Press Statement : November 4, 2013
Over a hundred prominent organisations expressed shock over World Bank President Dr. Jim Kim’s inaction on the audit report on Tata Mundra Power Project in Gujarat, condemned it and demanded International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) withdrawal from the project.
“People’s movements and their allies in India are shocked that you have cleared the IFC Management’s response to the CAO Audit Report on Tata Mundra Project,” the letter sent today to the President said. “The CAO findings warrant nothing less than IFC’s withdrawal from the project” they added.
Condemning it they said, “Your endorsement of IFC’s response to CAO findings and thus letting IFC and the company continue the violations merits nothing less than condemnation.”
The independent recourse mechanism of IFC the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) released their findings on October 24, after a year-long investigation into the financing of IFC to the project. CAO found IFC made serious lapses in funding Tata coal plant.
The letter was issued in support of the local organisation, Machimar Adhikar Sangharsh Sangathan (MASS). It was signed by National Alliance of People’s Movements, Narmada Bachao Andolan, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan, All India Union of Forest Working People, India Climate Justice, National Fishworkers Forum, All India Forum of Forest Movements and others.
Taking serious note of the inaction of the President the organisations said, “By your decision to keep your eyes closed to the damning findings of CAO, you are complicit in the human rights violations, livelihood loss, impacts of air pollution, water contamination, and perilous marine ecological disaster in the wake of the IFC-funded project.”
Looking at the larger malice of World Bank, the letter said, “(World Bank’s) compliance mechanisms like CAO and Inspection Panel are increasingly becoming a farce, while the Bank continues aiding projects – whether hydro projects or coal projects, infrastructure development, or meddling with our policies and legal system.” World Bank Group has currently 386 active projects in India with a committed portfolio of $29.5 bn.
Concluding the letter, they said “We will continue our struggles against the Bank, its policies and its blatant disrespect of human rights. We will strengthen the struggle of MASS and would challenge you and your Bank at every possible avenue.”
A complaint by the local organisation MASS to the recourse mechanism of IFC theCompliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) led to a full investigation into the financing of the project.
CAO validated major MASS complaints. It found the IFC committed serious supervision failures and significant policy breaches.
CAO confirmed that the environmental and social risks and impacts of the project were not considered and addressed; there is no social baseline data; IFC’s policies for land acquisition not applied, despite physical and economic displacement, Inadequate attention paid to the requirement of biodiversity conservation; IFC failed in its review and supervision of the impacts on airshed and marine environment and IFC failed to examine the cumulative impact of Tata Mundra.
IFC rebutted the findings of CAO.
Press Release by MASS dated October 24, 2013
Contacts: Madhuresh Kumar: +91-9818905316, Soumya Dutta: +91-9213763756
November 4, 2013
Dear President Dr. Jim Yong Kim,
People’s movements and their allies in India are shocked that you have cleared the IFC Management’s response to the CAO Audit Report on Tata Mundra Project, and thus undermining the credibility of your own recourse mechanism meant to address the grievances of the project-affected people.
CAO issued a report showing how IFC committed serious lapses and violations of its safeguard policies in the 4, 000 MW Tata Coal Plant in Mundra. The report, which was most meticulously drafted after rigorous studies was simply refuted by IFC, who not only defended their involvement in the project, but also claimed the same for their client Coastal Gujarat Power Ltd. (CGPL).
We express our solidarity with Machimar Adhikar Sangharsh Sangathan (MASS – Association for the Struggle for Fishworkers’ Rights), an organization of project-affected fishing families, and the principal complainant to CAO.
Your endorsing IFC’s response is a cruel shock to the numerous fishing families affected by the project, who hoped for a better response to the findings based on your expertise in public health, and firm and resolute words to address climate change. Your endorsement of IFC’s response to CAO findings and thus letting IFC and the company continue the violations merits nothing less than condemnation.
By your decision to keep your eyes closed to the damning findings of CAO, you are complicit in the human rights violations, livelihood loss, impacts of air pollution, water contamination, and perilous marine ecological disaster in the wake of the IFC-funded project.
Your decision reconfirms that the Bank does not care about accountability, does not care about people and the environment. WBG’s compliance mechanisms like CAO and Inspection Panel are increasingly becoming a farce, while the Bank continues aiding projects – whether hydro projects or coal projects, infrastructure development, or meddling with our policies and legal system.
The CAO has given all the reasons to say that the Tata Mundra project has gone all wrong, right from the time of planning and impact assessments and at every stage of its execution. The findings are based on scientific studies and the conclusions drawn after hearing all sides – the affected communities, IFC and the company. Such findings conscientiously implicate the role of the WBG.
The CAO findings warrant nothing less than IFC’s withdrawal from the project. We will continue our struggles against the Bank, its policies and its blatant disrespect of human rights. We will strengthen the struggle of MASS and would challenge you and your Bank at every possible avenue.
1. Medha Patkar, Narmada Bachao Andolan, Maharashtra
2. Sandeep Pandey, National Alliance of People’s Movements
3. Nikhil Dey, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan, Rajasthan
4. Ashok Choudhary, All India Union of Forest Working People
5. India Climate Justice, New Delhi
6. T. Peter, National Fishworkers Forum, Kerala
7. Praful Bidwai, Journalist, New Delhi
8. Souparna Lahiri, All India Forum of Forest Movements
9. Dunu Roy, Hazards Centre, Delhi
10. Bela Bhatia, Honorary Professor, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai
11. Magline Peter, Teeradesa Mahla Vedi, Kerala
12. Afsar H. Jafri, Focus on the Global South
13. Shweta Tripathi, Society for Rural Urban and Tribal Initiatives, New Delhi
14. Kiran Shaheen, Right to Water Campaign, Delhi
15. Richa Singh, Sangtin Kisan Majdoor Sangthan Uttar Pradesh
16. Subash Mohapatra, Journalist, Odisha
17. Ravi Nitesh, Save Sharmila Solidarity Campaign, New Delhi
18. Krishnakant, Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, Gujarat
19. Juned Khan Komal, Society for Promotion of Wastelands Development, Rajasthan
20. Diwan Singh, Yamuna Satyagraha, New Delhi
21. Kaveri R.I Bangalore, Karnataka
22. Ashim Jain, Bangalore, Karnataka
23. Ajitha George, Omon Mahila Sanghatan, Jharkhand
24. Amulya Kumar Nayak, Odisha Chas Parivesh Surakshya Parisad, Odisha
25. Latha Anantha, River Research Centre, Kerala
26. Usha S, Thanal, Kerala
27. Leo Saldanha, Environment Support Group, Karnataka
28. Kanchi Kohli, Kalpavriksh, New Delhi
29. Vinay Baindur, Researcher Urban Governance and Decentralisation, Karnataka
30. Madhusudhan, Yakshi, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
31. Sagari Ramdas, Anthra, Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
32. Shweta Narayan, Community Environmental Monitoring, Chennai, Tamilnadu
33. BIRSA – Bindrai Institute for Research Study and Action, Jharkhand
34. Awadhesh Kumar, Ssrijan Lokhit Samiti, Madhya Pradesh
35. Jharkhand Mines Area Co-ordination Committee, Jharkhand
36. Sunderrajan, Poovulagin Nanbargal, Chennai, Tamilnadu
37. Reena Rebari, Ujjas Mahila Sangathan, Gujarat
38. Pandudora, Adivasi Aikya Vedika, Andhra Pradesh
39. Shankar Sharma, Policy Analyst, Andhra Pradesh
40. Wilfred Dcosta, Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF), New Delhi
41. M Kikon, DICE Foundation, Nagaland
42. Gopal Krishna, ToxicsWatch Alliance, New Delhi
43. Achin Vanaik, Retd. Professor of International Relations, University of Delhi. Delhi
44. Shalini Gera, Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha, Chhattisgarh
45. Sanjeev Kumar, Delhi Forum, Delhi
46. Vijayan M.J., Programme for Social Action, New Delhi
47. Madhuresh Kumar, National Alliance of People’s Movements, New Delhi
48. P.T. George, Intercultural Resources, New Delhi
49. P Chennaiah, Andhra Pradesh Vyavasaya Vruthidarula Union, Andhra Pradesh
50. Dr. Sunilam, Aradhna Bhargava – Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, Madhya Pradesh
51. Prafulla Samantara, Lok Shakti Abhiyan, Odisha
52. Gautam Bandopadhyay, Nadi Ghati Morcha, Chhattisgarh
53. Suniti SR, Prasad Bagwe – SEZ Virodhi Manch, Maharashtra
54. Gabriel Dietrich, Pennurimai Iyakkam, Tamilnadu
55. Geetha Ramakrishnan, Unorganised Sector Workers Federation, Tamilnadu
56. Bhupender Singh Rawat, Jan Sangharsh Vahini Delhi
57. Sunita Rani, Domestic Workers’ Union, Delhi
58. Anita Kapoor, Delhi Shahri Mahila Kaamgaar Union, Delhi
59. Rajendra Ravi, Institute for Democracy & Sustainability, Delhi
60. Arjun Singh, National Cyclist Union, New Delhi
61. Arundhati Dhuru, Right to Food Campaign, Uttar Pradesh
62. Sister Celia, Domestic Workers Union, Karnataka
63. Sumit, Madhuri Shivkar, Simpreet Singh – Ghar Bachao, Ghar Banao Andolan, Mumbai
64. Dr. Rupesh Verma, Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, Uttar Pradesh
65. Manish Gupta, Jan Kalyan Upbhokta Samiti, Uttar Pradesh
66. Vimal Bhai, Matu Jan sangathan, Uttarakhand
67. Vilas Bhongade, Gosikhurd Prakalpgrast Sangharsh Samiti, Maharashtra
68. Ramashray Singh, Ghatwar Adivasi Mahasabha, Jharkhand
69. Anand Mazhgaonkar, Paryavaran Suraksh Samiti, Gujarat
70. Rohit Prajapati, Radical Socialist, Gujarat
71. Jitn Yumnam, Citizens Concern for Dams and Development, Manpur
72. Borok Peoples Human Rights Organization, Tripura
73. Prasad Chacko, Human Development and Research Centre, Gujarat
74. Ram Wangkheirakpam, North East Peoples Alliance, Manipur
75. Rehmat, Gaurav and Shripad Dharmadhikari – Manthan Adhyayan Kendra, Madhya Pradesh
76. Ranjan Panda, Water Initiatives Odisha. Odisha
77. Samir Mehta, River Basin Friends, Mumbai
78. Xavier Dias, Editor, Khan Kaneej Aur ADHIKAR, Jharkhand
79. Himanshu Upadhyaya, Public Finance Public Accountability Collective, Karnataka
80. Amit Sengupta, Editor, Hardnews, New Delhi
81. Committee on the Protection of Natural Resources in Manipur
82. Clifton D’ Rozario, Alternative law Forum, Karnataka
83. Alok Agarwal, Narmada Bachao Andolan, Madhya Pradesh
84. Aanchal Kapur, Kriti, New Delhi
85. Himanshu Thakkar, South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People, New Delhi
86. Gururaja Budhya, Urban Research Centre, Karnataka
87. Soumya Dutta, Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha, New Delhi
88. Falguni Joshi, Gujarat Forum on CDM, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
89. Mahesh Pandya, ParyavaranMitra, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
90. Himanshu Banker, Vikalp, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
91. Dr Leena Gupta SPWD, New Delhi
92. Chetan Vyas, Paryavaran Gauchar Bachao Samiti, Rajula (Amerli), Gujarat
93. Herry Ranva, Bahujan Samajik trust, Rajkot, Gujarat
94. Dipal Dabhi, Adivasi Sarvangi Vikas Sangh, Danta, Gujarat
95. Nirmal Parmar, Charitable Pragati Prayas Kendra, Godhra, Gujarat
96. Tushar Pancholi, Paryavaraniya Vikas Kendra, Rajkot, Gujarat
97. Gautam Thakar, PUCL, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
98. Arvind Padhiyar,Mahisagar Shakti Sangathan, Padra, Gujarat
99. Anil Tharayath Varghese Delhi Solidarity Group
100. Bijulal M.V., Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala
101. Ravindranath,River Basin Friends, Assam
102. Sumesh Mangalasseri, Kabani, Kerala