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  Metros   Mumbai  25 May 2018  Gujarat activists allege arbitrary consultations

Gujarat activists allege arbitrary consultations

THE ASIAN AGE. | SONALI TELANG
Published : May 25, 2018, 6:18 am IST
Updated : May 25, 2018, 6:26 am IST

The bullet train project authority is holding simultaneous environment consultations in districts across Maharashtra and Gujarat.

However, the activists said that there is no coherent approach to the announcement of stakeholder consultations.
 However, the activists said that there is no coherent approach to the announcement of stakeholder consultations.

Mumbai: Activists from Gujarat have written to the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) - which is to provide Rs 88,000 crore financial aid for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project - that the environment consultation by the National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) is a mere paper arrangement.

The activists have written that the consultations are announced at very short notice to the concerned stakeholders. They have claimed that the project’s feasibility report is available in the English language alone although it should be made available in Marathi and Gujarati as project-affected families are more conversant with the latter two languages.  

The bullet train project authority is holding simultaneous environment consultations in districts across Maharashtra and Gujarat. A senior official from NHSRCL said, “We are holding consultations as per the guidelines of JICA. It is not under the process of environment clearance being a railway infrastructure project according to the law.”

However, the activists said that there is no coherent approach to the announcement of stakeholder consultations. The letter reads, “The advance notice period has varied from 24 hours (one day) to a few weeks. At times, they are announced at the district level while at other times, they are conducted at the taluka level. There is no clarification as to whether the stakeholders invited to the consultation should represent on social concerns or the environment. In fact, purposely, confusion is created. Two different public advertisements are published by NHRSCL at the same venue and same timing, but for a different purpose.”   

Highlights of bullet train

  • Around 353 hectares of land in Maharashtra will be acquired for the 508km long Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project.
  • Around 77.45 hectares across 40 villages of Thane and Palghar districts will be diverted for the project.
  • The estimate cost for the  project is Rs 1.08 lakh crore out of which Japan International Cooperation Agency(JICA) will provide financial aid of Rs 88,000 crores.

Tags: national high-speed rail corporation limited, environment