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

Mallika Sarabhai releases speech she was 'not allowed' to give at NID Convocation on Feb 7

Counterview Desk
The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry body, landed itself in controversy following its decision to put off its 40th convocation ceremony, where noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as chief guest. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on February 7.

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

As corona virus 'travels' to rural areas, NGO begins training tribals, marginalised women

By Souparno Chatterjee*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared corona virus a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed the entire globe, almost, and claimed more than 16,000 lives already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all the preparedness and war-like promptness to safeguard against the pandemic, several lives have been lost , and hundreds of individuals have tested positive.

Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope 'martyred' by East India Company, Scindia's forefathers

By Our Representative
In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.

Across the board, among Muslims, Hindus, there's enormous fury at Delhi Police: Report

Counterview Desk
A quick report, prepared by Delhi's concerned citizens, "Let Us Heal Our Dilli", based on one-day visit (February 27) to several areas and mohallas of North East Delhi affected by the riots that gripped the country's capital -- Bhajanpura, Chand Bagh, Gokulpuri, Chaman Park, Shiv Vihar, Main Mustafabad (including Bhagirathi Vihar and Brijpuri) -- has said everywhere there is "zero trust" towards that the police.

Big 'danger' of NPR: A babu can tag anyone as doubtful citizen, Jharkhand meet told

' By Our Representative
People in large numbers from across Jharkhand gathered at the Raj Bhawan in Ranchi to demand that the Hemant Soren government reject National Population Register (NPR) and stop all NPR-related activities. The people’s organisations which participated in the dharna under the banner of the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JMM) resolved to intensify their struggle, insisting, NPR is not a Hindu-Muslim issue but is essentially anti-poor.

COVID-19: Dalit rights bodies regret, no relief plan yet for SCs, STs, marginalized

By Our Representative
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, endorsed* by several other Dalit rights organizations, have insisted, the Government of India should particular care of the scheduled castes and tribes, trans folks, persons with disabilities and the women and children from these communities, while fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Gujarat govt plan to 'banish' Gandhian activist anti-democratic, unconstitutional

By Rohit Prajapati*
The current Central and Gujarat governments, and their bureaucracy, have been and are still unable to answer and address the concerns raised, with facts, figures, and constitutional provisions, regarding the terror of tourism in the name of the Statue of Unity and tourism projects surrounding it.

Haridwar Swamis lead Khudai Khidmatgar peace march in Delhi 'riot affected' areas

By Our Representative
A Khudai Kidmatgar team, which visited the riot-affected regions along with Swami Shivanand Saraswati and Swami Punyanand, has insisted that India's true heritage is the lesson of ‘vasudhaiv kutumbakam', and it is the responsibility of all to carry froward this legacy. Originally founded by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan in 1930, also known as Frontier Gandhi, Khudai Khidmatgar is claimed to have been revived by young Gandhian activist Faisal Khan in 2011.