Skip to main content

No green clearance to Dholera SIR?: Gujarat govt says it doesn't have intimation of environmental nod

Proposed Dholera airport for the smart city
By Our Representative
Latest information provided by a top Gujarat government agency suggests that the Dholera Special Investment Region (DSIR), being planned on around 920 sq km area south of Ahmedabad at one of the 100 modern smart cities the Narendra Modi government wants to develop all over the country, may not have received the crucial green nod for its development. In reply to a right to information (RTI) plea to provide a letter of the copy of environmental clearance to the top state-sponsored project, the DSIR Authority, a special purpose vehicle formed to trigger the project, has said it is “not available and hence cannot be provide”.
The reply by the top state agency comes several weeks after of a report which said that while the project has been “recommended for environmental clearance by the expert appraisal committee of the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF)”, it has not received coastal regulatory zone (CRZ). The RTI application was filed by a powerful farmers’ organization which has cropped up to protest against a dozen-odd SIRs proposed across Gujarat, Jameen Adhikar Andolan Gujarat (JAAG), in alliance with Bhal Bachao Samiti, a local people’s organization of the Dholera region.
Based on the reply it received, JAAG has wondered why the Government of India has not cared for forwarding the intimation letter for environmental clearance to the state government agency. “Is this another instance of an assault on the decentralized system of governance and the federal nature of the polity? Is this good governance?”, it has JAAG asked in a statement, adding, the DSIR Authority has answered almost in the vein to other three questions which it had asked in the RTI letter.
The questions to which JAAG was told the authority did not have any intimation include were – whether environmental clearance was advertised in any newspaper, and if so, provide a copy of the same; action taken on the objections raised against the project at the environmental public hearing held in Dholera; and copy of letters written to panchayati raj institutions (village, taluka and district panchyats) intimating them of the clearance.
Proposed high-speed rail link for the Dholera smart city
To the question whether the process of getting requisite clearances from coastal regulatory zone (CRZ) and wildlife board had at all been undertaken, with a request to provide copies of letters, studies etc. if the process had begun, the DSIR Authority evasively replied, “The sought information is too voluminous to be provided, but may be perused in the DSIR Authority premises during office hours”.
The DSIR was notified in 2009 as a SIR under the Gujarat Special Investment Region Act. It was the first SIR which was proposed to be developed with the declared objective of providing establishment, operation, regulation and management of large-size investment regions and industrial areas in Gujarat. It was also meant to especially enable their development as global hubs of economic activity, supported by world class infrastructure, premium civic amenities, centers of excellence and proactive policy framework.
Agricultural activities in 22 villages are likely to be adversely affected because of the DSIR, which is part of the 1,483 km long Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) between Delhi and Mumbai. About 40 per cent of the DFC passes through Gujarat. A recent meeting of the expert appraisal committee (EAC) of the MoEF decided to recommend the proposed DSIR for environmental clearance. At the same time, the committee laid down 69 “strict conditions” to follow while implementing the project, a report said.

Comments

TRENDING

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.

"Misleading" satellite images being shared on Balakot surgical strike on Jaish camp

By Dr Vinay Kate*
With every passing day more questions are being raised about the surgical strike India did in Balakot as a response to Pulwama attacks. So far the Indian media has claimed mass casulaty of 300+ terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammad in this surgical strike, but there is hardly any report from foreign media about the same.

Extreme repression, corporate loot, cultural genocide "characterise" India's tribal belt

Counterview Desk
As Lok Sabha polls approach, there is considerable ferment in one section of the population -- India's Adivasis, forming about 8.6 per cent of India's population. Things became particularly critical following the February 14, 2019 Supreme Court order, allegedly seeking to evict lakhs of tribals from their forest lands.

Industry in India "barely growing", export growth 0%, whither moral anchors?

Counterview Desk
In a sharp critique of the Modi government, the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A), one of world renowned economist Prof Kaushik Basu, who is Professor of Economics and Carl Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University, has told students at the IIM-A’s 54th Annual Convocation on March 16, 2019 that they have a “special responsibility” on their shoulders, “the responsibility to reject narrow sectarianism, uphold scientific thinking, openness to new ideas, and freedom of speech.”

Gujarat model? Industrial effluents "invade" borewells, discharge coloured water in farms

By Rajiv Shah
In a major embarrassment for Gujarat model, of the 21 samples taken by officials of the state government's environmental watchdog Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) in two villages of Vadodara district and analyzed by its laboratory in Gandhinagar, the state capital, to find out pollution level in groundwater, 16 were assessed as highly contaminated – these were, in fact, found to be discharging reddish, brownish, reddish, or yellowish water.

Refugees as criminals? US govt report blames Amit Shah for calling Bangladeshis termites

Counterview Desk
The chapter “Freedom of Movement” of the US State Department’s “India 2018 Human Rights Report”, released recently, has criticized BJP chief Amit Shah for terming alleged Bangladeshis who may be in Assam as “termites”, because their names were struck down from the list of National Register of Citizens, under preparation in the state.
Pointing out that four million residents were excluded from Assam’s final draft list, leading to “uncertainty over the status of these individuals, many of whose families had lived in the state for several generations”, the report regrets, the Indian law does not even contain the term “refugee,” treating refugees like Rohingiyas as “any other foreigners.”
“Undocumented physical presence in the country is a criminal offense. Persons without documentation were vulnerable to forced returns and abuse”, the report says.
Text of the Freedom of Movement chapter: The law provides for freedom of internal movement, foreign travel, emigration, a…

Congress would win just 9 of 26 Lok Sabha seats: Gujarat Assembly segment-wise analysis

By Rajiv Shah
Even as the Congress plans its first working committee meet in Gujarat on February 28 after an almost 58 year gap, there is reason to wonder what is in store for India’s grand old party in a state which has been long been a BJP bastion – in fact ever since mid-1990s. Ahead of the then assembly polls in late 2012, talking with me, a senior Gujarat Congress leader, currently Rajya Sabha MP, frankly said he saw no reason why Congress would win.

"Pro-corporate" Supreme Court order on FRA would further marginalize Adivasis

By VS Roy David, JP Raju*
For millions of Adivasis and other traditional forest dwellers February 13, 2019 will go down in history as the day of apocalypse. This is like the proverbial Black Friday where millions of most marginalized people of India were ordered by malicious anti-people draconian Supreme Court order depriving them the life and livelihood by evicting them from their habitats.

Financial inclusion? Not micro-loans; India's poor "need" investment in health, education

By Moin Qazi*
India has grown into a global powerhouse. Its economy is soaring but the picture on the ground is still quite arid. The green shoots that you see are only a patch of its landscape. Most Indians are hapless victims of inequity. India is one country where intense poverty abounds in the shadow of immense wealth.

India, Pakistan told to eliminate nuclear weapons: N-war "would kill" 2 billion

Counterview Desk
The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), a non-partisan federation of national medical organizations in 64 countries, representing tens of thousands of doctors, medical students, other health workers, and concerned citizens, claiming to share the common goal of creating a more peaceful and secure world freed from the threat of nuclear annihilation, has warned that “an unprecedented global catastrophe” awaits the globe against the backdrop of warmongering in India and Pakistan.