On September 25, Congress mouthpiece National Herald reported that Japan has stopped providing funds for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train project. In an article titled “PM Modi’s Bullet Train dream derails after Japan stops funding”, it had reported that the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has stopped funding for the project.
The report states that the funding agency is not happy with the farmers’ protest over land acquisition for the ambitious project, and it has released only ₹125 crore against a total commitment of ₹80,000 crore for the project. This was reported by some other media houses too.
Few hours after the report was published, India had rubbished it. National High-Speed Rail Corporation Ltd (NHSRCL), the nodal agency for the execution of the project, had said that the report is false and not based on facts. “In fact, the GoI and JICA have already signed a loan agreement of about 10 billion yen and no payment is pending from JICA as on date,” NHSRCL had said in a statement.
NHSRCL had stated that it is committed to the interest of the farmers. Several farmers affected by land acquisition are demanding more compensation and other amenities like common ponds, schools, solar lights and doctors in their villages. They have also written to Japan government and JICA with their demands.
Gujarat BJP president Jitu Vaghani, who shared the statement issued by NHSRCL, told reporters, “I condemn the misinformation campaign against the project being carried out by the Congress leaders. They are anti-Gujarat and anti-development. There is no merit in the claims that JICA has stopped funds for the project”
After India, today Japanese Ambassador to India refuted the allegations. Ambassador Kenji Hiramatsu said that they are going to continue the fund for the ambitious project and there is no truth in the report that funding has been stopped. The Ambassador said, “Everything is going very well. We are very happy, there is a collaboration between Japan/Indian authorities on this project”. Hiramatsu also said that the project would be completed within the 2022 deadline for the project.
This is not the first time that Congress mouthpiece National Herald has been caught lying. Recently, Anil Ambani had filed a Rs. 5,000 crore defamation suit against National Herald for writing a piece laden with conjectures in the Rafale deal. The publication has also distorted facts to attack Piyush Goyal and the Gujarat government.