Prominent Indian Groups Support Struggle against Rampal Project

Press Release

Prominent Indian Groups Support Struggle against Rampal Project

 January 6, 2017: New Delhi

Prominent people’s movements and other civil society organisations from India today extended their support and solidarity to the struggle against the India supported Rampal power project in Bangladesh, coinciding the Global Day of Protest called by the National Committee to Protect Oil-Gas-Mineral Resources Power and Port, which spearhead the struggle.

Urging the Government of India to withdraw from the project, the statement said, “With India’s NTPC jointly owning the project, BHEL supplying equipments and Indian ExIm Bank providing finances, India’s footprint in this project is too large which has the potential to perpetuate discontent between the two neighbouring countries.”

Signatories of the Letter of Solidarity include, South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People, National Alliance of People’s Movements, All India Union of Forest Working People, Indian Social Action Forum –  INSAF, Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha, Narmada Bachao Andolan, Greenpeace India, Environment Support Group, Bangalore, Matu Jan Sangathan, Uttrakhand and others.

The statement said, “Sundarbans is part of the culture and ethos of both Bangladesh and India, supporting the livelihood of millions and protecting them from natural calamities. Any damage to it either side of the borders will result in monumental disaster.”

While urging the Government of India to withdraw from the project, the groups also urged the government to “extend financial & technical help to its commendable decentralized solar energy program, in line with India’s own commitment to renewables and in spirit of the Paris Agreement.”

Full text of the Letter of Solidarity:

Letter of solidarity to

National Committee to Protect Oil-Gas-Mineral Resources Power and Port, Bangladesh

On the Global Day of Protest for the Sundarbans, January 7, 2017

We, people’s movements and other civil society organisations from India, extend our support and solidarity to the National Committee in their struggle against the Rampal power project and to protect the Sundarbans.

Sundarbans is part of the culture and ethos of both Bangladesh and India, supporting the livelihood of millions and protecting them from natural calamities. Any damage to it either side of the borders will result in monumental disaster.

With India’s NTPC jointly owning the project, BHEL supplying equipments and Indian ExIm Bank providing finances, India’s footprint in this project is too large which has the potential to perpetuate discontent between the two neighbouring countries. India’s pronounced commitment to renewable energy and its investment in coal based Rampal project in such a eco-sensitive terrain do not match. We urge the Government of India to withdraw from this project and extend financial & technical help to its commendable decentralized solar energy program, in line with India’s own commitment to renewables and in spirit of the Paris Agreement.

We commend the sustained non-violent struggle of the National Committee against this disastrous project and extend all support and solidarity to it. We will do all at our disposal to urge the Government of India to withdraw from this project.

Signed by:

1  South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People

2  National Alliance of People’s Movements

3  All India Union of Forest Working People

4  Indian Social Action Forum –  INSAF

5  Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha

6  All India Forum of Forest Movements

7  Mines, Minerals & People

8  North East Peoples Alliance

9  Narmada Bachao Andolan

10           Greenpeace India

11           Environment Support Group, Bangalore

12           Matu Jan Sangathan, Uttrakhand

13           Environics Trust, New Delhi

14           Society for Rural Urban and Tribal Initiative, New Delhi

15           Institute for Democracy and Sustainability, New Delhi

16           Delhi Forum, New Delhi

17           Intercultural Resources, New Delhi

18           Equations, Bangalore

19           Mahan Sangharsh Samiti, Madhya Pradesh

20           Srijan Lokhit Samiti, Madhya Pradesh

21           Khan Kaneej Aur ADHIKAR, Jharkhand

22           Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, Gujarat

23           Machimar Adhikar Sangharsh Sangathan, Gujarat

24           Teeradesha Mahila Vedi, Kerala

25           Indigenous Perspectives, Manipur

26           Manipur Cycle Club, Manipur

27           Public Finance Public Accountability Collective, New Delhi

28           Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan, Mumbai

29           Centre for Financial Accountability, New Delhi

30           The Research Collective, New Delhi

31           Tarini Manchanda, filmmaker

32           Benny Kuruvilla, Researcher, Delhi

33           Kiran Shaheen, New Delhi

Advertisements

Uttarakhand High Court orders to evict Van Gujjars from forest

Press Note:

Press Note

 Strategy  meeting with the Van Gujjar community and other forest dependent communities in the light of the Uttarakhand High Court order to evict them  from Corbett to Rajaji National Parks in Uttrakhand. 

4th Jan 2017, Press Club, Dehradun, Uttrakhand

The Van Gujjar community and other traditional forest dwellers in the adjoining villages / areas of Rajaji and Corbett National parks are seething with anger at this 19 December 2016 order of the Uttarkhand High Court by a division bench of the High Court comprising of Hon’ble Justice Rajiv Sharma and Aalok Singh. What began as a case about forest fires, but the judges took it on to a different trajectory and blamed the Van Gujjars for forest fires, calling them enemies of the forest and described them as a community of “encroachers” who need to be summarily thrown out of the forests of Uttarakhand. This raises serious concern on distributive justice system and what needs to be noted that this order comes in the tenth year of the passing of the Special Act of Parliament – Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of ) Forest Rights Act, which was passed in December 2006. The judgement has completely ignored the existence of such a historic Act and has instead advised the government to work out a new National Forest Policy which will ensure displacement of forest dependent communities – whether tribal or other traditional forest dwellers, from the forest areas. The question which immediately arises is why is the higher judiciary advising the government to effectively “kill” the Forest Rights Act. The order also completely ignores an earlier milestone order of the same High Court – 1720/2008, filed by Van Gujjar Kalyan Samity, which ruled that the State Government has to recognize the rights of the Van Gujjar community residing in/along Rajaji National Park area as per FRA 2006 and grant them ownership rights. This order dated 19 December 2016, does not even mention the FRA 2006 or the 2008 High Court order and in fact this order turns the clock backward and essentially talks about strengthening the Forest Department and leaving the entire forest governance in their hands with all avenues of corporate interest further consolidated, something which the current BJP led NDA government is also actively involved in, as it works full time to dilute this historic act to empower tribal and other forest dependent communities, in the interest of corporates. It completely contradicts the letter and spirit of the 2006 FRA which accepted the “historical injustice” on forest dependent communities – something which was perpetrated by this very colonial institution called forest department.

Uttarakhand has one of the worst track records in the implementation of FRA even after ten years of its enactment. It is ironical that in a State which has more than 65% of its total land area under forest cover only one FRA claim has been settled. About 486 claims of Van Gujjar community of Rajaji National Park are gathering dust at the Sub Divisional

 level committee and the community has no clue as to the status of their claim processing. The Gram Sabha elects a Forest rights Committee, which has constitutional validity, has been completely sidetracked in any attempts to file claims under FRA. The Van Gujjars have been trying continuously to get their rights recongnized by launching many struggles and also  either through dialouge  with political parties or their influential leaders or by fighting legal battles to win orders in their favour.

Neither the earlier BJP government nor the current Congress government in Uttarakhand have shown the “political will” to implement this historic act. The gross negligence by governments’ has resulted in continued and increasing harassment, attacks and extortions by the Forest Department  personnel and police on Van Gujjar and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers of the area. Incidents like the uncalled for ransacking of the houses of Noor Jamal  , Jahur Hassan of Andheri and Binj range in Rajaji National Park  in 2008, the demolition of hundreds of settlements(hutments) in Asarodi RNP in the peak winter months of 2008 and the recent repeated attacks on Mohd. Shafi’s settlement in Corbett National Park Area are just a few examples of the anti-social character of the Forest department. As recently as in November 2016, Mohd. Shafi’s house was demolished without any notice and women badly beaten up  by the Forest Department and their police.

Despite there being a Congress government in Uttarakhand, Van Gujjars and Van Tongiyas numbering in thousands have hardly benefitted from rights assured for them in FRA, 2006. It is the same Congress party, when in power along with Left parties, during UPA 1, took initiative in passing this historic Act in 2006 to restore the rights,  ownership to the tribal and other traditional forest dependent communities. But the State governments of the same party are taking a step motherly approach towards this Act. In Himachal Pradesh also the Congress led government has filed a petition to bypass the FRA. When local social movements protested and brought the matter upto the Congress Vice President r Rahul Gandhi that the State government had to backtrack; but they have not yet withdrawn the petition from the court. The local social movements have been protesting this vociferously.

This current order of the Uttarakhand High Court is a matter of serious concern for all forest dependent communities across the country as this will be a precedent set which could be applied in other National Park, Sanctuaries, Tiger Reserves etc. The Van Gujjar and Van Tongiya and other traditional forest dependent communities around Rajaji and Corbett National Parks are  regrouping to build up a strong movement against this illegal, unjust order. Under the joint initiative of the All India Union of Forest Working People (AIUFWP), Vanpanchayat Sangharsh Morcha, Van Gujjar Kalyan Samity, Vangram Bhu Adhikar Morcha, Vikalp Social Organisation, Himalayan Niti Abhiyan a meeting is being organized at the Press Club in Dehra Doon on 4 January 2017 to discuss the strategies of countering this nefarious activity of the powers that be and to push for unconditional withdrawal of this unconstitutional order of the Uttarakhand High Court. Three primary demands are :

  1. The State Government of Uttarkhand has to immediately challenge this High Court order by taking appropriate legal steps like a review petition in the High Court.
  2. The State government has to take immediate steps for the effective implementation of FRA in the state and social movements will ensure that the state government is forced to carry out its constitutional responsibility. It must also dialogue with social movements to facilitate effective implementation of FRA in the state.
  3. Social movements will see to it that the issue of Forest Rights becomes an election issue in all State Elections in 2017 and that all political parties take up this issue. Peoples’ movement have already launched their struggle to ensure this happens which will gather momentum in the days to come.

Munnilal  (Vangram bhu adhikar Morcha/AIUFWP)            Tarun Joshi (Vanpanchayat Sangharsh Morcha)                Md. Irshad(Van Gujjar Kalyan Samity)         Mustafa Chopra (Van Gujjar Kalyan Samity )               Guman Singh  (Himalayan Niti Abhiyan)                   Roma  (AIUFWP)    Ashok Chowdhury  (AIUFWP)          Vipin Gairola(Vikalp Social Organisation)                      Avijit Wasi(Vikalp Social Organisation)        

Contact : 9997500638, 99634630520                                                        Date: 4 January 2017.

 प्रेस विज्ञिप्त

उत्तराखंड़ में उच्च न्यायालय द्वारा वनगुजरों एवं अन्य वनाश्रित समुदाय को कार्बेट व राजाजी नेशनल पार्क से बेदखली के सम्बन्ध में जनसंगठनों व् समुदाय की बैठक 

4 जनवरी 2017, देहरादून प्रेस क्लब, इंदिरा मार्किट के पास, देहरादून, उत्तराखंड. 

दिनांक 19/12/2016 को नैनीताल उच्च न्यायालय की न्यायमूर्ति राजीव शर्मा व आलोक सिंह की खंड़पीठ द्वारा कार्बेट व राजाजी नेशनल पार्क से वनगुजरों को वनों से बेदखल करने के आदेश से तमाम वनगुजर एवं वनों में रहने वाले वनाश्रित समुदाय में घोर आक्रोश व्याप्त है। उच्च न्यायालय में वनों में आग को लेकर दायर की गई एक याचिका के तहत तमाम वनगुजर समुदाय को ही वनों का दुश्मन ठहराते हुए उच्च न्यायालय ने जिस तरह से वनगुजरों को अतिक्रमणकारी घोषित किया है व न्यायिक प्रक्रिया पर एक सवालिया निशान लगाती है। गौर तलब है कि यह आदेश एक ऐसे वक्त पर दिया जा रहा है जबकि देश में वनाश्रित समुदाय के साथ हुए ऐतिहासिक अन्याय को समाप्त करने के लिए सन् 2006 में संसद द्वारा ऐतिहासिक विशिष्ट ‘‘ अनुसूचित जनजाति एवं अन्य परम्परागत वनाधिकारों को मान्यता’’ कानून यानि वनाधिकार कानून पारित किया गया है। इस कानून की अनदेखी कर उच्च न्यायालय का यह आदेश जिसमें केन्द्र सरकार से एक नई वननीति को लागू कर वनों में रहने वाले परम्परागत समुदायों को बेदखल करने के सुझाव दिए गए है यह सवाल पैदा करती है कि आखिर उच्च न्यायालय द्वारा संसद के ही अन्य विशिष्ट कानून की पूरी तरह से नज़रअंदाज क्यों किया गया? जबकि इसी न्यायालय द्वारा अनुच्छेद 226 के तहत याचिका संख्या 1720/2008 में वनगुजर कल्याण समिति की एक दायर याचिका पर मा0 उच्च न्यायालय ने राज्य सरकार को राजाजी नेशनल पार्क में वनगुजरों को ‘‘ वनाधिकार कानून 2006’’ के तहत उनके अधिकारों को मान्यता देते हुए उन्हें बसाने की बात कही गई है। लेकिन दिनांक 19/12/2016 के इस आदेश में न ही वनाधिकार कानून का कहीं जिक्र है और न ही उच्च न्यायालय के 2008 के आदेश का जिक्र। इस आदेश के तहत एक बार फिर से वनों को वनविभाग व कम्पनीयों को सौंपने की बात को मजबूत करने की कोशिश की गई है जबकि 2006 में संसद द्वारा वनाश्रित समुदाय के साथ ऐतिहासिक अन्याय की बात को स्वीकारा गया है जो कि उपनिवेशिक वनविभाग द्वारा ही किए गए है।

वैसे भी उत्तराखंड़ एक ऐसा प्रदेश है जहां पर वनाधिकार कानून को लागू होने के दस वर्ष बाद भी अभी तक कानून को प्रभावी ढंग से लागू नहीं किया गया है। प्रदेश के कुल भूभाग के 65ः वनों से आच्छादित होने के बावजूद यह प्रदेश पूरे देश में वनाधिकार कानून को लागू करने में सबसे पीछे है जहां केवल एक ही दावा ही निस्तारित किया गया है। राजाजी पार्क के ही लगभग 486 दावे अभी तक उपखंड़ समिति में लम्बित पड़े हैं व इनकी क्या स्थिति इस के बारे में अभी तक वनगुजरों को किसी भी प्रकार की जानकारी नहीं दी गई है। इस कानून को लागू करने की ग्राम सभा की इकाई ग्राम स्तरीय वनाधिकार समिति जो कि एक संवैधानिक इकाई है, को किसी प्रकार की मान्यता ही नहीं दी गई है। इस कानून को लागू कराने के लिए वनगुजरों तमाम प्रयास किए गए व किए जा रहे हैं, चाहे वो राजनैतिक रूप से सरकारों पर दबाव डालना हो या फिर न्यायालय में दौड़ लगा कर अपने पक्ष में आदेश लेना। लेकिन उत्तराखंड में  न ही पूर्व में भाजपा सरकार और न ही मौजूदा कांग्रेस सरकार इस कानून को लागू कराने में राजनैतिक इच्छा दिखा रही है। वहीं केन्द्र की भाजपा सरकार द्वारा भी इस कानून की पूरी तरह से उपेक्षा की जा रही है।  कानून की सरकार की इस उपेक्षा की भारी कीमत वनगुजरों को उठानी पड़ रही है, आए दिन उनपर वनविभाग व पुलिस द्वारा उत्पीड़न किया जाता है। राजाजी के अंधेरी व बींज के जहुर हसन और नूरआलम के डेरों को बेरहमी से 2008 में उजाड़ना व लूटपाट करना, आसारोड़ी के ही सैंकड़ों डेरों को 2008 ही में सर्दी के मौसम में बेदखल करना और वहीं कार्बेट नेशनल पार्क के मो0 शफी के डेरे को कई बार उजाड़ना शामिल है। अभी नवम्बर माह में ही मो0 शफी के डेरे पर वनविभाग एवं पुलिस द्वारा डेरे पर उपस्थित महिलाओं पर हमला किया गया व उनका डेरा बिना किसी नोटिस के उजाड़ा गया।

प्रदेश में काग्रेस की सरकार होने के बावजूद भी वनाधिकार कानून और वनगुजरों एवं सैंकड़ों वनटांगीया, गोठ व खत्ते गांव जो वनग्राम की श्रेणी में आते हैं वह इस कानून के लाभ से वंचित हैं। गौर तलब है कि कांगेस सरकार द्वारा ही सन् 2006 में इस कानून को वनाश्रित समुदाय को उनके वनाधिकारों और भौमिक अधिकारों को मान्यता देने के लिए यह कानून पारित किया गया था। लेकिन इसी राजनैतिक दल की सरकारें राज्यों में इस कानून के प्रति सौतेला व्यवहार कर रही है। जैसे कि फिलहाल हिमाचल प्रदेश में भी सरकार द्वारा वनाधिकार कानून को निरस्त करने की एक याचिका दायर की गई। जब वहां के जनसंगठनों द्वारा जनांदोलन किया गया व कांग्रेस पार्टी के शीर्ष नेतृत्व राहुल गांधी तक यह बात पहुंचायी तब हिमाचल प्रदेश की सरकार को पीछे हटना पड़ा। लेकिन उक्त याचिका अभी भी न्यायालय में वापिस नहीं ली गई है। इस संदर्भ में वहां पर भी जनाआदंोलन ज़ारी है। उत्तराखंड़ में उच्च न्यायालय का यह रूख वनाश्रित समुदाय के लिए एक विशेष खतरा है जिसका पूर ज़ोर रूप से विरोध करने के लिए वनगुजर, वनग्राम समुदाय एवं अन्य वनाश्रित समुदाय व्यापक रूप से गोलबंद हो रहे हैं।

4 जनवरी 2017 को देहरादून के प्रेस कल्ब में अखिल भारतीय वनजन श्रमजीवी यूनियन, वनपंचायत संघर्ष मोर्चा, वनगुजर कल्याण समिति, विकल्प सामाजिक संगठन व हिमालयन नीति अभियान के संयुक्त नेतृत्व में इस उच्च न्यायालय आदेश के विरोध में आगामी रणनीति को तय करने के लिए विशाल सभा बुलाई गई है। इस बैठक में संयुक्त रूप से राजनैतिक एवं कानूनी संघर्ष की रणनीति बनाई जाएगी। जो कि निम्नलिखित मुददों पर आधारित होगी –

  1. उच्च न्यायालय के 2016 के आदेश पर सरकार द्वारा उच्च न्यायालय में रिवयू याचिका दायर की जाए व इस आदेश की वापसी सुनिश्चित कराई जाए।
  1. सरकार को वनाधिकार कानून को प्रभावी ढंग से लागू करने के लिए जनसंगठनों एवं जनांदोलनों द्वारा बाध्य किया जाएगा ताकि वनाश्रित समुदाय के मानवाधिकार सुरक्षित रहें व वे सम्मानजनक नागरिक की तरह अपना जीवन व्यतीत करें। सरकार जनसंगठनों की बैठक करें व इस कानून को लागू करने के लिए कारगर कदम उठाए।
  1. 2017 के विधान सभा चुनाव में सभी राजनैतिक दलों द्वारा वनाधिकार के मुददे को प्रमुख मुददा बनाया जाए चूंकि उत्तराखंड़ की सामाजिक व आर्थिक जीवन शैली वनों पर आधारित है। जनसंगठनों द्वारा वनाधिकार के मुददे को चुनावी अभियान का मुददा बनाया जाएगा। इस संदर्भ में जनांदोलन की शुरूआत हो चुकी है।

मुन्नीलाल     तरूण जोशी     मो0 ईशाद   मुुस्तफा चोपड़ा     गुमान सिंह    अशोक चैधरी   रोमा विपिन गैरोला   अविजीत वासी

संपर्क: 9997500638, 99634630520

Alarming Land Amendments in various states in India – A dangerous proposition for the poor Indian farmers

In the backdrop of the Land Ordinance fiasco at a national level it is imperative to constantly monitor individual states and what they are doing to the land acquisition policies. Draft changes to Land Act  that was presented in state legislature of Rajasthan (THE RAJASTHAN LAND ACQUISITION BILL, 2014) is alarming. According to the latest reports, Gujarat has amended important clauses in Tenancy and Agricultural Land acts. The multiplicity of laws, constant amendments and overall a situation of chaos prevails in the space of land acquisition right now and its a persistent request to citizens of respective states to keep an eye over the existing state land policies, any attempts at amendment, proper implementation/drafting of the rules of RFCTLARR 2013.

Here is a compiled report :

There are 15 different laws under which land can be acquired nationally. Each state has created its own version of the national act (earlier 1894 Act) and widespread confusion reigns over India’s hinterland where different state authorities and private capital are taking advantage of the multiplicity of laws to appropriate land which belongs to the people of this country.

Respective state governments are party to this land grab and only their opinion can’t serve as the justification to dilute RFCTLARR 2013. Here is a ground report prepared with the help of people’s representatives in different states.

Situation in Gujarat

In Gujarat the draconian Special Investment Region Act 2009 bypasses the national land acquisition act and tries to appropriate 50% of land without any compensation. To subvert the RFCTLARR 2013, it is being done in the name of ‘land-pooling’ instead of ‘acquisition’. Farmers across the state, especially from the Dholera region have strongly opposed the SIR notification.

The Gujarat Assembly has, recently, passed some controversial amendments to 4 existing legislations, viz.

  • The Gujarat Tenancy and Agricultural Lands Act, 1948
  • The Saurashtra Gharkhed, Tenancy Settlement and Agricultural Lands Ordinance, 1949
  • The Gujarat Tenancy and Agricultural Lands (Vidarbha Region and Kutch Area) Act, 1958
  • The Gujarat Agricultural Lands Ceiling Act, 1960

The thrust of all amendments in these 4 legislations is to make transfer of land to industry and industrialists as easy as possible and at minimum cost to the purchasing industry/industrialist by legalizing any and all (past) illegalities on their part. Not only that, pending legal cases are also to be deemed to have lapsed, bringing into question whether the phrase ‘rule of law’ holds meaning any longer. Moreover, while deciding legality/validity or otherwise of questionable transactions, the government official (Collector/Mamlatdar) have been granted arbitrary powers of the highest degree. The government is also, by law, making it mandatory for itself to ‘rescue’ a rogue industrialist who fails in his/her undertaking to put up an industry and to compensate him/her ‘adequately and appropriately’.

(Source : Persis Ginwallah)

Situation in Maharashtra

Acquisition is on under MIDC Act and National Highway Act which had started before 2013.

In Raigad DMIC area the land was being acquired using MIDC Act and 7/12 extracts carried the stamp. Those stamps are still there and the same acquisition process is on using private negotiation method which means legally they have not withdrawn the earlier notification, nor have they removed the stamps from 7/12 extract, which in a way is pressurising farmers and not allowing any other transaction. At the same time privately negotiating with the land owners by which the MIDC and State Govt. can maintain that there is no forced acquisition.

After 2013 act came into being the same process is continued.

The state govt. has passed the rules and notified on 27th august 2014 and certain amendments have been made again on 26th may 2015.
The consent clause is there only for private land acquisition and there is no mention about PPP projects in the state rules.

Social Impact Assessment clause is same as per the central act. The provision for compensation is also as per the central act.

As per the RFCTLARR Amendment Bill, acquisition for corridors would take place only within range of one km across the designated roads but the acquisition in Raigad is 150 kms away from Dedicated Rail Freight Corridor and in  range of 15 -20 kms  away from national highway. Many villages which are currently under acquisition fall into eco sensitive zone in Western Ghat region but these villages have not been excluded from DMIC.

[Source – Ulka Mahajan, Sarvahara Jan Andolan]

Situation in Rajasthan

The Rajasthan Land Acquisition Bill 2014 (Draft) has been unanimously labelled by people’s movements as more draconian than the 1894 act.

Compensation is to be awarded by multiplying the “market price” by various factors – but the “market price” is supposedly that reflected in average sale deeds (s. 12). sale deeds reflect only a fraction of the real price. And, just to be safe, the bill goes on to say the Collector can ignore any sale deed that actually reflects a high price.

“Resettlement and rehabilitation” will consist of providing 10% more money in some cases and 30% in other cases (s.22). Nothing else will be done for resettling those displaced.

Obstructing acquisition of land” will be punished by at least six months’ imprisonment and a fine of anywhere from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 3 lakh. (s. 70)

Landowners’ consent will only be taken for “purely private projects.” It will not be required for any PPP project that is “needed for the social and economic operation and development of the state” (i.e. anything; read s. 2 and s. 3(f)(xv) together).

[Source – Campaign for Survival & Dignity]

Situation in Telengana

According to Draft Telangana State Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilition and Resettlement Rules, 2014 – In the Rule 11(2) it is provided that, ‘Public hearings shall be conducted in all Gram Sabhas where more than twenty five per cent of the members are directly or indirectly affected by the acquisition of the land’. If we take the example of livestock rearers or agricultural labourers from several surrounding villages who may not add upto to 25% of a single gram sabha but whose numbers may run into several hundred families, this provision could cause an injustice to these project affected people as well as to the central role and prominence of Gram Sabha as a primary democratic institution.

The draft rules make no mention of the detailed rules, requirements and procedures related to seeking the prior consent of Gram Sabha in relation to land acquisition for any project as provided under chapter III, Sections 16-20 along with Part- B of FORM-IV of the central rules. Section 19(1) of the draft State rules makes only a passing reference to the SIA study and consent of the affected persons or Gram Sabha. Also, no format for Gramsabha resolution regarding its consent or refusal is provided in the list of Forms appended to the draft rules.

Rule 29 in the draft rules provides that, ‘The limits on extent of land beyond which provisions of Rehabilitation and Resettlement under the Act in Cases of purchase by a private company through Private Negotiation with the owner of the land shall be 2,000 acres subject to any further notification as may be notified by Government’.

This fixation of limit up to 2000 acres of land for application of Rehabilitation and Resettlement provisions in case of private companies is a total violation of the spirit of the Act. Acquisition of 2000 acres of land at one place and putting the same too non-agriculture use or change from its present use causes adverse impact on the livelihoods of several thousands of families in the area. In these cases, neither the Government nor any private company can abstain themselves from the responsibility of the consequences arising out of such changes in land use. Part of the profits or value addition that accrues form such land use diversion and conversion to the Government as well as to the Private company, shall be used to rehabilitate the affected families as per the provisions of the Act as well as under the principle of equity and justice.

Land Acquisition not to exceed 15% of Net Cultivable Area in State: Rule 31 states that the land acquisition shall not exceed 15% of the net present cultivable area in the State and the limits in the districts shall be prescribed by the District Collectors concerned as contemplated under Section 10(4) of the Act subject to any further notification as may be notified by Government.

Proposed Change: It is unclear on what basis this rule has been framed. There must be a scientific, transparent, context-specific basis and criteria for deciding the threshold levels beyond which acquisition of farmlands will not be permissible at all levels (Village, District, Mandal etc) in the State. As far as possible, lands from existing land banks with various Government Corporations such as TSIIC, housing board, irrigation department etc along with lands acquired by other private companies lying unused and vacant should first be exhausted before considering any fresh acquisition.

[Source – Raghu Pillai]

Situation in Odisha:

The Draft Rules to implement the RFCTLARR, 2013 has formed a Land Bank which will be collection of the Govt. owned waste land, vacant, abandoned, unutilized acquired lands and tax-delinquent properties. The land acquired but not utilized within a period of five years will revert back to the state and deposited in the Land Bank automatically. This will be complete injustice to the people as they give their land in the name of socio-economic development. If the land remain unutilized, there should be provision of compensation and penalty too because of excessive land acquisition and hurting the hopes of local villagers who gave away their lands.

Mayurbhanj, Sundargarh, Koraput (fully scheduled area in these three districts), Raigada, Keonjhar, Sambalpur, Boudhkondmals, Ganjam, Kalahandi, Bolangir, Balasor (parts of these districts only) of the state comes under Fifth Schedule which recognizes the user rights of community on the forests and community land. Under section 42 of the RFCTLARR Act, 2013, the area has been available for acquisition with provisions of, resettlement in the new area with all the benefits, and, will do the payment of monetary benefits assessed for the community rights shared by every individual concerned, who has been displaced due to the acquisition of land in proportion with his share in such community rights. This can lead to violation of the laws and policies for protection of the indigenous rights of STs and other forest dwelling communities and their social structure. The Draft Rules has no mention of the process of acquisition in such areas and what will happen if the rules were violated in the due process (as directed in sub-section (9) of section 41 of RFCTLARR Act, 2013) or after the land remain unutilized after 05 years besides the deposition of land automatically to Land Bank.

The Draft rules also has not made clear about the acquisition or process of acquisition of land titles granted to STs and other Traditional Forest Dwellers, in the name of Forest Rights Rules, 2007, which was stated to subject to acquisition and compensation (as per the notification of Govt. of Odisha, Revenue & Disaster Management Department, No. LA-(C) 19/13(KJR), Source:http://www.odisha.gov.in/revenue//Communications/Circulars/Land_Acquisiton/18034_15_5_13.pdf) for the said land and the ownership of the forest land lies with the Govt. and Kissam of forest remains same in the records.

Apart from this, a lot of struggles are happening against POSCO steel plant, captive port projects in Jagatsinghpur district, the Vedanta alumina refinery project in Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district, the Mittal steel project in Keonjhar and mining in the Khandadhar region. Along with this nearly 30 land acquisition projects in Sundergarh, Sambalpur and Jharsuguda districts including projects related to steel and coal mines is also being reviewed by the State Govt. due to lack of proper environmental and other clearances. The disturbance has already started, because of all these projects in the areas. The people of the state, have also criticized the Special Economic Zone Act, which is displacing the people and snatching the land and livelihoods of people in the name of economic development.

In the same state, the people of 12 Gram Sabha has earlier rejected the proposal of Vedanta, supported by the further rejection of proposal on the ground of Gram Sabha’s rejection, but at the same time, Govt. is providing land for POSCO by excluding the villages earlier planned for acquisition and reduced the total required land from 4004 acres to 2700 acres, to quash the people’s agitation, and provided 28 betelvines for the project area belonged to the government, where the locals used to cultivate betel.

The CAG report also shows high irregularity in land acquisition and a large chunk of land remained unutilized. The development is stalled not because of hurdles in land acquisition rather than due to lack of investment.

Note: The CAG report was done only in Odisha, looking at land acquisition and land use change, if done in many other states, it may be possible to get similar results too on the ground of presence of multiple laws and policies for acquisition of land or conversion of agricultural land into non-agricultural land.

Situation in Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh Ceiling on Agricultural Holdings (Amendment) Ordinance 2015 will allow industrialists and private developers to easily purchase as much agricultural land as they want for non-agricultural activities. Madhya Pradesh Ceiling on Agricultural Holdings Act, 1960 — required diversion of agriculture land for non-agriculture purpose before it could be purchased by private parties. The ordinance entails the buyer “to intimate in writing the competent authority within 90 days from the date of acquisition that he shall get his land diverted to non-agricultural purpose”.

Such a move again endangers agricultural productivity and is against the norms specified for protection of agricultural land in RFCTLARR 2013.

Situation in Bihar

As per the new land acquisition policy of the Government of Bihar, instead of acquiring land directly, it will act as a link between buyers and sellers. Bihar Industrial Area Development Authority (BIADA) would put the details on its website showing the price quoted by the farmers concerned. There is no proven efficacy of this model and may be used to mislead farmers.

Situation in Uttar Pradesh

Authorities like Greater Noida Industrial Authority are directly negotiating with farmers and acquiring land. This is being done without proper notifications and public hearings even when the land is meant to be used in large scale projects like DMIC.

Situation in Assam

The State Govt. termed the RFCTLARR (Amendment) ordinance, 2014 as anti-farmer and proposed to bring its own bill for acquisition. In 2015, the govt. has tabled the draft rules as per the RFCTLARR, 2013 act and majorly in line with the central rules expect few.

Situation in Punjab

According to Punjab Reclamation of Land Act 1959 State Government can reclaim any area comprising waste land and the intervening cultivated lands by notification and if required by force. The definition of wastelands is open to interpretation as such land is used as community land and used as pastures. The clause of acquiring intervening cultivated lands is also unfair.

Situation in Meghalaya

“No separate state policy existed in the state of Meghalaya for Rehabilitation and Resettlement of project affected families” stated in the Draft Final Report EIA, EMP, R & P of Hydro Power Project in Umngot. Compensation against the land acquisition has been given in accordance to Old Land Acquisition Act, 1894, as per below described acts.

Meghalaya falls under Sixth Schedule and protects the land in the interest of Scheduled Tribes from alienation under The Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) Act, 1971. Under this no land is transferrable without the consent of individual and even after application to sell or for acquisition by individual to take sanction from the competent authority for the same is required.

Land Acquisition (companies) Rules, 1963 also protects the agricultural land specifically from conversion along with its adherence to The Meghalaya Transfer of Land (Regulation) Act, 1971.

As per the media reports, Mr. R. C. Laloo, The Deputy chief Minister has opposed the RFCTLARR, 2013 on the ground that being under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution; land in the state belongs to the individuals and not the Government. Whereas he also supported for a strong law to protect the alienation and, to ensure the food security of the country.

Situation in Jharkhand

Compensation: calculated according to section 26-30 of the RTFCLARR act read with the frist schedule and will be paid to all parties whose land or other immovable property has been acquired. In rural areas, landowners will be paid 4 times the market rate and in urban areas, twice the market rate will be paid. SIA: Public Hearings to be conducted. RTFCLARR 2015 rules have detailed provisions for public hearings and filing objections. Penalty for refusal to give up land: None Role of local bodies (gram panchayat or urban local bodies): Ceiling on agricultural land acquired: No more than 2% of multi cropped irrigated land will be acquired in any district across the state according to the Jharkhand RTFCLARR 2015 rules.

No more than 1/4th of the total cultivated land (shudh boya kshetra) in any district will be acquired.

 

People’s Movements announce National Bhu Adikar Jan Vikas Yatra

Day 14: Jeevan Adhikar Satyagraha

People’s Movements announce National Bhu Adikar Jan Vikas Yatra

15 states decide intensive support actions: Country rallies for Narmada

Stop Installation of SSP Gates: Review Sardar Sarovar

25th August, 2015: Support and solidarity kept soaring for the Narmada valley on the 14th day of the Jeevan Adhikar Satyagraha, a mass action by the Sardar Sarovar dam-affected oustees, demanding stoppage of installation of dam gates, until rehabilitation of the 2.5 lakh oustees and a comprehensive review of the costs and benefits of the Project. Adding strength to the demand of the oustees was the voice and vision of numerous senior representatives of people’s movements and social organizations across the country who committed to carry the message from the valley to the four corners of the country and the world outside and shake the power centres in Delhi, Bhopal, Mumbai and other places.

They said that the SSP Scam is much bigger than the Vyapam scam in many respects and the Modi-Shivraj nexus would be fully exposed by them in each state and city. The participants decided to hold state level meetings, actions, write thousands of letters to the authorities and the Supreme Court as well, hold press conferences, post card campaign, supportive jal satyagrahs demanding justice for the people and a dialogue with the Satyagrahis. Numerous Convenors of the National Alliance of People’s Movements who were also present at the Satyagraha, as part of the Convention on Land, Livelihood and Housing Rights, announced that the NAPM would embark on a month-long yatra in November, 2015 and would appeal to all like-minded networks and movements across the country to challenge to current paradigm of corporate loot, anti-people development and communalism and link every struggle. A three day “Chintan Shibar” from 17th to 19th Oct, 2015 has also been planned to reflect on the challenges facing our democracy today and plan effective strategies to combat the same.

joint mass action by thousands of people from the valley and other supportive organizations would be held on the 28th, September, marking the Harsud Day. “Satya can face trouble, but will never be defeated, we shall continue with increased spirit, said fish worker Sava from Pichhodi and she dared Mr. Modi to submerge the valley. She said that the oustees not leave the battle field of Rajghat now, without obtaining their demands. Hundreds of oustees stayed put even today from villages Piplud, Dhanora, Sondul, Bhavaria, Khaparkheda, Gopalpura, along with the tank and canal-affected villagers of Indira Sagar and Omkareshwar, Jobat Dam affected villagers as also the hilly villagers of Alirajpur.

Senior human rights activist, Manav Kamble from Maharashtra said that 15 months of Modi has demonstrated that if there is one person in the country who is the most serious threat, it is the Prime Minister. It is time that the janta of this country to turn the tables and show the PM his place. Avinash Patil from the anti-superstition campaign expressed full support to the satyagraha and assured that all district chapters of his campaign in Maharashtra and thousands of volunteers would carry the message from the satyagraha demanding justice to Narmada. Raj Kumar from Bargi said even as we challenge the State, its institutions and its undemocratic decisions such as the SSP dam, we also need to strive for values of social justice and equality. “The struggle against domestic violence and Dam-induced violence is the same and we must fight unitedly against all state and societal evils”, he said. Maruti Bhapkar,recalled the strong history of the movement and expressed courage that the people of the valley, who are owners of their lands and houses will emerge victors in this difficult phase as well and the entire country that has benefitted from the rich contributions of Narmada shall “Rally for the Valley”, he said. 

Senior leaders including Dr. Sandeep Pandey (Uttar Pradesh), Kailash Meena (Rajasthan), Dr. Sunilam (M.P.) Amitav Mitra (West Bengal), C.K. Janu (Kerala), Rama Krishnam Raju (Andhra Pradesh), Gabriele (Tamil Nadu), Kamayani (Bihar), Mahendra (Jharkhand), Sanjeev Kumar (Delhi), Harsing bhai, JADS, Badwani and many other condemned the Narendra Modi Governments decisions on Narmada and stated that the struggle across the country shall intensify and national campaign against installation of SSP gates and seeking review of SSP shall be take up with full strength in the interests of the lakhs of farmers, landless and fisher people of the valley.

Rahul Yadav          Pema bhai        Sunita        Kamal      Contact: 09179148973 / 9179617513

देशभर के जनसंगठनों ने सरकार की चुप्पी पर उठाया सवाल |

सत्याग्रहियों से सरकार संवाद करे, जनसंगठनों ने करीं मांग |

नर्मदा बचाओ आंदोलन ने गेट नहीं लगने देने का किया ऐलान

बड़वानी | 25 अगस्त, 2015: राजघाट पर जीवन अधिकार सत्याग्रह द्वारा आयोजित भूमि-आवास-आजीविका महासम्मेलन के दूसरे दिन देशभर से आये मान्यवर नागरिकों व जनसंगठनों के प्रतिनिधियों के सरकार द्वारा सत्याग्रहियों की मांगों को लेकर चुप्पी पर सवाल उठाया | उन्होने मांग करी कि सरकार तत्काल संवाद के लिए आगे आये व कोई दुर्घटना होने से पहले मांगो को सुनकर जल्द निपटारा करे | गौरतलब हो कि गत 12 अगस्त से नर्मदा नदी किनारे राजघाट पर नर्मदा बचाओ आन्दोलन द्वारा अनिश्चितकालीन सत्याग्रह चलाया जा रहा है जिसमे आन्दोलन ने ऐलान किया था कि अगर इस बार बिना पुनर्वास के डूब आती है तो आंदोलन का समर्पित दल नर्मदा किनारे से नहीं हटेगा व डूब का सामना करेगा चाहे उसके लिए जल समाधि ही देनी पड़े |

महासम्मेलन के दुसरे दिन देश के 15 राज्यों से आये मान्यवार नागरिकों व जनसंगठनों के लोगों ने आज बैठक लेकर नर्मदा बचाओ आंदोलन द्वारा चलाये जा रहे संघर्ष की गंभीरता और उसकी व्यापकता को समझा | उन्होंने नर्मदा घाटी के लोगों से लम्बी बातचीत की व समस्याओं को समझा | इसी बीच जनांदोलनों के राष्ट्रीय समन्वय ने तत्काल निर्णय लेते हुए सत्याग्रहियों को देशभर के जनसंगठनों की ओर से समर्थन घोषित किया | समन्वय ने राज्यवार, नर्मदा घाटी में चल रहे संघर्ष, कार्यक्रमों का स्वरुप तय किया और जल्द ही उसपर काम करने का संकल्प लिया |

किसान संघर्ष समिति के अध्यक्ष व मुलताई के पूर्व विधायक डा. सुनीलम जो जनांदोलन के राष्ट्रीय समवाय के राष्ट्रीय संयोजक भी है ने बताया की सामान्य आने वाले दिनों में प्रधानमंत्री, मुख्यमंत्री, राज्य मानव आयोग व सम्बंधित मंत्रालयों को लगातार पत्र लिखेंगे व इसके साथ-साथ प्रभावित गावों द्वारा पोस्ट-कार्ड अभियान चलाया जायेगा | हरसूद दिवस (28 सितम्बर) को नर्मदा घाटी के लोगों द्वारा तथा अन्य संगठनों द्वारा एक संयुक्त कार्यक्रम किया जायेगा |  भोपाल, मुंबई, दिल्ली व ने सत्ता केन्द्रों पर दिन तय करके एक दिनी सत्याग्रह करा जायेगा |

तमिल नाडू से आई गेब्रियल, जो श्रमिक महिलाओं का संगठन चलाती है व सम्बंधित मुद्दों पर कई किताबे भी लिख चुकी है उन्होंने नर्मदा बचाओ आन्दोलन को देश-भर के आंदोलनों का प्रेरणा स्त्रोत बताया और साथ ही में उनका सत्याग्रहियों को उनका समर्थन ज़ाहिर किया |

वहीँ आदिवासी गोत्र सभा की सी. के. जानू ने कहा की जो सरकार लोगो के खिलाफ काम कर रही है और उनके खिलाफ नीतियाँ बना रही है उनको अगली बार सत्ता में हरगिस नहीं आना चाहिए और उसका विरोध करना चाहिए | उन्होंने सरदार सरोवर विस्थापितों किये जा रहे संघर्ष को सलाम किया |

नर्मदा बचाओ आन्दोलन की नेत्री मेधा पाटकर ने ऐलान किया की सरदार सरोवर परियोजना से प्रभावित लोग उनके साथ हो रहे अन्याय को नहीं सहेंगे चाहे उसके लिए शहादत भी देना पड़ जाये, शायद तब सरकार होश में आयेगी | उन्होंने बताया कि आज भी 244 गाँव व 1 नगर सरदार सरोवर से प्रभावित है जिससे 2.5 लाख प्रभावित है जिनका पुनर्वास अभी बाकी है | उन्होंने आज फिर दोहराया की बिना पुनर्वास के आंदोलन बाँध पर गेट्स नहीं लगने देगा |

इसी मौके पर जनांदोलनों के राष्ट्रीय समन्वय अपना एक मुख्य कार्यक्रम के बारे में जानकारी दी जिसमे बताया गया की आने वाले दिनों में भू-अर्जन व झूटी विकास की अवधारणा के खिलाफ नवंबर माह में एक देशव्यापी ‘भू-अधिकार जन विकास यात्रा’ चलाई जाएगी | इस अवसर पर रामकृष्ण राजू, कैलाश मीना, संदीप पाण्डेय, कामायनी स्वामी, महेंद्र यादव, अमिताव मित्रा, संजीव कुमार, शबनम, जो अथियाली, कुसुम जोसफ, डा. सुनीलम, अराधना भार्गव, सुनीति सु.र., सुभाष लोमते, मारुती भापकर, सतीश लोमते, प्रसाद बागवे, सुहास कोल्हेकर, परवीन जेहंगीर, साधना दाधीच, पूनम कनौजिया, उमेश तिवारी, डॉ. रुपेश वर्मा, मानव काम्बले  इत्यादि लोग मौजूद रहे |

 

राहुल यादव   पेमा भाई     सुनीता       कमल

09179148973 / 9179617513

*************************
Narmada Bachao Andolan,
Narmada-Ashish, Off Kasravad Road, Navalpura, Badwani, Madhya Pradesh – 451551
Ph: 07290-291464; Fax: 07290-222549
E-mail: medha.narmada@gmail.com ;
nba.medha@gmail.com      Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MedhaPatkarNBA Twitter:     @medhanarmada

Blog:        http://narmadabachaoandolan.wordpress.com/

Tehri Dam – Even after 35 years civic amenities not completed

Even after 35 years civic amenities not completed

State government can do from its resources

After the 10 years of commissioning the Tehri Dam, oustees put question on state government. People are continuously sending letters regarding their problems to State Government. People along with Matu Jansangathan sent a letter to Chief Minister requesting that many of the problems can be solved at the level of state Government.

The displaced of Tehri Dam HEP are being sent to Pathri part 1,2,3,4 at Haridwar, in the name of rehabilitation since 1979. Around 40 villages are set up at this place.

Oustees should have been provided basic amenities along with the rehabilitation but we’ve been asking the government for past 35 years for the same. None of the governments paid heed to our requests and because of this we still live in utter distress.

  • The oustees have not yet got their land rights in the displaced land. Because of this we cannot avail any government facility like farmer’s ration card, subsidies etc. We cannot even apply for bank loans, we have no property to show. We do not even have documents to show that we live here.

  • In past 35 years, around 24,000 displaced people live here with no health facility. Even basic Health centers and child care centers are not available.

  • After a lot of efforts, we’ve been able to have schools till 10th class but there is no availability of education after that.

  • Only part 1 had one bank cooperative society. After 35 years, in September 2013, another Indian Overseas Bank opened, again in Part 1 only.

  • There is no transport facility by the government provided at all.

  • Since past 35 years, oustees have still not been provided with post office and hence can not avail any of its services although the building is there for it to function.

  • There is no protection wall to protect agricultural farms and because of it wild animals continuously harm crops and farms.

  • According to the policy of Ministry of Power, oustees should have been provided free electricity but even after paying we do not have adequate supply of electricity. When Shri Sushil Kumar Shinde were the Power Minister, he announced 100 units of free electricity to the people displaced because of Tehri HEP.

  • For drinking water and irrigation people have done their means for it. Even after flowing Ganga nearby, facility of irrigation for the farms has not yet been provided, even when the water is coming only after drowning our very villages.

  • Temple, Roads and other basic amenities are still missing after 35 years of displacement.

It is extremely sad situation.

The electricity is regularly produced at Tehri HEP and the state government is earning regular revenues out of it. The total revenue must be more than thousand crores till date.

The state government should utilize the money, getting form generated from electricity generation from Tehri HEP should be used for the displaced people of the project. The energy ministry’s guideline in “Guidelines for development of Hydro Electric Projects Sites” 23 May 2006 speaks of the same fact that 12% free power should be used for developmental facilities for the displaced population. The concerned paragraph is:

2.3 Provision of 12% free power to the home state Government of India, vide its O.M. dated 17th May, 1989 have approved that “since the Home States are increasingly finding it difficult to locate alternative land and resources for rehabilitation of the oustees in hydro-electric projects. They, need to be suitably assisted by giving incentives, such as the (proposed) 12% free power, to enable them to take care of the problems of rehabilitation in the areas affected by the hydro-electric projects.

Without such assistance and incentives, considerable hydel potential of the country would remain unutilized. Accordingly, the State Government shall be entitled to realize 12% free power from the project for local area development and mitigation of Guidelines for development of Hydro Electric Projects Sites hardships to the project affected people in line with the Govt. of India policy”.

Also according to Hydro power Policy, 2008, under the chapter “Salient Features of New Hydro power Policy”

10.1 (h) An additional 1% free power from the project would be provided and earmarked for a Local Area Development Fund, aimed at providing a regular stream of revenue for income generation and welfare schemes, creation of additional infrastructure and common facilities etc.

This money should be utilized to provide amenities that have remained pending for the displaced people in Pathri Bhaag 1,2,3,4, Haridwar.

Thus we demand that:

  • The displaced should get the land rights in an immediate manner. The rights should be as mentioned in “Sankramani Z a category K” (‘‘संक्रमणी जैड ए श्रेणी क‘‘). If there is an issue of forest land, the state government needs to deal it with center and the forest department itself but the land rights to the people need to be immediately given.

  • All the displaced rural locations should be declared “Revenue” villages immediately.

  • According to the guidelines of the Energy Ministry, free electricity should be provided to these villages and central government should be approached if needed for its quick application.

  • Education, health, transport, irrigation and drinking facilities should be immediately provided to these villages. For its expenses, 12% free electricity from Tehri HEP in which Koteshwar Dam also comes should be utilized.

  • For all these works, associations of the displaced should only be assigned the responsibility for quality management and better surveillance.

  • Because of displacement and 35 years of unavailability of basic amenities, we’ve remained backward socially, politically, economically and educationally. Therefore, Pathri Part 1,2,3,4 should be declared backward regions constitutionally.

The state and central government should together work to accomplish these work. Before making dams, there is a need to regulate the displacement, rehabilitation and environmental concerns of the old projects. This is the demand of justice.

Vimalbhai,         Puran Singh Rana,                  Asha Dobhal,                           Balwant Singh Panwar

Matu Jansangthan
Web site : matuganga.in
Visit our blog<matuganga.blogspot.in>
see our films on you tube, just type –bandh katha

We associate with National Alliance of Peoples’ Movements (http://napm-india.org/)

हमारी सभ्यता, हमारी संस्कृति और हमारा स्वराज्य अपनी जरुरतें दिनोंदिन बढ़ाते रहने पर, भोगमय जीवन पर निर्भर नही करते; परन्तु अपनी जरुरतों को नियंत्रित रखने पर, त्यागमय जीवन पर, निर्भर करते है।
6.10.1921–गांधीजी

Protest Against Vedanta

As Vedanta Resources holds its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in London on 3rd August, we are back again with the Annual Global Day of Action against Vedanta. This year in Delhi, we shall hold an elaborate Funeral Ceremony for Vedanta with much pomp and grandeur. As relentless community-led struggles against Vedanta’s destruction and looting rage around the world, Vedanta is almost on its deathbed.

With over US$9.1 billion of debt, a 61% decline in its share value and over US$2.4 billion of debt to be repaid in FY 2016-17, Vedanta’s only life-line is through credit from Indian PSU banks as no international creditors are willing to lend it any more money. This credit would allow it to buy up the remaining shares of its majority owned subsidiaries Cairn India, profitable PSU Hindusthan Zinc Limited and BALCO so that it can access their cash reserves worth over $7billion and repay its outstanding debts. It would also result in Vedanta’s debts being transferred to the Indian public.

We stand in solidarity with affected communities around the world and call upon the Ministry of Finance and the RBI not to extend life support to floundering Vedanta by refusing to approve any public credit or bid to bail out Vedanta. This is in line with RBI Governer Raguram Rajan’s own warnings about the major crisis of bad debt facing India today and his resolute call for punishing defaulting corporations that “freeload”.
Join us on 3rd August at 12pm outside the RBI office (Patel Chowk Metro),
where we read out Vedanta’s obituary, recalling its horrifying track record of remorseless violence against communities, its constant flouting of environmental laws, its dealings in illegal financial transactions, and its lies to shareholders and investors. Bring drums, bring placards, bring dances, songs and poems.

As we celebrate the defiant struggles that have brought Vedanta to its death-bed today, we shall also remember and mourn the death and suffering of all the people, mountains, rivers, trees, animals, birds and spirits who have been ruthlessly murdered by Vedanta’s actions across the globe.

This protest is held in solidarity with protests being led by communities in Udaipur (Rajasthan), Korba (Chattisgarh), Munigudda (Orissa), Chingola and Lusaka (Zambia) and by activists in London and Hyderabad. It is supported by Foil Vedanta (www.foilvedanta.org).

Contact: 8130414606, 9953762928

PLEASE CIRCULATE WIDELY!
 
For more detailed information, kindly refer to the document attached.

** Apologies in case of cross-posting

Tehri Dam After 10 Years

After ten years”

Land rights are still a misery in the Tehri Dam displacement regions. Since 1978 to present, The Tehri Dam affected people are struggling for the basic amenities like electricity, water, health services, educational facilities, bank, even the post offices and fencing to protect the agricultural crops from animals. Only 40% of Old Tehri city has settled in New Tehri city, the people of city having retaining walls and stairs has been suffering from ankle’s pain and respiratory diseases. The promises of free electricity made by the immediate energy minister at the time of inauguration of the Dam on 29th July, 2005, have also remained as only promises for the people.

It has been 10 years since the inauguration of Tehri Dam and the lake of the Dam is already filled with sand on a dangerous level. Along with this, 40 villages around the lake are subsiding due to the lake of Tehri Dam. Whereas THDCIL, the Dam Company is considering them affected by natural disasters, and not by the Tehri Dam reservoir.

Due to incomplete rehabilitation, cases of N. D. Juyal, Shekhar Singh Vs. Union of India and others, and Kishor Upadhyay Vs. Union of India, Hon’ble Supreme Court has already prohibits from filling the reservoir fully. This also tells that finishing the Dam was only a stubbornness, due to which important conditions of Pari-Pasu was not followed in which rehabilitation work and engineering works of Dam should be happening together.

It was claimed to generate 1000MW of electricity Tehri dam but that also have never achieved. Here the question is also rising as where the money of 12% free electricity which was meant for state government has gone? According to the policy of Central Energy Ministry, this money should be spending on Dam displaced people and to solve the environmental issues.

After the dam construction, in 2010, the water was almost set to cross over the dam height. At that time also this was proved that the survey line of  reservoir was wrong. Oustees recognise in new serve they were not rehabilitated till now. Corruption in rehabilitation is very level. In the recent past government give river land to the oustess. This has stopped only after when this news came out.    

This again prove that in development people from river valley does not have place and devastation of environment and corruption is in full swing. Displacement begun in 1978 and electricity generation starts since 10 years but till now problems of oustees not solved.

What ex-prime minister of India Mrs. Indira Gandhi said after her Tehri visit in 1978 that this dam will give profit only to contractors and capitalist has proved.

After 10 years of commissioning the Tehri dam will the central government who is  chanting ‘’ Namami Ganga’’  and state government will think over this situation?

Vimalbhai, Puransingh Rana

Matu Jansangthan

Web site : matuganga.in
Visit our blog<matuganga.blogspot.in>
see our films on you tube, just type –bandh katha

We associate with National Alliance of Peoples’ Movements (http://napm-india.org/)