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

India under Modi among top 10 autocratizing nations, on verge of 'losing' democracy status

By Rajiv Shah
A new report, prepared by a top Swedish institute studying liberal democracy, has observed that there has been a sharp “dive in press freedom along with increasing repression of civil society in India associated with the current Hindu-nationalist regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” The report places India among the top 10 countries that “have autocratized the most”. Other countries that have been identified for rolling towards autocracy are -- Hungary, Turkey, Poland, Serbia, Brazil, Mali, Thailand, Nicaragua and Zambia.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Gujarat link of controversial US doctor who 'forced' WHO quiz Trump's wonder drug

By Rajiv Shah
A top American doctor, Sapan Sharankishor Desai, born and raised in the “affluent” North Shore (Chicago) region of Illinois by Indian parents, at one point of time involved in NGO activity through  dedicated to “improving” the lives of the impoverished in Gujarat, is in the eyes of a major international storm following his paper (retracted) in a “Lancet” questioning Donald Trump-promoted drug hydroxychloroquine.

Border conflict? RBI nod India's 'brotherly' help to China internationalise its currency

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
In the middle of a global pandemic, China started an unprovoked border conflict with India. It unraveled trust deficit and ties between the two neighbours. As thousands of Chinese troops tried occupying Indian territory, the Narendra Modi-led BJP government directs the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow the Bank of China to start regular banking services in India. The Bank of China will now operate in India like any other commercial banks.

Dalits in India, Blacks in US suffer 'similar' humiliation: Macwan drafts letter to Trump

Counterview Desk
Well-known human rights activist Martin Macwan, recipient of the prestigious Robert F Kennedy Human Rights Award in 2000, has drafted an open letter to US President Donald Trump following the disturbing turn of events with the murder of George Floyd, leading to widespread protests in the US. He has sought signatures of concerned citizens before sending it to Trump.

RSS supremo Deoras 'supported' Emergency, but Indira, Sanjay Gandhi 'didn't respond'

By Shamsul Islam*
National Emergency was imposed on the country by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25-26, 1975, and it lasted for 19 months. This period is considered as ''dark times' for Indian democratic polity. Indira Gandhi claimed that due to Jaiprakash Narayan's call to the armed forces to disobey the 'illegal' orders of Congress rulers had created a situation of anarchy and there was danger to the existence of Indian Republic so there was no alternative but to impose Emergency under article 352 of the Constitution.

Clean chit to British rulers, Muslim League? Karnataka to have Veer Savarkar flyovers

By Shamsul Islam*
The BJP government of Karnataka led by BS Yediyurappa is going to honour Hindutva icon VD Savarkar by naming two of the newly built major flyovers in Bangalore and Mangalore after him. There was a huge uproar against this decision of the RSS-BJP government as many pro-Kannada organisations with opposition parties and liberal-secular organizations questioned the logic to ignore so many freedom fighters, social reformers and others from within the state.

Hurried nod to Western Ghat projects: 16 lakh Goans' water security 'jeopardised'

Counterview Desk
Taking strong exception to "virtual clearances" to eco-sensitive projects in the Western Ghats, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) in a statement has said urged for a review of the four-lane highway, 400 KV transmission line and double tracking of the railway line through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park in Goa.

Disturbing signal? Reliance 'shifting focus' away from Indian petrochemical sector

By NS Venkataraman*
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), a large Indian company, has expanded and grown in a spectacular manner during the last few decades, like of which no industrial group in India has performed before. RIL is now involved in multi various activities relating to petroleum refineries, petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, coal bed methane, life sciences, retail business, communication network, (Jio platform) media/entertainment etc.