Skip to main content

Drop Sagarmala project, it would lead to eco-devastation, displacement along Indian coast: Civil society meet

By Our Representative
A civil society consultation on Sagarmala, a Government of India project conceived under former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, and modified by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to turn coastal areas into “gateways to India's prosperity”, has reached the conclusion that it would mean large-scale ecological devastation and displacement along the coastal areas.
Alleging that it would lead to “large scale land and ocean grabbing, displacing people and their right to life, livelihood and dignity”, the consultation, organized by National Fishworkers’ Forum (NFF) and National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), asked the Government of India to drop the project or face major protests along the coastal regions.
In a note prepared by NFF and NAPM following the consultation takes particular objection to the concept of the project, which it says that its primarily aimed at developing ports, transport through waterways and promote shipping to trigger a port-based developmental model.
“However”, the consultation said, a port-based development of multiple projects intended at bringing in foreign currency should be understood differently from coastal development, adding, Sagarmala would bring about massive coastal erosion” and coastal accretion, accompanied by severe problems of dredging.
Pointing out that the Sagarmala project would “effectively promote real estate projects”, the note said, there has not been any effort to consult the coastal communities, adding, it being approved without any thought going into the effects on the fishing community,settled all along the coasts.
Opposing the plant to have industrial corridors along the Indian coastline to compliment the Sagarmala proejct, the note said, already one could see the “ill effects of the Enayam port” in Tamil Nadu. It would lead to displacement of fisherfolk.
Then, the the Vizhinjam port, handed over to the Adani group, is being opposed by the fishing community in Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala, the note said, adding, things are not very different for the proposed expansion of the Kamraj Ennoore port in Tamil Nadu.
The consultation demanded that viability studies be made public and consent of the local communities be made mandatory before going ahead with such an unviable project, insisting, there should be immediate cessation of all construction related activities along the coastal areas.
During the consultation, representatives of the fishworkers from Kutch, Gujarat, pointed towards what they called “severe effects of the Adani port and Adani, Tata and OPG thermal power plants in the Mundra area on the traditional small fishermen, who have faced effects on their livelihood.”
Especially taking exception to the Adani Group allegedly acquiring huge plots of land along the coastline for Mundra SEZ in violation of the environmental violations, the note said, “The most shocking has been the ease with which over 2500 acres of mangroves were removed and land filling.”
Meanwhile, Coastal projects, the note said, have been adversely impacting marine ecology up to 25 km of the coastline, where one could find dead fish because of “massive amounts of toxins being released into the estuaries.”
The consultation decided to discuss further actions against the Sagarmala project at the NAPM National Convention in Patna (December 2-4, 2016) and NFF General Body in Tuticorin (December 9-10, 2016).
On November 21, the World Fisheries Day would be observed by giving a call against ‘ocean grabbing’at a rally at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar.

Comments

TRENDING

Green revolution "not sustainable", Bt cotton a failure in India: MS Swaminathan

Counterview Desk
In a recent paper in the journal “Current Science”, distinguished scientist PC Kesaven and his colleague MS Swaminathan, widely regarded as the father of the Green Revolution, have argued that Bt insecticidal cotton, widely regarded as the continuation of the Green Revolution, has been a failure in India and has not provided livelihood security for mainly resource-poor, small and marginal farmers.
Sharply taking on Green Revolution, the authors say, it has not been sustainable largely because of adverse environmental and social impacts, insisting on the need to move away from the simplistic output-yield paradigm that dominates much thinking. Seeking to address the concerns about local food security and sovereignty as well as on-farm and off-farm social and ecological issues associated with the Green Revolution, they argue in favour of what they call sustainable ‘Evergreen Revolution’, based on a ‘systems approach’ and ‘ecoagriculture’.
Pointing out that Evergreen Revol…

Rejoinder: Inescapable to have Central Water Commission as strong technical body in India

By BN Navalawala*
This is with reference to Counterview Blog (December 5, 2018), "Modi govt 'shelves' water reforms report, shows 'no interest' in its recommendations", below mentioned are my comments/observations thereon:
A committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr. Mihir Shah, Former Member, Planning Commission, for restructuring of Central Water Commission (CWC) and Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) for optimal development of water resources in the country in the backdrop of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

Some Hindu bodies in US defending BJP-RSS' divisive, violent activities: Agnivesh

Counterview Desk Last week, Washington DC saw speakers at a religious freedom roundtable, chaired by the US Ambassador for Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, express concern over "eroding" space for religious freedom in India. Dr Mike Ghouse, executive director, of the Center for Pluralism in Washington DC, referring to the roundtable, said in an email alert that Indian-Americans have "a moral duty to prevent India from being labeled as a Country of Particular Concern by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)".

Preventing childhood deaths: India performs worse than Bangladesh, "equals" Pakistan

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released study, “The Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report 2018”, prepared by the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has identified India among 15 other countries which are still far off the mark in achieving the targets of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD).

Karnataka: NGO Akshay Patra "not sensitive" to nutrition demands of school children

Counterview Desk
Well-known civil rights organizations, Right to Food Campaign and Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, have sent a letter to the Union minister of human resource development, the Chief Minister of Karnataka, other concerned ministers and officials of the state expressing concerns regarding the mid-day meal (MDM) to school children, insisting, all contracts to the Akshay Patra for supply of MDM should be immediately terminated.

India's rewritten textbooks talk of demerits of democracy, praise Hitler, underrate Mughals

Counterview Desk
A detailed, 3,800-word review of the books rewritten under directions of the BJP rulers across India since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014 has suggested that one of aims of the books is to instill a sense of doubt about India’s democratic polity among the country’s young minds. Reviewed in the prestigious US journal, “The New York Review of Books”, in its latest issue (December 6, 2018) by Alex Traub, the scrutiny insists, the effort has also been to paint Indian history from the angle of “Hindu triumphalism”, even as creating “Islamophobia”.

Govt of India "tarnishing" NGO reputation, dossier leaked selectively: Amnesty

Counterview Desk
Amnesty International India has said that a deliberate attempt is being made to tarnish its reputation by leaking a dossier, supposedly made by investigating agencies, to media without giving it access to any such information. The high profile NGO’s claim follows a Times Now report about proceedings launched by investigative agencies, including Enforcement Directorate (ED) against the rights body for “violations” of rules pertaining to overseas donations.

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.

Four children die after poor UP Dalit, Muslim families forced to flee to forest area: PVCHR

Counterview Desk
Peoples’ Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) has said that the forest department police’s crackdown, allegedly without any prior notice, on Dalit and Muslim households in Dakhin Tola, Churk Bazaar, Sonbhadra district, Uttar Pradesh, beating up “children and old people, women, and men in an inhuman way”, has led to “forced displacement, starvation and discrimination”. This has reportedly affected about 350 people.

Vedanta is out but corporate loot continues in Odisha: Local activists tell NAPM yatra

By Our Representative
Lok Shakti Abhiyan leader Prafulla Samantara, winner of the Goldman Environmental (also known as Green Nobel) Prize in 2017, has regretted that though Sundergarh in Odisha, like other forest areas, is a fifth schedule area, where Forest Rights Act (FRA) and Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA) is applicable, but these laws are being “outrightly violated to facilitate corporate loot.”