Bullet Train Project Set To Miss Deadline; Modi Govt Seeks To Uproot Maharastra Farmers
The land in dispute is owned by the fruit growers there, who refuse to give in the ruthless demands of the government, a report said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious bullet train project seems to be hitting a downslide as the government is most likely to miss the deadline for land acquisition for the project in Maharashtra.
The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government wants to secure sections of 108-km long stretch in Dahanu-Palghar-Bhiwandi belt of Maharashtra for the Japan-backed bullet train project.
The land in dispute is owned by the fruit growers there, who refuse to give in the ruthless demands of the government, a Hindustan Times report said.
These protests have gained the support of local political parties and the agitation among the farmers is only growing with time.
“I’ve worked hard for three decades to develop this plantation, and they are asking me to hand over this land,” says Dashrat Purav, a sapto farmer in complete distress. “I haven’t worked hard to surrender land for the project. I did that for my children,” he added.
If the Modi government fails to acquire land by December 2018, the soft-loans to be issued by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) shall also be delayed.
Now that the government realises it’s incompetence in the matter, it has scheduled a meeting with JICA officials, seeking to advance the project competition deadline by one year to 2022.
JICA officials have asked India to come to an agreement with the farmers and curate plans for their relocation.
The bullet train project is estimated to cost Rs 1.10 trillion, of which Rs. 88,000 crore are being sanctioned as a loan by Tokyo. The loan shall be repaid over a period of 50 years, with an interest rate of 0.1 per cent.