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Bullet train impact report Japan agency property: Govt of India tells Gujarat NGO

By Our Representative
The National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) has told Gujarat-based environmental organization, Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS) that the detailed report of Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) representatives on their visit to Gujarat and Maharashtra assess the impact of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project on farmers is not its property, but that of JICA.
NHSRCL letter to PSS, signed by activists Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant and Swati Desai, comes following the latter’s request to it on June 10 for the report. PSS was one of the NGOs that represented JICA on the project, saying, if implemented, it would adversely impact farmers, even as pointing towards the fact that the project itself is unviable and Indian Railways needs to invest, instead, more on upgrading the present railway infrastructure.
Following the NHSRCL reply, PSS has shot a second letter to JICA, insisting that the latter should share a copy of the report, even as providing details of the “update” on any action taken by it or “any other concerned authorities so far, along with future interventions planned.
The second letter, sent to Katsuo Matsumoto, chief representative, JICA India Office, New Delhi on last Saturday, said, “You, as the chief representative of the Review Team of JICA for the project are legally and morally responsible for thoroughly reviewing all the procedures and address the concerns raised by us.” The first letter was sent on June 17.
It adds, “It is imperative to uphold the applicable laws of the land as well as the principles and rules of your international agency and the international standards. Not doing so, will further weaken democratic principles and our collective responsibilities towards the future generations of the human and all other species.”
The letter warns, “You may take on record that already the process is not working on recognised Prior Informed Consent principles and is not even offering appropriate and adequate compensation to farmers liable to loose land.” The first letter to JICA was sent on June 17. The JICA team visited Gujarat and Maharashtra in December 2018 and January 2019 respectively.

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