A team of Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA), which has provided soft loan to the Indian government for the country's first bullet train project, will be on a two-day visit of Gujarat from Friday to meet farmers affected by the project.
Officials of the JICA, Japan's state-owned funding agency, will visit Surat on Friday to meet farmers, who have been protesting against land acquisition for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project.
The project-affected people, including farmers and land owners, had made representation to the JICA on September 18 this year, alleging that land acquisition for the project was being done "in complete and abject violation of the JICA guidelines and the Centre's Land Acquisition Act, 2013," seeking the agency's intervention.
"In response to it, a JICA team, comprising its chief representative Katsuo Matsumoto and other members, has agreed to meet the affected farmers and their representatives at Surat. JICA team will visit on December 7 and 8," Anand Yagnik, lawyer for the project-affected persons, said.
Representatives of the farmers' body, Gujarat Khedut Samaj, which has led a protest against land acquisition, will also take part in the meeting, he said.
On Friday, the JICA team will pay a visit to some farm lands and their owners to take stock of situation, he said.
"The next day, they will hold a meeting with the farmers and landowners of different villages and districts who are affected by the project," Yagnik, who is representing the project affected persons in ongoing litigation before the Gujarat High Court, said.
The bullet train will run at a speed of 320-350 kmph, and have 12 stations across its 500-km stretch. Around 1,400 hectares of land will be acquired in Gujarat and Maharashtra for the project. Of that 1,120 hectares land is privately owned.
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