Flamingos & Leopards To Lose Their Home Due To The Bullet Train Project
India’s much-hyped bullet train project, inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe in September 2017 in Ahmedabad has faced a lot of obstacles. The current plan is to finish the project by 2022 or 2023.
Yet, since the inception of the project, there has been severe allegations of discrepancies in the way the project is being formulated. Last year in September, it was realised that over 1000 farmers would lose their lands without getting a proper compensation package. Now, with the clearance of land for the project, it is found that not only the farmers but flamingos and leopards would lose their homes too.
Imposing on Sanjay Gandhi National Park
Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan has cleared the wildlife accordance for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad project. The project will now pass from Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary (TCFS) and the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) in Mumbai Metropolitan Region. The SGNP is home to about 40-45 leopards.
The proposed diversion is of 3.2756 ha of forestland from the Thane Creek Flamingo Wildlife Sanctuary. It also includes a diversion of 97.5189 ha of land close to the boundary of the forest’s protected area, reported The Hindu.
According to the records of the meeting, the project got clearance on January 10. Forest clearance is an important part of wildlife clearance. The National Wildlife Board, the apex body that gives clearance to projects for diverting forest land, had already laid down accordance for the Bullet Train project.
“We are not at all against the ambitious infrastructure projects being launched by the government and private sector, should they come at the cost of the environment,” The Nature Connect’s director and activist B N Kumar asked, reported Deccan Herald.
The National Wildlife Board had asked for a compensation of 10 cr (2% of 500 cr project). They have also asked them to make sure that no debris falls on inside the forest and ‘…providing site and funds for penal plantation of at least 5 times the number of mangroves plants anticipated to be lost in this project..’
Farmers to lose livelihood
Earlier, it was found that not only would the livelihoods of thousands of farmers be affected because of the project, but so many villages, families, houses, hospitals and schools will have to change its way of functioning. The farmers said that their land was being taken away from them without their consent.
On October 2, farmers across Gujarat protested against the land acquisition. They held a demonstration against the Mudra-SEZ, Adani-SEZ, Gir forest illegal mining, acquisition of land from Bhavnagar to Somnath, Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor, express highway, national highway expansion, expansion between Ahmedabad-Mumbai and the Bullet train project.