Skip to main content

Oversee industrial corridor funding by World Bank, others: People's groups seek Parliamentary panel intervention

Anti-industrial corridor protest in Raigad
By Our Representative 
Stepping pressure against five major industrial corridors sought to be built by the Government of India -- Delhi-Mumbai, Amritsar-Kolkata, Vizag–Chennai, Chennai–Bangalore and Mumbai-Bangalore, a high-level meeting of several people's organizations have decided to begin a Corridor Virodhi Sangharsh Abhiyaan in October, which will undertake a nation-wide yatra preceded by regional meetings.
Senior activists of National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM); Indian Community Activist Network; Sarvahara Jan Andolan; Jan Sangharsh Samanvay Samiti; Mines, Minerals & People; and Delhi Solidarity Group, participated in the two-day conclave, which took place in Delhi.
Speaking at the conclave, NAPM's Medha Parkar said, “Overnight, the government declares that the home and fields of an adivasi or a farmer is now part of an industrial corridor. Even after days and months no one comes to visit her home or village and she is left to wonder who are these people deciding her fate, without ever seeking her consent.”
“How can the fate of people in this country be deciding on the growing web of industrial corridors in the country today is an undemocratic ploy to take away the sovereign rights of the people and its public institutions”, she wondered.
Ulka Mahajan of Sarvhara Jan Andolan, Raigad, said, “Even though notifications for acquisition of 67,000 acres of land from 78 villages were issued for the development of the Dighi Industrial Port area, no one had a project plan in hand to share with the communities.”
“There was completely opaqueness over the projects proposed, investments or industries expected, still the notifications were issued”, Mahajan said, adding, “The reality is the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) or any such projects are big real estate projects. Even planners have no idea but they want the land, water, forests and everything for themselves.”
“It is the financialisation of economy in favour of big corporations that is being facilitated by the government with active help from the governments of Japan, Singapore, Hongkong, UK, Germany, US or other developed countries who are exploring the possibilities for expansion of their own corporations”, insisted Anil Chaudhary of the Jan Sangharsh Samanvay Samiti.
Sagar Rabari of the Gujarat Khedut Mazdoor Samaj said, “We have forged alliances with all caste groups and cut across the traditional boundaries of the trade unions and farmers to oppose the corporate loot of the natural resources in name of development, and we have had successes in challenging the Dholera Special Investment Region (SIR) and Mandala-Becharaji SIR.”
“Contrary to the image that land acquisition in Gujarat is easy, it is one of the most difficult places to acquire land in the country. Likewise, as against the claims of creation of jobs, Gujarat, despite numerous special economic zones (SEZs) in the past decade has created the fewest jobs”, he added.
In a statement, the conclave activists said, the development of the five together “have an influence area covering 50% of the land area”.
“Together with the Sagarmala, Bharat Mala projects, the Industrial Corridors are a massive infrastructure plans.” Yet, there are no plans for “comprehensive social and environmental impact assessment” regarding “millions of people dependent on the natural resources, farmers, adivasis, fishworkers, artisans, pastoralists”, it added.
“Projects and plans are being prepared by consultants and to be implemented by special purpose vehicles and specially appointed authorities, which override powers of Gram Sabha, Gram Panchayats, municipalities and municipal corporations”, the statement said.
Demanding formation of a parliamentary oversight over the loan agreements signed by the government with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), World Bank, Asian Development Bank and other financial institutions, the statement insisted, “All the agreements, projects, plans, feasibility studies and every document related to the Corridors must be put in front of the public voluntarily, as per Section 4 of the RTI Act.”
It also demanded the Parliamentary Standing Committee studying the Industrial corridor Policy framework to “respond to the groups who have approached for a personal hearing.”
The statement also demanded abrogation of “the labour and land laws brought in by the Rajasthan and Gujarat government", calling them anti-democratic and anti-constitutional, asking the President not to give assent to them.

Comments

TRENDING

Hindus to be 'sent' to Kashmir? Despite Israeli settlements, peace eludes the region

By Anand K Sahay*
Curfew, news and communications blackout, transportation shut-down... News reports from Kashmir are worrying. So are the views relayed through the media, especially television. Old-fashioned repression seems to be consorting comfortably with expressions of concern “for our Kashmiri brethren”. We are looking at Orwell’s 1984 in the making.

Impact of state repression? Kashmir's 65% people prefer independence: Cambridge study

By Rajiv Shah 
Even as the Government of India’s controversial move to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) into two union territories is not only refusing to down die but has acquired international dimensions, a recent study, published by the Cambridge University Press, has claimed “pro-independence attitudes” among that 65% of Kashmiris, warning, this sentiment worsens when the state machinery resorts “repressive violence”.

Congress' anti-democratic laws led to Modi govt's 'Constitutional' changes: Scholars

Counterview Desk
A large number of academics* said to be belonging to several Indian and international institutions, even as taking strong exception to the Narendra Modi government's alleged move to amend the Constitution through "illegitimate" means, have taken strong exception to their colleagues in academia who we have become "all too accustomed to adopting a calculated silence in the face of such indignities."

Dholera 'inundated': Gujarat govt tries selling low lying area as top smart city site

Counterview Desk
Even as the Dholera Special Investment Region Regional Development Authority (DSIRDA) of the Gujarat government was busy organising a junket for Gujarat-based journalists for the area sought to be sold as an ideal special investment region (SIR) for industrialists, well-known farmers' activist Sagar Rabari has wondered why no investor has so far agreed to put in money in an area situated in Ahmedabad district along the Gulf of Khambhat.

Kashmir normal? Schoolboys, teenagers being arbitrarily picked up, detained: Report

Counterview Desk
A four-person team, consisting of Jean Dr├Ęze, well-known development economist; Kavita Krishnan, who is with the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist); Maimoona Mollah of the All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA); and Vimal Bhai of the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), back from a five-day fact-finding mission (August 9-13) from Kashmir, has said that people they spoke to “expressed their pain, anger, and sense of betrayal against the Government of India.”
In a report, “Kashmir Caged”, released along with a short eight-minute film, they said, the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A, dissolution of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), and bifurcating it into two Union Territories, is not being supported by anyone they met, except for BJP spokesperson on Kashmir affairs Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo, who claimed 46% vote share in J&K.
Excerpts from the report: When our flight landed, and the airlines staff announced that passeng…

Modi's Gujarati mind? Why govt move to 'sell-off' defence PSUs isn't in national interest

By Sandeep Pandey*
The Standing Committee on Defence, 2017-18, of the 16th Lok Sabha highlights the idea of Buy Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured). The Committee expressed concern over the import content of equipments produced and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Ordnance Factories (OFs) and defence Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) because of the dependence it creates for military hardware on foreign suppliers.

Central Gujarat effluent channel 'releasing' highly polluted industrial wastewater: PM told

Counterview Desk
Senior environmentalists of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS), Vadodara, Rohit Prajapati and Krishnakant, in an open letter to the Prime Minister, the Gujarat chief minister, the Gujarat chief secretary, and senior Government of India and Gujarat government officials dealing with environment, pollution and climate change have said that the authorities’ response their pleas to take action against the leakages and flow of polluted wastewater from the effluent channels of Central Gujarat industrial areas has met with complete inertia.

Can't go to court with RTI information, rule Ahmedabad authorities: Kankaria accident

By Pankti Jog*
In a shocking reply to an application filed by me, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) authorities have said that the information provided under the Right to Information (RT) Act should be used in court or in a judicial process. The Act is known to be a major tool that enables citizens to seek certified copies of documents, records from any public authority of state and Central government within 30 days, as per provisions of the Act.

Quit India Movement 'betrayal' and dubious role of Hindu Mahasabha, RSS leaders

By Shamsul Islam*
After the recent guillotine of Article 370, Hindutva ideologue Ram Madhav, while celebrating the occasion stated that it was honouring of the sacrifices of Dr Shyam Prasad Mukherjee and thousands others who laid down their lives for its removal. It is to be noted that Dr Mukherjee was a cadre of RSS and was groomed into a Hindutva leader by another Hindutva icon, VD Savarkar.

Strategy for united struggle against Hindutva 'fascism': Ideological silence is 'no option'

By Dr Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
Electoral alliance and opportunism of national and regional political parties, neoliberal economic marginalisation and soft secular Hindutva line pandering to Hindu majoritarianism laid the foundation of Hindutva fascism in post-colonial India.