime Ministers Office (PMO) and steering committees have been formed at state level to acquire necessary local level clearances for the project.
People who are being rehabilitated were also paid for their trees, crops, tubewells and houses. The acquisition was made according Railway Amendment Act 2008. Eighty per cent of the alignment of the western and eastern corridors is parallel to the already existing railway track. For the 20% detour, the land requirement is of 11,000 hectare, added Gupta.