Won't vacate for Bullet Train even if they offer compensation, says shopowners
Shopowners at 100-year-old market say officials haven't said a word to them yet.
Alkapuri: Just two kilometres from Vadodara railway station, Alkapuri is quite the busy and crowded town. And, the exit to its railway station reflects that. Eight years ago, the exit at Alkapuri station underwent a facelift and was designed in ornate Gaekwadi style architecture. Now, a portion of this stands to be demolished for the bullet train project.
But, the station isn't the only one to be disfigured. Krishnakant Chauhan of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS) says the entire city may soon be ruined to accommodate two different constructions. There's the bullet train station that has been planned between Alkapuri and Jetalpur railway under-bridges, and then there's the High Speed Rail (HSR) Training Institute which will be built over five hectares at the National Academy of Indian Railways (NAIR) in Alkapuri.
Already under construction, the institute will have all facilities available at the High Speed Training Institute of East Japan Railway Company (JR-East) in Shin Shirakawa, Japan, such as the driver simulator, track circuit, OHE including power supply, sample track, etc. The training institute at Alkapuri will also serve as the backbone for future development of other high speed corridors in India.
Krishnakant Chauhan. Pic/Sneha Kharabe
The foundation stone for the HSR training institute in NAIR Campus was laid on September 14, 2017. Pradeep Ahirkar, chief project manager, NHSRCL, the bullet train project, said, "The institute is being built in three parts—T1, T2 and T3. While training will be done in T1 and T2 and these structures are complete, the T3 building will have a hostel. The construction of T3 will conclude by March 2021." It's the first project, however, that might hurt Alkapuri the most.
The distance between Alkapuri and Vadodara rly station is two kilometres. Map/ Uday Mohite
At the bullet train terminal, the town's 100-year-old Kadak Bazar, about 90 metres from Vadodara railway junction, will be razed. Rupesh Agrawal, 41, who owns a departmental store there, said, "We found out about the project around two years ago, but no official has come here to tell us that the market will be destroyed." Agrawal thinks it is a strange choice to demolish the market as the station is located at the opposite end. "If they require a width of 17.5 metres for the train, why do they need to raze our entire market? It makes no sense. We will not vacate the area even if they offer us compensation," he added.
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