Skip to main content

Tata Mundra financier ADB's compliance body finds "major lapses" while identifying adverse impact on environment

Area surrounding Tata Mundra plant
By Our Representative
The Compliance Review Panel of Asian Development Bank (ADB) has come down heavily upon top international banks ADB for committing "major violations" in financing the 4000 MW Coastal Gujarat Power Ltd (Tata Mundra), in Gujarat. This is the second major financial institution for making harsh criticism of its lending to Tata Mundra.
Earlier, the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) of World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), had found serious violations resulting in harm to the people and environment.
The ADB's Compliance Review Panel has noticed that top bankers have failed to "adequately disclose" information about the project and the potential harm it may do to the local people. It has said that there was absence of "timely public consultation" with all stakeholders, "erroneous" Social and Environment Impact Assessment (SEIA) resulting in "failure to identify" potential impacts.
It added, there was "absence" of baseline data and monitoring systems, and "failure "in adhering to the ADB policies on "discharge of water to the sea at a higher temperature resulting in heavy loss to livelihood to fisherfolk. The Report was made public on April 7.
The compliance report further says that these policy violations are manifested on the ground, as there was a heavy drop in the fish catch due to discharge of water to the sea at a higher temperature, resulting in serious livelihood issues among the fishing community; inadequate compensation for the fisherfolk, since they were not counted in the SEIA; and increasing respiratory illnesses among the children and the old.
The non-existent communities affected by Tata Mundra
Reacting to the development, Bharat Patel, General Secretary of Machimar Adhikaar Sangharsh Sanghathan (MASS), which is in the forefront of the struggle against Tata Mundra, said the compliance report chose "not to look into the impacts of the inlet channel of the project, citing that it is shared with the adjacent Adani power project, nor did it look adequately the impacts of coal dust and fly ash pollution on dry fish put in the open, or acknowledge the impacts on horticulture, blaming on the multiplicity of factors”.
Yet, according to Patel, “This is a major victory for the people’s struggle against Tata Mundra and other destructive power projects in Kutch”. MASS is one the complainants to the ADB's compliance body. 
“Since two of the world's largest development banks have come under fire from their own accountability mechanisms for gross violations on the ground, it has only strenghtened our resolve to intensify our voices and struggle for justice and fight this dirty energy,” he added.
"In October 2013 CAO released its findings cited several of the violations for IFC policies", Patel said, adding, "These included violations of environmental and social risks and impacts of the project; lack of social baseline data; refusal to apply land acquisition rules despite physical and economic displacement; inadequate attention to the requirement of biodiversity conservation; failure to review and supervise the impacts on airshed and marine environment; and failure to examine the cumulative impact of projects around Tata Mundra." 
A year long monitoring by the CAO said in January 2014 that "no action was taken by the IFC or the company to address its findings."
Women sorting the catch
“The project is up and running and people, our crops and cattle are suffering from its impacts. ADB finding violations about non-compliance but has refusal to take any action will be a joke on the people. The violator should be taken to task and suspend all work till the issues are adequately settled”, Gajendrasinh Bhimaji, one of the complainants, said.
“No other project in the country has received such serious flak from its financiers as Tata Mundra in recent times. Not taking any meaningful action on the findings will erode people’s faith in institutions like World Bank and ADB further, and will be left with no choice but the challenge them at all fora”, Madhuresh Kumar, national convenor of the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) said.
"This audit report by reconfirms the earlier CAO findings that both the ADB (and other financiers) and Tata Mundra had faltered on anticipating multiple impacts on communities and planning right measures to mitigate these. It is high time ADB, IFC and Tata Power sincerely engage in serious damage repair mechanism in consultation with the affected communities", said Soumya Dutta, an energy expert.
Souparna Lahiri of NGO Forum on ADB, a watchdog of ADB said, “We welcome the findings. We hope the findings will not remain on paper and the management will translate it into bold actions, sending a strong message to their clients”.

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.