Skip to main content

"Failing" to get permission to protest, Gujarat farmers, tribals join counterparts in Maharashtra to oppose DMIC

By Our Representative
In a major show of strength in Talasari, Maharashtra, around 50,000 farmers, tribals, fisherfolks and workers gathered to oppose the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) under the banner of Bhoomi Putra Bachao Andolan. Mainly belonging to Maharashtra and Gujarat, the civil society-sponsored rally made August 9, the International Day of Indigenous Peoples, for highlighting their fears and apprehensions regarding DMIC.
Non-political farmers' organisation, Khedut Samaj Gujarat, leader Sagar Rabari, one of the top participants, told Counterview that one major reason why people from Gujarat decided to go to Maharashtra was, the the state government does not give permission to take out rallies.
Other civil society organizations which planned the rally included mines, minerals & People, Adivasi Ekta Parishad, Bhoomi Sena and Kashtkari Samgathan.
"The government adopts every tactic to ensure that people do not protest, curtailing their democratic rights in every possible way", Rabari said, adding, "The moment any effort is made to protest, participants are detained in Gujarat."
The Talasari rally saw participants -- in which representatives also came from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh, as these states would also be affected by the proposed corridor -- insist that the length of 1,483 km with an influence region covering 4,36,486 sq km would see unprecedented land acquisition.
In a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, adopted at the end of the rally, said, "A project of this magnitude, which aims at setting up a six lane dedicated freight corridor, 150 km either side industrial corridor comprising industries and industrial regions of minimum 200 sq km, investment regions of minimum 100 sq km, will inevitably mean diverting land, forests, coast, water etc."
Pointing out that infrastructural amenities like electricity and roads would be diverted for industrial purpose and away from the already established occupations like agriculture, fishery, forest-related occupations, the memorandum said, "DMIC is a policy in the name of economic development that was never discussed in Parliament".
"The stretch from Mumbai to Delhi which is proposed to be developed under the DMIC is already one of the most heavily industrialised and urbanized parts of India. The influence area proposed under DMIC also covers about 17% population of the country i.e. approximately 21.5 crore of which about 8 crore is work force", it added.
Also opposing the bullet train project, apart from the plan to further intensively industrialize the already industrial hubs along the whole stretch by putting up new port projects like Vadhvan, Nargol, Dahej, etc., the memorandum said, all of it would "result in the physical, social and cultural upheaval of communities that live in relative symbiosis with nature".
"The process of land acquisition has begun for some of these projects. The consultative provisions under the Panchayats Extension to Scheduled Areas (PESA) Act are being reduced to a farce, as the resolutions opposing the projects that have been passed by the Gram Sabhas are being over-ruled by the authorities in a blanket manner", the memorandum said. 
It further said, there is a "blanket over-ruling of the resolutions of the Gram Sabhas, reducing consultation to mere lip-service, defeating the very intention of the legislature", adding, a major legislation that is being undermined in the process is the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, which requires that land in tribal areas "is to be acquired only under exceptional circumstances and in no case without the consent of the Gram Sabha".
"Local tribals and farmers and other citizens are up in-arms against the proposed projects", the memorandum tells Modi, adding, many Gram Sabhas have "passed resolutions opposing the projects. To register their disagreement many protest meetings and demonstrations have taken place".
Pointing out that DMIC has been proposed in a water starved area, the memorandum wondered, "How more water will be produced for rising population and heavy industrialization? Even at present, irrigation water is diverted to industries and areas under irrigation are being de-commanded in Gujarat. In such a scenario, where future need of water, food security and fresh air (environment) is not planned, can we call it planning or development?"
Asking Modi to carry out "a comprehensive and composite participatory review of the multiple projects" under DMIC, the memorandum wants that "a committee be setup to look into the cumulative impacts of the proposed DMIC and it be discussed Parliament and respective state assemblies before any further investment or implementation."

Comments

TRENDING

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

Actionable programme for 2019 polls amidst lynch mobs, caste violence, hate mongering

Counterview Desk
Reclaiming the Republic, a civil rights network, has released a document prepared under the chairmanship of Justice AP Shah (retired) -- and backed, among others, by Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan, bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander, economist Prabhat Patnaik, Right to transparency activist Anjali Bhardwaj and social scientist Yogendra Yadav  (click HERE for full list) -- with the "aim" of putting forth policy and legislative reforms needed to “protect” and “strengthen” the Constitutional safeguards for India’s democratic polity.

Noam Chomsky, top scholars ask NRIs to take stand on human rights violations in India

Counterview Desk
Renowned world scholars, including Noam Chomsky, James Petras, Angela Davis, Fredric Jameson, Bruno Latour, Ilan Pappe, Judith Butler, among others, have issued a statement castigating the Narendra Modi government for allegedly creating an environment of fear through arrests, intimidation and violence.

India under Modi "promoted" crony business, protected financial fraudsters, fueled bigotry

By Sandeep* and Rahul Pandey**
Narendra Modi's ascension to power was accompanied with jubilation and expectation. His supporters were expecting an end to era of corruption and initiation of good governance which was described as Achche Din. His party's adherence to idea of nationalism was believed to make India a vibrant country and guide India to be a world leader. He gave the slogan of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' conveying that his government was for all.
Corruption The government system is infested with corruption. A minimum of 10% is siphoned off from government schemes and projects, some of which goes back to political party in power and remaining is pocketed by various administrative, executive and political functionaries. This corruption continues and has increased. Now an additional Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) person working as Official on Special Duty or some equivalent position in every government department also has a share in this booty.
The Narendra M…

Inviting Rajapaksa to India "insult" to 1,40,000 Tamils killed by Sri Lankan army

Counterview Desk
In the context of Sri Lankan opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa being invited in India, about 75 human rights activists*, claiming to be concerned about rights violations during the civil war in Sri Lanka, especially in 2009, have joined together to express their dissent through a statement.

A Godse legacy? BJP rulers have "refrained" from calling Gandhi Father of the Nation

By Dr Hari Desai*
What an agony! On one hand, the entire India is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but on the other side, so-called Hindu Mahasabha members have been found mock-enacting the killing of the Mahatma and celebrating the murder by distributing sweets!

No aadhaar, no ration? Hard blow by Gujarat govt on poor and marginalized

By Pankti Jog*
Only those who have aadhaar registration and linked it with ration card will get ration from a Public Distribution System (PDS) shop. This decision of the Gujarat government has hit very badly thousands of poor and marginalized communities of Gujarat, especially during the drought year.

Post-advisory, Govt of India appears reluctant to ban e-cigarettes, "harmful" to kids

By Rajiv Shah
Is the Government of India dilly-dallying over the issue of banning e-cigarettes, which have been declared by anti-tobacco activists across the world as providing “an entryway to nicotine addiction”, especially among the kids? It would seem so, if the latest developments are any guide.

Poser to Modi: Why is Gujarat not fulfilling Constitutional obligations to minorities?

Counterview Desk
In an open letter, Mujahid Nafees, convener, Minority Coordination Committee (MCC), a Gujarat-based civil rights organization, has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi on infringing upon MCC activists’ constitutional right to protest. Nafees says, they had no other demands except that the Gujarat government should move towards fulfilling the constitutional obligations towards minorities and international treaties to which India is a signatory.

World Bank needs a new perspective on development, not just a new president

By Maju Varghese*
The resignation of the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim was an unexpected development given the fact that he had three more years to complete his tenure. Resignations at such a high level after bidding for a second term is unusual which prompts people to think what would have led to the act itself.