Skip to main content

US study on Reliance's UMPP termed part of "malafide intention" by foreign NGOs to "malign Indian cos"

Counterview Desk
Strongly defending the Reliance Power Ltd’s Sasan ultra mega power project (UMPP), under attack by a group of American NGOs for “neglecting” people’s livelihood and environment, a pro-UMPP blogger, Prof Satish Rai, has said this seems to be “part of the efforts by foreign NGOs/ foreign funded NGOs to stall development work in countries like India.” Citing the latest study (read HERE) by NGOs led by Sierra Club, top US environmental group, Prof Rai calls it just an “extension of the malafide intentions by foreign NGOs to malign the image of Indian companies and large scale infrastructure projects.”
Prof Rai, who reacted the study in his just-created blog, has approvingly quoted the controversial Intelligence Bureau (IB) report submitted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to accuse “foreign funded NGOs” such as Greenpeace, Cordaid, Amnesty and Action Aid for “serving as tools for foreign policy interests of western governments by sponsoring agitations against nuclear and coal-fired power plants”, leading to negatively impacting “GDP growth by 2-3%”.
A scan through Prof Rai’s blog shows he is a “teacher” and is based in “Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh”, but nothing beyond. Virtually acting as Reliance UMPP’s spokesperson, Prof Rai says, the US study makes “whole lot of baseless allegations not only against the project managers, but it also assumes that there is no law and order or monitoring mechanism in India that can ensure fair resettlement and rehabilitation initiatives by large corporate houses.”
“The allegations against the company such as abductions of locals, demolition of houses in the middle of night, compensation below government notified rates give an impression that India is a country with virtually no law and order and governance”, Prof Rai says, insisting that “this is just ridiculous.”
Prof Rai argues, “The project comprises of six units of 660 MW each and in last one year five units have become operational within a gap of three months each.” Despite this the American report “accuses the project of spreading air and water pollution and contaminating the ground water.” He wonders, “How can a power plant within couple of months contaminate the ground water of its surrounding villages?”
Disputing the American study’s “claims” that Reliance Power failed to provide basic amenities like education, drinking water etc. to the local resettled families, Prof Rai says, “The fact is that it has been actively involved in various social and environmental organizations to address the issue of sustainable development and social upliftment in areas around its power plant sites. The company in discharge of its responsibility as a corporate citizen actively contributes to community welfare measures and takes up several social initiatives.”
He adds, “The company has built a school at the site for the children of the affected families and other children of the villages around the sites. The company provides free school bus facility for the students, stipend to every child who attends school, free uniforms, study tours for children, teaching aids to the teachers, training of teachers,as well as night schools for uneducated adults etc. Over 1,000 children are getting quality education in this school.”
Apart from this, Prof Rai says, “The housing colony constructed by Sasan Power is filled with all facilities such as primary health centre/ medical centre, water pumps, temple, local community office, etc.” In fact, he points to how the efforts of Sasan Power towards integration of the local community “were recognized nationally and Sasan Power has received the prestigious Greentech Award for Outstanding achievement in Corporate Social Responsibility.”
Coming to the the company's safety and environment protection norms, Prof Rai says, “they are in line with the stipulations specified by India's Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF). The complete ash handling system at the plant is mechanical and automated, there is no manual handling of ash in the entire process; therefore, the allegation of workers getting infected with skin disease due to this is completely baseless.” He concludes by suspecting “a hidden agenda” by foreign NGOs while producing such reports on Indian mega projects.

Comments

TRENDING

Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.

Did Modi own, buy digital camera costing Rs 7 lakh in 1987-88, also used email?

Counterview Desk
In an interview to the news channel News Nation, aired on Saturday last, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declaring that he had approved the air strike despite bad weather because he felt the clouds would hide Indian planes from Pakistani radar is known to have become a laughing stock across India.

When a neo-nationalist "invaded" hijab clad ladies, Bengali looking scholar in Delhi metro

By Aditi Kundu*
Travelling in Delhi metro on a daily basis to commute from Mayur Vihar to Dwarka, I see diverse people everyday. One can hear them talk about different aspects of life, from kitchen pilitics to national politics. On the morning of May 13, I witnessed a strange incident; disturbing and amusing at the same time.

Terror attacks: Difference in public reactions in India, those in Colombo, Christchurch

By Battini Rao*
Recently, on April 20 during Easter Sunday, more than 250 people were killed in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in churches and hotels in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Local Islamic organisations Thawheed Jamath (NJT) and Jamathei Milathu Ibrahim (JMI) are held responsible for the attack. Islamic State has also claimed responsibility.

Women lost 88 lakh jobs in 2018: Why Modi "failed" to address their disempowerment?

Counterview Desk
Five human rights leaders Anjali Bhardwaj, Shabnam Hashmi, Purnima Gupta, Dipta Bhog, and Amrita Johri of the Women March for Change have posed 56 questions (alluding to Modi’s claim of 56 inches chest) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP against the backdrop of his interview with a Bollywood star, which was allegedly masqueraded as a “non-political” conversation.

PepsiCo warned: Withdraw cases against Gujarat farmers or face dire consequences

By Our Representative
About 200 farmers’ leaders and activists, in a letter to Dr KV Prabhu, chairperson, Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPVFRA), and Dr R C Agrawal, registrar general, PPVFRA, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India, have demanded that PepsiCo immediately withdraw all the legal suits it has slapped on many potato farmers in different districts of Gujarat.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

During Emergency, the ruler was extolled but Opposition wasn't punched around: Scribe

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released book, “India: The Wrong Transition”, by a top Delhi-based scribe Anand K Sahay, has quoted “journalistic circles” to say that the Indian mainstream media – with certain “honourable exceptions” – has virtually abandoned the “practice of journalism”, and  this happened following a “sting operation” that showed that “the crème de la crème of Indian journalism were only too willing, for a suitable price, to let poisonous Hindutva propaganda prevail in their news columns.”

Ex-IAS, IPS, IFS officers tell Modi: Pragya Thakur doesn't represent India's rich heritage

Counterview Desk
In an open statement, a group of former civil servants have said that normally they would have dismissed the candidature of Pragya Thakur, who is BJP’s choice for the Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency, as an act of political expediency. However, they were forced to react to her candidature after none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed has as a “symbol of our civilisational heritage.”

Disproportionately high death sentences against Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims: UN told

Counterview Desk
In their joint submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee to meet for the listing of adoption of list of issues at its 126th session, July 1-26, 2019, top Dalit rights organizations have taken strong exception to, among other things, "disproportional application of death sentencing by the judiciary of minorities, such as Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis".