An aerial view of farmland in California’s central valley. (iStock)
Farmers up and down California’s Central Valley are up in arms over the state seizing their land to build its long-awaited high-speed railway and then failing to pay the hundreds of thousands of dollars owed them for years.
Thanks to an order of possession by the Superior Court, California can take private land through eminent domain for the troubled bullet train project. While landowners are expected to eventually be reimbursed for the property – and for expenses like lost farming production, irrigation replacement projects and road construction – many farmers in California’s agricultural heartland say state officials have offered them a myriad of excuses as to why they haven’t yet doled out the cash.
“I am out a quarter-million bucks on infrastructure, and they haven’t paid a dime for a year,” John Diepersloot, a fruit farmer who cleared a large parcel of his peach orchard to make way for the train, told The Los Angeles Times. “I don’t have that kind of money.”
What’s even more frustrating for California’s farmers are the constantly changing plans for the train, the multiple delays in construction,