1,000 Gujarat Farmers Ask Japan Government To Withhold Bullet Train Project

Gujarat farmers wrote a letter informing the Gujarat government that they don't want a bullet train. The reason they said this is because the land is being taken they farm and the land is used for agricultural purposes.

They had written the letter to invite the Japanese Ambassador to Gujarat for understanding the farmers' situation.

Farmers in Gujarat whose lands will be acquired for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet train have written to the Japan government. In the letter, they have said that there is a violation of the guidelines of the Japanese agency which is funding the project.

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The letter sent by the farmers asked the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which is providing a soft loan for the Rs 1.10 lakh crore project, to withhold disbursal of funds to the Indian government until the agency's guidelines are complied with, said a lawyer.

Advocate Anand Yagnik represents five petitioners who have challenged land acquisition for the project before the Gujarat High Court. He said: "The petitioners and 1,000 other affected farmers, led by the Gujarat Khedut Samaj, have written to the Japan government."

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"They have also sought an appointment with Japan's Ambassador to India," Yagnik said.

"The letter invited the Japanese Ambassador to Gujarat for understanding the farmers' plight," he said.

"The letter alleged that JICA's guidelines for such financial assistance 'are being flagrantly violated', so it should 'withhold any instalment to be given to the government of India' till the guidelines are complied with," he said.

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"The environmental impact assessment and social impact assessment reports for the project date back to 2010, and in the meantime other projects such as Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, Western Dedicated Freight Corridor and Express Highways were planned. Hence, the cumulative impact of all these projects in the region must be considered," the letter said.

For the project, around 1,400 hectares of land will be acquired in Gujarat and Maharashtra, 1,120 hectares of which is privately owned.

The project was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe in September 2017.

by Admin | Wed, Sep 19 - 12:42 PM

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