Saturday, June 14, 2014

Lurking suspicion: Greenpeace campaign against Adani "behind" IB indictment of top environmental NGO

By Our Representative
Is there a direct relationship between the latest Intelligence Bureau (IB) report calling powerful environmental international NGO Greenpeace “as threat to national economic security” and the recent campaign by Greenpeace against Adani Group? It would seem so, if has a closer look at a new report titled “Research Briefing: Adani’s Record of Environmental Destruction and Non-compliance with Regulations”, which has been released alongside a fact sheet. Adanis are known to be close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and there is already a view that the the IB’s effort was just move closer to the new masters (read HERE).
Prepared in March 2014, the Greenpeace report accuses Adani for having “a long history of environmental destruction, regulatory non-compliance and other illegal activity, including bribery of government officials, unauthorised construction and tax evasion”. It adds, “The company’s unscrupulous activities have come to light via a number of government investigations and court hearings, including a multi-disciplinary committee formed in September 2012 by the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) to investigate the raft of allegations made against Adani and its conduct at the Mundra special economic zone (SEZ).”
In its fact-sheet, attached with the report, Greenpeace says how at Mundra port, Gujarat, Adani “violated the Coastal Regulation Zone, and illegally cleared mangrove areas”, adding, “Fisherman communities continue to protest and have lodged numerous cases in courts” and a “committee has been formed to look at the matter”. At the same time, it lists other violations at the Mundra Port and SEZ.
Greenpeace says, the second SEZ at Mundra (1,840 hectare) was “cancelled” when Central government found that Adani “deliberately concealed and falsified material facts”. Other facts are: Gujarat courts having “found” that Adani illegally “constructed an intake channel for its power station at Mundra on private and government land”, with the company being “ordered to give compensation”; and the Gujarat High Court indicting “construction occurring inside an Adani SEZ at Mundra even though the SEZ had not received environmental approval”.
Giving facts about other “violations”, Greenpeace says, at Chandrapur, Maharashtra, a coal block in Lohara was allotted in 2007 to Adani. “Locals protests and forest officials report got the allocation cancelled as the block would affect 40 tigers in Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR). Pressure is still being exerted on the government to get clearance or alternative block nearby”. At  Chhindwara, Madhya Pradesh, “farmers, labourers and tribals are protesting against illegal commencement of work by Adani on the Pench water diversion and coal-fired power plant project from 2004.”
The Greenpeace fact sheet further says, “In Orissa, “the Supreme Court of India ordered 16 firms including Adani to pay 1.75 billion US $ - 50% of entry taxes dues allegedly payable on goods imported by them for their plants and services in Orissa between 2008 and 2012.” And, in Bellary, Karnataka, “anti-corruption ombudsman (Lokayukta) found “large scale illegal exports of iron ore by Adani resulting in huge economic losses to the government.”
Other facts listed by Greenpeace include duty evasion charges of 25 billion, for which Adani and other industries have been accused by Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) of “dodging import duty amounting to about 25 billion US $ on coal imports”. Investigations are underway for duty evasion. In another instance, Adani, who failed to win bids for expansion opportunities at the ports of Vizag, Chennai and Vizhinjam and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Terminal, “has been denied security clearances for most of these projects due to money laundering charges.”
Then, Greenpeace says, Adani is involved in “land scam”, about which there was “uproar in the Gujurat State Assembly over the allotment of huge tracts of land at throw away prices”. And, Adani demanded increase in tariff for imported coal, which “means that consumers will pay more for electricity and coal is not becoming cheaper for Indians.”
Meanwhile, the Union ministry of home affairs has reportedly served notice on Greenpeace India, asking it to explain why shouldn't its foreign exchange funding should continue. Apart from Greenpace India, 10 more NGOs may be sent notices under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 by the Union Home Ministry, asking them to explain their funding and spending pattern as a "stricter fund monitoring" regime for NGO's is set to kick in and a "review is already underway" after the IB has raised an alert, a ministry official said.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is sad corporate can steal the wealth of nation but civil society can't raise voice.

Anonymous said...

Fundamental FLAW in your entire premise that the Modi government is working on behalf of the Adani group -

The IB report was commissioned by the UPA-2 government, not the NDA government.

Anonymous said...

Its sad that people think a company owned by Indians, run by Indians and paying taxes in India doesn't represent and add to the "wealth of the nation".

Anonymous said...

Does anyone need to go to London to crib about some body in India violating or destroying environment? Don't we have a judicial system in our country to deal with such matters? Even if it takes a lot of time, so what? Why should we internationalize a matter that is purely and essentially national in nature? Do you invite foreigners to deliver justice to Indians? Have no lessons been learnt from past? Are we not capable of handling our matters by ourselves? No business for this lady from going to London to make a presentation to the Crown.