Skip to main content

Industries in Mundra, Gujarat, flout coastal regulation, adversely impacting locals' groundwater needs: Report

Port-led development next to Mundra impacts livelihood
By Our Representative
Planning for the biennial Vibrant Gujarat world business summit, to be held in January 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state suffers from complete failure to cope up with the adverse impact of industrial investment on the livelihood of local communities, suggests a new report prepared by a group of researchers.
The report, titled “How effective are environmental regulations to address impacts of industrial and infrastructure projects in India”, has been prepared by research team consisting of Krithika Dinesh, Meenakshi Kapoor, Kanchi Kohli, Manju Menon and Preeti Shree Venkatram of the CPR-Namati Environmental Justice Programme, Delhi.
While the report suggests that the state has been faster in granting environmental clearances than most other states – with a 93% of approval coastal clearance rate compared to Tamil Nadu’s 86%, Andhra Pradesh’s 85%, Karnataka’s 85% and Maharashtra’s 74% -- it points to how quick approvals have had adverse impacted local communities and environment.
Pointing out that the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 1991, was the first to acknowledge that industrialization would impact groundwater drawl, the report says, “Ground water aquifers become even more pertinent for districts like Kutch in Gujarat, which lies in the semi-arid climatic zone with an average annual rainfall of less than 75cm.”
A district which received massive industrialization following the earthquake of 2001, thanks to major incentives provided to investors, leading to “a series of port-based industries, expansion of existing and development of new ports, road and railways construction projects”, little was realized that the CRZ notification inhibits the drawl of water “in the first 500 metres of the sea, except for local needs, such as domestic use and for agriculture and fisheries.”
Giving example of communities in three sites in Mundra taluka, living close to three different industries, the report says, they have been particularly facing “these impacts”, with local people noticing that “the level of water in their village wells was going down.”
“Some also observed that wells that used to provide sweet water 10 years ago, had now turned saline. They suspected that drawl of water by industries in their vicinity was contributing to it as some of them had seen bore wells in the premises of these companies”, the report says.
With the help of community organizers working in the area and legal researchers, the report says, the locals found out that “conditions regulating drawl of water are usually given in the environmental permission and consents granted to these industries.”
“From the replies to the right to information (RTI) applications they realized that none of the industries had a valid no objection certificate (NOC)”, the report says, adding, while in the case of one of them the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) office had received an application, “it never granted an NOC to it”. As the the other two cases, “their NOCs were issued with two years validity in 2008 and 2005, respectively.”
“This meant that currently all three industries were operating without an NOC to draw groundwater”, the report says, adding, “Villagers suspected that there was more to this violation story, as mere operation of 2-3 wells per industry cannot have such an impact on the water table in the region.”
To find out the truth, the report says, the villagers “have asked the CGWB office for ground water monitoring reports of Mundra Taluka for the last ten years”, in the hope that “through these reports their observations can be presented as facts.”
The villagers are doing this to provide the “evidence of violations committed by these industries and impacts they are facing and seeking action to check the violation and avoid recurrence”, the report says, adding, “Although villagers understand that regulatory action will not resolve the current water crisis immediately, they still want to pursue the remedies to spare their children of this water scarcity.”
---
Click HERE for full report

Comments

TRENDING

Allow international human rights observers, media to access Kashmir: US lawmakers

Counterview Desk
In a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, two members of the American Congress, Pramila Jayapal and James McGovern, raising "significant concerns" about what they call "humanitarian and human rights crisis in Jammu & Kashmir”, quoting "credible reports" from journalists and advocates on the ground" have said that "the Indian government has detained thousands of people with no recourse, imposed de facto curfews on residents' and cut off internet and telephone access in the region.”

TN woman's No Caste, No Religion struggle 'follows' ideals of Marx, Ambedkar, Periyar

By Sheshu Babu*
In these days of rising communal tensions, a courageous woman from Tamil Nadu achieved her dream of obtaining 'No Caste, No Religion' certificate through persistent struggle. This is quite a significant achievement. It comes alongside some colleges in West Bengal introducing 'humanity', 'agnostic' , 'secular' or 'non-religious' in the application forms for online submission for students who are unwilling to disclose their faith.

Rescind Gates Foundation award to Modi, demand three Nobel Peace laureates

Counterview Desk
In a major boost to those opposing the award to the Gates Foundation’s proposed to be awarded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, three Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Mairead Maguire (1976), Tawakkol Abdel-Salam Karman (2011) and Shirin Ebadi (2003), have in an open letter called upon Milinda and Bill Gates to withdraw their decision, stating Modi is allegedly involved in human rights violations.

US Kashmiri diaspora body: World leaders, UN 'not acting', India enjoys total impunity

Counterview Desk
Ahead of the United Nations General Assembly session, to begin on September 17 in New York, Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, secretary-general of the World Kashmir Awareness Forum, a non-profit organization based in Ohio, US, claiming to focus on providing information on Kashmir, has regretted that despite "violent" behaviour of Indian authorities in Kashmir, they enjoy "total impunity" across the world.

Modi used to 'run errands' during Emergency, his role was that much: Top JP associate

By Rajiv Shah
In a sharp exposure, well-known Gujarati critic, journalist and activist Prakash N Shah, who had been among the main contact persons of Jay Prakash Narayan (JP) in Gujarat, has recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “merely running errands” during the Emergency (1975-77) period, adding the PM’s stature has been “sought to be unnecessarily inflated”, though adding, he is not saying this to “belittle him.”

Jharkhand riverine terminal: 485 families 'displaced', lose land, livelihood in Sahibgunj

Counterview Desk
Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposes to inaugurate on Thursday India’s second riverine Multi-Modal terminal (MMT) at Sahibganj in Jharkhand, built at a cost of Rs 290 crore reportedly in a record time of about two years, several civil rights organizations* have said that the government has failed to address the high-profile terminal’s social and environmental concerns.

Now clampdown on rally, arrest of pro-freedom activists in Pak-occupied Kashmir

Counterview Desk
In a fresh evidence, international human rights organizations are not just confining their attention on the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), whose special status was taken away by the Government of India in early August, leading to an unprecedented clampdown on the region. They have simultaneously begun focusing on the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), where the situation is said to be worsening.
Thus, the International Human Rights Council ((IHRC) Hong Kong (HK), a top human rights organisation, said to be working towards to the promotion peace, equality, fundamental rights and social justice “as enunciated in the UN Human Rights Charter and other instruments of human rights”, has noted now a new wave of independence movement has struck PoK.  With offices in US, UK, Switzerland and Hong Kong, and having Kirity Roy and Lenin Raghuvanshi as IHRC office bearers from India, in a statement, it has claimed that on September 7 one of the biggest pro-Independenc…

Govt of India 'moves' to hold Assam-type foreigners' tribunals across India, warns report

Counterview Desk
A People’s Tribunal on the National Register of Citizens (NRC) has warned in its interim jury report that two recent notifications of the Government of India may lay down the groundwork for triggering an NRC process in different parts of the country, pointing towards recent moves towards this.

India performs 'poorly' in Quality of Life Index, ranks 62nd out of 64 countries

Counterview Desk
“Expat Insider”, which claims to be one of the world’s most extensive surveys about living and working abroad, in a survey of 20,259 participants from around the globe, has found that of the 64 destinations around the globe, has found that while Taiwan is the best destination for persons living outside their native country, closely by Vietnam and Portugal, India ranks 59th.

New sample suggests high pollution off Vadodara effluent channel, 'requires' action

Counterview Desk 
Gujarat’s top environmental group Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS) has sharply criticized the Gujarat Pollution Control Board’s (GPCB’s) “on-serious, casual letter” dated September 5, which allegedly suggests that the top state state agency does not favour taking any action Central Gujarat’s effluent treatment plant, Vadodara Enviro Channel Ltd (VECL).