Updates on Coal, Energy, Land, Water and Forest: 23 May 2016

A Coal & Energy

Adani Power shuts 2,640-mw units at Tiroda plant in Maharashtra: http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2016-05-16/news/73126367_1_acute-water-shortage-4-units-adani-power-ltd
सासन प्रोजेक्ट को चीन और अमेरिकी बैंकों से फायनेंस की इजाजत नहीं http://epaper.bhaskar.com/detail/?id=1000684&boxid=5173711763&view=text&editioncode=180&pagedate=05/17/2016&pageno=1&map=map&ch=mpcg
3 engineers killed, 24 others injured in Moser Bear’s boiler blast: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhopal/3-engineers-killed-24-others-injured-in-Moser-Bears-boiler-blast/articleshow/52303879.cms
Another Village In Odisha Rejects Mining: http://www.countercurrents.org/pr040516.htm
What Paris agreement on climate change means for India: http://www.dailyo.in/politics/cop-21-paris-agreement-unfcc-climate-change-sustainable-living-kyoto-protocol/story/1/10749.html
Arunachal’s unfinished Lower Subansiri dam could be tomb for India’s giant hydropower projects: http://scroll.in/article/718809/arunachals-unfinished-lower-subansiri-dam-could-be-tomb-for-indias-giant-hydropower-projects
हिंडाल्को कम्पनी को जमीन देने के लिए चलाया आदिवासी बस्ती पर बुलडोज़र : डॉ लखन सिंह: http://www.januday.com/NewsDetail.aspx?Article=7349
Electric Companies Duping Indian Consumers: DRI Investigates a 29,000 Crores Rupees Scam: https://sabrangindia.in/article/electric-companies-duping-indian-consumers-dri-investigates-29000-crores-rupees-scam
Panel recommends forest clearance to SCCL’s coal project in AP: http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/panel-recommends-forest-clearance-to-sccl-s-coal-project-in-ap-116052200102_1.html


China Launches Asia Investment Bank with 2 Silk Road Projects: http://www.voanews.com/content/china-launches-asia-investment-bank-with-two-silk-road-projects-/3338589.html
AIIB looks for Russia financing: http://en.prothom-alo.com/economy/news/105207/AIIB-looks-for-Russia-financing
China-led AIIB to co-finance first Indonesia project : http://www.gulf-times.com/story/494013/China-led-AIIB-to-co-finance-first-Indonesia-proje
Asian Development Bank (ADB) that will act as the lead financier for the project in Pakistan M4 highway: http://pakobserver.net/2016/05/22/asian-bank-to-finance-projects/
India a beacon for foreign investment: Jaitley: http://www.domain-b.com/economy/general/20160521_jaitley.html#sthash.BZphxIjt.N739mjbz.dpuf
US Senate Nominates Indian-American Swati Dandekar As Asian Development Bank Director: http://www.theindianpanorama.news/indians-abroad/us-senate-nominates-indian-american-swati-dandekar-asian-development-bank-director/
5 Major Banks Rigged US$9trn Bond Market: Lawsuit: http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/5-Major-Banks-Rigged-US9trn-Bond-Market-Lawsuit-20160520-0004.html
Putin hails AIIB as complement to int’l financial structure: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2016-05/19/c_135369920.htm
PNB tops list of worst losses in Indian banking history: http://www.livemint.com/Industry/nyp8yAz9fEXYdkcstG4CEP/PNB-tops-list-of-worst-losses-in-Indian-banking-history.html?%3F
How to kill a bank in India: http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/EZfzm1RzenHu7xURxgJDoM/How-to-kill-a-bank-in-India.html
World Bank offers $625m loan to boost India’s rooftop solar PV capacity: http://solar.energy-business-review.com/news/world-bank-offers-625m-loan-to-boost-indias-rooftop-solar-pv-capacity-160516-4893781
India will need to find new mechanism for financing smart city projects: http://news.webindia123.com/news/Articles/India/20160519/2864265.htm


People’s Movements in India & Bangladesh Join Hands to Save Sunderbans:

PRESS RELEASE : March 21, 2016

People’s Movements in India and Bangladesh Join Hands to Save Sunderbans:

Support Extended to the Struggle against Rampal Coal Power Project in Bangladesh

New Delhi: In yet another major initiative strengthening people-to-people cooperation between South Asian nations, people’s movements in India joined hands with their Bangladesh counterparts to save the Sunderbans. This was declared in Delhi by a delegation of 11 senior activists who took part in the Long March organized by National Committee to Protect Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Power and started from Bangladesh’s capital city Dhaka on March 10 to Kathakhali Morh, Bagherhat district, Bangladesh – a distance of 250 kms from the capital.

Ashok Choudhury, and Roma Malik of All India Union of Forest Working People, Soumya Dutta, of Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha and India Climate Justice, Magline Peter of National Fishworkers Forum, Bharat Patel of Machimar Adhikaar Sangharsh Sangathan, Gujarat, representatives of Delhi Solidarity Group and other environmentalists were part of the Indian delegation.

The Rampal power plant is being built through a joint-venture by Bangladesh’s Power Development Board and India’s National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), with machinery coming from India’s Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL), finance coming from Indian ExIm Bank and PricewaterhouseCoopers (India) contracted for Long term coal sourcing, maritime transportation, transshipment, inland water transport and logistics.

“People’s movements in India resonate with the key message of the Bangladesh movements – that while there are alternatives for sources of energy, there is no alternative to the Sundarbans. Sundarbans is a critical life-support ecosystem to India as much as it is for Bangladesh. Protecting it is the responsibility of people of both countries”, Ashok Choudhury, General Secretary, All India Union of Forest Working People said.

“If Rampal and the adjacent Orion projects are allowed to come up, everyday, lakhs of litres of hot water would be pumped out from these projects to the Passur river along with the release of millions of tons of toxic coal ash in the surrounding air, water and soil every year., severely affecting , vegetation, fish and other aquatic wealth, and reducing the oxygen level in the river drastically, devastating farming and fishing livelihoods ”, Soumya Dutta, Convener of the Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha said.

“Amongst the fishworkers, women are the worst affected,” Magline Peter of National Fishworkers Forum said. “While they are already burdened with running the household, Rampal project makes it further difficult. The project would be detrimental to the food security of the region,” she added.

The delegation, after talking to different political and civil society representatives, expressed concern about the increasing anti-India sentiment in Bangladesh. “At a time when it is important to strengthen relationship with neighboring countries, it is unfortunate that India is promoting this project which is alienating India further. It is important that a Parliamentary delegation visit Bangladesh and discuss the implications of the project with different stakeholders and take a pro-people position on the project to restore the faith and confidence on India,” Roma, deputy General Secretary of All India Union of Forest Working People said.

The delegation expressed grave concern over the news about the coal-laden vessel sinking in Shela river in the Sundarbans two days ago. One may recall that in December 2014 a oil tanker sank in Sundarbans causing immense damage to the river and reverie ecology. In last year May, a fertilizer vessel sank in the vicinity. The delegation warned that with coal projects coming up in and near Sundarbans, with a requirement of over 4 million tons of imported coal each year for Rampal project alone, grave accidents are just round the corner and the governments should take cognizance of it and should restrain from exposing Sundarbans from more danger.

Recalling his experience from two mega coal projects in Kutch – Tata Mundra and Adani projects – Dr. Bharat Patel of Machimar Adhikar Sangharsh Sangathan warned that projects like Rampal are promoted in the name of poor and development of the country. “However, we have experienced that such projects endanger the livelihood of the poor and push them to destitution, and only a handful of rich corporations profit from it,” he said.

The delegation reiterated their support to the movement to protect the Sundarbans and called upon the Governments of India and Bangladesh to cancel the project and seek decentralized and sustainable solutions to address the energy issues. They warned that in the coming days a more coordinated opposition will be build on both sides of the boarder, bringing together likeminded people’s movements, political parties and intellectuals, to protect Sundarbans.


10 Years of Forest Rights Act

Bhumi Adhikar Andolan

Press Release

New Delhi, December 15, 2015

10 years of the Forest Rights Act: Say no to change in progressive and pro-people’s law

Over 500 people associated with different social movements, democratic struggles and Trade Unions from different states of the country gathered at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi today, on the historic day of enactment of Schedule Tribe and other Forest Dwellers, Recognition of Forest Rights Act in 2006.  We collectively pledge to continue our struggle against the NDA government’s proposed illegal move to dilute the Forest Rights Act bypassing the Parliament of India. A delegation from the Bhumi Adhikar Andolan met with the Minister of Tribal Affairs, Jual Oram at 12 pm who assured them that he will raise these issues in the Parliament.

The Forest Rights Act 2006 is a landmark in the history of indigenous people in this country whose rights have time and again been neglected by the state. The FRA was enacted to correct this historic injustice meted to our people and restore their rights over their forests, land and water. The Act ensures individual tenure rights over cultivable land and more importantly collective ownership rights over all NTFP and forest based resources to the Gram Sabhas and those duly elected by the community members. However, the government neglected in effectively implementing such a progressive Act meant to bring about a structural change in forest governance.

At this same time, the Tenth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization is to be held in Nairobi, Kenya (15-18 December). WTO has repeatedly pushed forward the agenda of the developed nations and has sidelined the real concerns of developing nations like India.

Medha Patkar (Narmada Bachao Andolan) declared that we all have come together with the Bhumi Adhikar Andolan to denounce the proposal of change of law in FRA. She blamed the government for not implementing them even after the gram sabha passed a resolution for it. The NRI PM of ours has already been declared as anti-farmer and in some time he will be called anti-tribal too. She stated that though the negotiations would have started in Nairobi, we hope the government does not proceed to sell off our lands there. She extended her support to the OccupyUGC movement and also condemned the CBI raid in Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s office. She also warned that the country is moving towards a state of emergency.

Roma, General Secretary, All India Union of Forest Working People said the reason of having the Chetavani rally is to remind the government that the people will oppose the governmental move to sell of our lands to the corporates. The government thinks that we will be content with the delcaration of FRA, but we will not end our struggle until it is properly implemented. She stated that the forest people does not accept the 31st December deadline that the government has given and reminded that the BJP remember the Delhi and Bihar election results and the power of the electorate. The withdrawal of the Land Acquisition ordinance is our victory and we will continue our fight for our land and our rights.

Dr. Sunilam, Kisaan Sangharsh Samiti blamed the lack of political will in government for the non-implementation of FRA till date. He brought to notice the Chindwara (MP) region, where the tribal lands went under Adani’s control and the government is siding with the corporates and not the people. The governemnt assumes that they can stop us from democratic struggles by imposing 144. But such restrictions cannot stop us as our fight is for fundamental and legal rights.

Ashok Chowdhary, All India Union of Forest Working People appealed to the media and stated that they need to support and highlight such struggles of people. He declared that water, food and land are some of our main issues, and everything has to be addressed together. He also warned that siding with corporates will only ruin our country.

Krishna Prasad (All India Kisaan Sabha), Jarjum Ete (AIUFWP), P.C Tiwari (Uttarakhand), Dinesh Abrol, Gautam Mody (NTUI), Ghuman Singh, Amulya Naik, Panibhai, Trilojan Punji, Avdesh Kumar, Mata Dayal, Kailash Awasya (NBA), Sucheta De (AISA), Anubhuti (Occupy UGC), Virendra Vidrohi (Rajasthan), Shobha (AIUFWP), Balkeeshwar (AIUFWP), Madhuresh (NAPM), Vijay (NBA), Tarun Joshi (Uttarakhand) and represenatives from All India Krishak Khet Masdoor Sanghatan salso addressed the gathering.

The Bhoomi Adhikar Andolan made the following demands from the elected representative who is entrusted with the protection and safeguard the interests of common working citizens of India:

  •   Implement Forest Rights Act in letter and spirit, ensure collective rights of the communities and stay away from making any changes to the Act
  •   Strengthen Environmental Laws and withdraw Environment Law (Amendment) Bill 2015
  •   Reject the imperialist agenda of WTO and reclaim national policy in the interest of the marginalised sections and not bow       down to the corporate pressure.

    For further details: 9873632226, 9958797409

Only tribal ministry can tweak forest act rules

Law ministry tells Prakash Javadekar only tribal ministry can tweak forest act rules