Skip to main content

Bullet train: Release Japanese report on social, environmental impact, Govt of India told

Countreview Desk
Top environmentalist Rohit Prajapati in a letter to managing director, National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRC), the Government of India agency responsible for the bullet train project between Ahmedabad and Mumbai, has sought copy of the report prepared by it in connection with the visit by its Japanese funders to Gujarat and Maharashtra to assess the project's social and environmental impact.
Pointing towards why he needs the report, Prajapati, who heads Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS), Vadodara, Gujarat, says in his letter to  NHSRC chief, "During our face-to-face meeting with them during the visit, we, along with other organisations working in the bullet train project areas and affected people, had raised the issues and concerns related to blatant violations concerning both the environmental and social impacts."
Chief representative Katsuo Matsumoto of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), w hich is funding the high profile project, visited Gujarat on December 7-8, 2018 in Gujarat, and in Maharashtra on January 22-23, 2019 to assess complaints regarding environmental and social violations in the Mumbai Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) project.
The PSS letter has also been signed by senior activists Krishnakant and Swati Desai.

Text:

After the visit to Gujarat on December 7-8, 2018, Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) had written a letter dated December 27, 2018 to us and we had agreed to their request to share the details and documents submitted by us to JICA, with you the NHSRCL and other concerned authorities.
We expected that such sharing of the details and documents will facilitate to address the concerns raised by the affected -- the concerned villagers, organisations working in these areas and us, in a timely, transparent, and comprehensive manner.
During our face-to-face meeting with them during the visit, we, along with other organisations working in the bullet train project areas and affected people, had raised the issues and concerns related to blatant violations concerning both the environmental and social impacts resulting from the MAHSR project implementation.
We had also submitted our below representations to them, which we had also explained to them in person.
  • July 9, 2018: "Bullet Train – Train with ‘Bullets’ i.e. ‘A Symbol of Violence, Absolute Force’"
  • August 15, 2018: "Japanese Investor’s (JICA) Guidelines Violated in the Mumbai - Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail Project (MAHSR)", and
  • September 5, 2018: "Committee on Railways (2014 - 2015) said Bullet Train Project is Financially Unviable. At what and whose cost? For whom?"
As you would know, such high impact projects are of grave concern to not only the project-affected local people but also pose massive social, environmental and developmental concerns. It is pertinent that the concerned authorities, such as you, uphold the universal human rights principles, and laws related to environmental protection and social justice.
We are aware that pursuant to the visits in Gujarat and Maharashtra, JICA has submitted their detailed report, with all the inputs presented by the project affected people and organisations working in these areas and us, to you the NHSRC, Government of India, and Government of Japan.
Since the report is prepared with inputs from the project affected people and local stakeholders, including us, we demand that a copy of the report submitted by JICA to you be shared with us.
We further request you to update us on all actions taken by you or any other concerned authorities so far and also the future interventions planned to address the concerns raised by us / project affected people during JICA visit to Gujarat and Maharashtra.
You, as a concerned authority, is responsible to thoroughly review all the procedures and address our concerns. It is imperative now that you take prompt and stringent actions to redress violations and address the concerns completely, transparently, and promptly in accordance with law.
We request you to forward the report submitted by JICA and provide us an update on the actions taken or proposed by you, to enable us to decide our next course of action for the sake of the project affected people, environment and to uphold the applicable laws of the land.
We look forward to hearing a positive and prompt response from you.

Comments

TRENDING

Why do I lend my support to voices protesting world class renovation of Gandhi Ashram?

By Martin Macwan* One would not expect an activist working on Dalit rights to join such a protest. Dalits carry unhealed trauma that Gandhi caused to Dr BR Ambedkar and the Dalit cause of effective political representation by using violent means of his own definition in the event of the Poona Pact. This apart, Gandhi’s ideas in general, which changed often, on caste were orthodox. I have nothing to add to the subject after the sharpest critique offered by Dr Ambedkar.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Inaccurate gender-relevant data 'spoiling' government policy on Covid social impact

By Simi Mehta*  The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been different across vulnerable groups. They were hit by the pandemic at various stages, whether it was accessibility to medical treatment or financial support. The second wave witnessed human suffering at a level where one can never forget the traumatized faces of people due to the inaccessibility and unavailability of essential medical services such as hospitals beds and oxygen. The probability of the third wave has also been one of the major upcoming challenges.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Flamboyant 'demagogues' adjust politics, personality in shadow of democracy

Modi, Erdogan, Bolsonaro By Ajit Singh The terms dictators and demagogues are used interchangeably in various contexts, but there is a difference. The former rule over a totalitarian states where governments are able to exercise complete influence over every aspect of citizens’ life, whereas the latter are a "wannabe dictators" but due to the system of checks and balances they are are not fully capable to create police states.

2002 riots: Gujarat assembly 'misinformed' about dereliction of duty, says ex-DGP

By Rajiv Shah  Former Gujarat topcop RB Sreekumar, an IPS officer of the 1971 batch, has alleged that the Gujarat government gave “totally false information” on the floor of the State Assembly regarding the appeal he made to the Gujarat governor for the “initiation of departmental action against those responsible for culpable negligence in maintenance of public order and investigation of genocidal crimes” during the 2002 riots.

Celebrating birthday amidst image of 'coerced, submissive' India ruled by a strong leader

Pushkar Raj*  As the weeks long birthday festivity of the leadership was being rejoiced India wide, the Covid was still raging in several parts of India. The carnival was in line with the post-Covid decisions and actions of the leadership demonstrating a pursuit of personal power and glory instead of national interest in times of disease and death.

'Devastating impact': Rural workers suffer as Govt of India NREGA budget down by 34%

Counterview Desk  A civil rights group, the NREGA Sangharsh Morcha has sent a letter to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj stating that 34 per cent decrease in the fiscal budget of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA) for year 2021-22 has added to woes on India’s rural population, already suffering from “devastating impact” of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Catholic women warn: Kerala Bishop turning Church into puppet in political games

Counterview Desk A group of Catholic women under the banner Concerned Catholic Women of India has said that they are deeply concerned over "a bishop’s controversial statement" which may threaten communal harmony in India. As many as 89 Catholic women from across India have urged the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India and its Kerala unit to take special steps to "foster peace and avoid strife."

Odisha bauxite mining project to 'devastate' life of 2,500 Adivasi, Dalit farmers: NAPM

Counterview Desk  While the public hearing on mining in Mali hills has been cancelled due to protests by Adivasi and Dalit farmers of the Mali Parbat Surakhya Samiti, Odisha, who have been protesting against the proposed bauxite mining project, India’s top civil rights network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) has said it is “deeply concerned” at the decision of the Government of Odisha to push the project in a Schedule-V Adivasi-belt Koraput district against the interests of the people and environment.