Skip to main content

World Bank told: Withdraw proposal to fund new Andhra capital project, it will lead to massive displacement

By Our Representative
Top civil society leaders and experts have got together to tell the World Bank board that it must comply by the recent recommendations of the Bank's Inspection Panel for funding the project (approximately Rs 4,700 crore soft loan) to build a new capital for Andhra Pradesh, Amaravati, which it had prepared following its visit to India in mid-September this year.
Uploaded in October, the recommendations were mysteriously pulled down within a few days. The Panel visited the project site on September 13-15, 2017 and heard various representations from the project-affected families. Justifying the decision to pull down the Panel's report, the World Bank said, it was "inadvertently" uploaded before being reviewed by the Bank’s board of executive directors.
Seeking investigation into the grievances of the complainants, the Panel had talked of the need to look into “issues of potential harm and policy non-compliance”, adding, people had “raised issues of a serious character that can only be fully ascertained in the context of an investigation.”
It had also recommended on the need to “carrying out an investigation,” which should "primarily focus on the resettlement aspects, as well as environmental concerns, and issues related to consultation, participation and disclosure of information as they pertain to the Bank’s financing, policies and procedures.”
Those who have signed the letter to the World Bank board include social activist Medha Patkar, former power secretary Dr EAS Sarma, Goldman Prize awardee Prafulla Samanthra, retired scientist of the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) Dr Babu Rao, and others.
The letter says, all the affected groups, communities, supportive civil society organizations and media are now watching the board’s decision closely, which will decide on further investigation into the Bank’s non-compliance with its operating policies. In all, it adds, 56,000 acres land would be acquired, displacing 20,000 families.
Addressed to each of the executive directors of the World Bank Group, even while drawing "urgent attention" to various irregularities surrounding the proposed Amaravati Sustainable Capital City Development Project of Andhra Pradesh, the letter says, there has been "lack of sufficient public consultations" while going ahead with the project.
Also drawing attention to "grave threat to food security and loss of fertile floodplains" because of the Amaravati project, the letter says, the suggestions of the Panel’s report for a full investigation into the violations of the Bank’s operating policies must be followed by the Board, and the Board should not undermine the mandate of its own accountability mechanism.
It says, it is astonishing that the Bank has been silent on Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s instruction to the Capital Region Development Authority (CRDA) to firmly deal with the people who filed complaints with the World Bank, adding, there is complete lack of an adequate and comprehensive Resettlement Policy Plan while going ahead with the project.
Referring also to the "failure" of the Bank to address the issue of uprooting the impoverished Dalit families from Lanka Lands in Krishna River islands, the letter said, this would lead directly to the creation of a wide marginalised community of informal sector on the outskirts of the capital city.
The letter concluded, the World Bank and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a co-financier of the project, are accountable for the "impending crucial consequences of this mammoth capital city project", adding, as for the state government, it should withdraw the "faulty" land pooling scheme as also the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority Act (APRCDA Act 2014) be abolished.

Comments

TRENDING

Mallika Sarabhai releases speech she was 'not allowed' to give at NID Convocation on Feb 7

Counterview Desk
The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry body, landed itself in controversy following its decision to put off its 40th convocation ceremony, where noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as chief guest. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on February 7.

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

As corona virus 'travels' to rural areas, NGO begins training tribals, marginalised women

By Souparno Chatterjee*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared corona virus a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed the entire globe, almost, and claimed more than 16,000 lives already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all the preparedness and war-like promptness to safeguard against the pandemic, several lives have been lost , and hundreds of individuals have tested positive.

Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope 'martyred' by East India Company, Scindia's forefathers

By Our Representative
In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.

COVID-19: Dalit rights bodies regret, no relief plan yet for SCs, STs, marginalized

By Our Representative
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, endorsed* by several other Dalit rights organizations, have insisted, the Government of India should particular care of the scheduled castes and tribes, trans folks, persons with disabilities and the women and children from these communities, while fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Big 'danger' of NPR: A babu can tag anyone as doubtful citizen, Jharkhand meet told

' By Our Representative
People in large numbers from across Jharkhand gathered at the Raj Bhawan in Ranchi to demand that the Hemant Soren government reject National Population Register (NPR) and stop all NPR-related activities. The people’s organisations which participated in the dharna under the banner of the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JMM) resolved to intensify their struggle, insisting, NPR is not a Hindu-Muslim issue but is essentially anti-poor.

Coronavirus scare ‘pushing’ people from Northeast India into more hardship

By Rishiraj Sinha, Biswanath Sinha*
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela
***

Gujarat govt plan to 'banish' Gandhian activist anti-democratic, unconstitutional

By Rohit Prajapati*
The current Central and Gujarat governments, and their bureaucracy, have been and are still unable to answer and address the concerns raised, with facts, figures, and constitutional provisions, regarding the terror of tourism in the name of the Statue of Unity and tourism projects surrounding it.

Haridwar Swamis lead Khudai Khidmatgar peace march in Delhi 'riot affected' areas

By Our Representative
A Khudai Kidmatgar team, which visited the riot-affected regions along with Swami Shivanand Saraswati and Swami Punyanand, has insisted that India's true heritage is the lesson of ‘vasudhaiv kutumbakam', and it is the responsibility of all to carry froward this legacy. Originally founded by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan in 1930, also known as Frontier Gandhi, Khudai Khidmatgar is claimed to have been revived by young Gandhian activist Faisal Khan in 2011.