Tree cutting at Aarey Colony: Japanese funding agency won’t intervene

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Mar 30, 2015 16:17 IST

Green activists have been unable to sway the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which is funding a large part of the Metro-3 project, on the issue of the proposed felling of trees at Aarey Colony for a Metro-3 car shed.

JICA has indicated it will not entertain the complaint made by green activists asking the agency to intervene in the matter of the proposed felling of trees for the construction of the depot. The reason, they said, is that it doesn’t fall under their funding jurisdiction.

JICA has sent a letter to the environmentalists who had lodged a complaint, pointing to violations of a few provisions of JICA guidelines in relation to development of the Metro-3 project.

“After identifying the project from the request, it has been confirmed that JICA provides funding for the project. However, the facility [car shed] to which the requester raises objections in not included in JICA’s funding [Local Currency Procurement Portion of the Project],” reads the letter that is sent by the examiner for guidelines of JICA.

The environmentalists, who have formed a group – Save Aarey Colony – to protest against the car depot in the area, had written to JICA in January this year. The group is a motley mix of nature lovers, social workers and environmentalists, including Rishi Agarwal, D Stalin, Manish Sethi.

Unhappy with the response, the group is now planning to meet officials of JICA and the Japanese Consulate. “It appears that JICA has washed its hands of the matter, saying it is not funding the car depot. However, the depot is part of the Metro project. Now, we are planning to meet higher officials of JICA and the Japanese Consulate to discuss the issue,” said D Stalin, an environmentalist.

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