JICA team meets Gujarat farmers opposing bullet train

Ahmedabad, Dec 9:
A team of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which is funding the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train venture, on Saturday concluded its two-day meeting with Gujarat farmers and villagers opposed to land acquisition for the project.
The Japanese government’s funding agency is providing a soft loan to India for the first high speed train project in the country which is expected to cost Rs 1.08 lakh crore. The three-member team led by JICA’s chief representative Katsuo Matsumoto met hundreds of farmers, whose lands will have to be acquired for the project, from south Gujarat districts. The team heard the farmers’ grievances and legal issues over two days.
JICA officials were not available for comment.
Farmers’ leaders said they apprised the team with the ground reality of the land acquisition process and how it “flouts” JICA’s guidelines.
Several farmers have challenged the state government’s land acquisition process in the Gujarat High Court. They claim the process is not in accordance with the law.
Farmers had earlier written to JICA, requesting its officials to visit the affected villages to understand the ground reality.

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