Skip to main content

Abandon coal-based power plants, dams on Narmada river: MP 34 civil society bodies

Counterview Desk
As many as 34 civil society organizations of Madhya Pradesh, forming Jan Sangharsh Samanvay Samiti, have, through a statement, put forward a list of demands before candidates fighting the Lok Sabha elections, ranging from abandoning new plans to have coal-based power plants to suspending fresh dams on the Narmada river in view of sharp deceleration in the flow of water.

Text of statement:

In the context of the upcoming general election, a two days consultation was organized by Mahegi Bijali Abhiyan – Madhya Pradesh and National Alliance of People’s Movement – Madhya Pradesh on “Energy and Infrastructure Development – a Democratic Process” in Jabalpur.
More than 55 people from 30 people’s organisations and grassroots groups from across Madhya Pradesh which are resisting mega energy and infrastructure construction projects in their respective areas participated in the consultation.
The two-day consultation process ended with the community leaders from these groups came out with specific demands related to energy and water sector development projects and their financing mechanisms.
A state-level coordination committee was formed which has been formally named as – Madhya Pradesh Jan-Sangharsh Samanvay Samiti, it is an umbrella forum which looks to represent grassroots groups and people’s organisations questioning, critiquing and resisting mega infrastructure projects in energy and water sector in Madhya Pradesh.
The state level co-ordination committee resolved and prepared demands of these groups which will be put forth to all the people’s representatives as part of the democratic process. The groups also agreed to present these demands and get it passed through Gram Sabhas resolutions in the state on April 14, 2019 when the next gram sabha would convene. Thereafter, all the 30 groups will ask all the people’s representatives during the general elections to accept and formally agree to them, so as to ensure support and encouragement of the local community members.
The committee will also meet the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh and the concerned ministers to discuss the resolution in the near future. The committee will also hold briefings and meetings in Bhopal and other regions of the state in this regard.
Resolution and demands presented to the people’s representatives:
  • In Madhya Pradesh the installed capacity of electricity is double than demand, therefore, now there is no need to approve new coal-based power plant, hydropower plant, and nuclear projects.
  • Such projects where land has been acquired for power projects, but so far the work on the projects has not been started, the acquired land should be returned to original landowners/ tenants.
  • Power projects where there has been no power purchase agreement, Coal Linkages, water linkage and financial closure, such projects should be cancelled immediately.
  • Water conservation, protection and rehabilitation of water resources should be promoted across the state with urgency and should be given priority in the areas where water problems are arising due to pollution, encroachment, diversion, etc of water supply to power/ industrial projects. The basic right to water should be ensured in the state specifically water for drinking and irrigation should be ensured for all.
  • The privatisation of water services for drinking water and irrigation should be stopped in the name of reforms and privatised water services to be returned to public agencies.
  • Considering the decreasing water flows in the Narmada river, all the big construction projects should be stopped immediately in the Narmada basin. Catchment areas of Narmada and its tributaries should be protected from pollution and sand mining, efforts to be encouraged to maintain annual water flows in these rivers.
  • All the existing projects which are approved/ cleared by the government under the environmental conditions should ensure compliance of the conditions in the area.
  • Ensure the rehabilitation of all families displaced from various mega construction projects and immediately stopping any proposed displacement.
  • To cancel immediately all the false cases imposed on people who are resisting against these mega projects.
  • The Madhya Pradesh government land in villages should be declared as Gram Sabhaproperty under the Madhya Pradesh Panchayati Raj and Gram Swaraj acts 1993 and 2001.
  • The new land acquisition act has provision to provide 4 times the compensation from the current rate, however, Madhya Pradesh government is providing only 2 times compensation which is against the new act. According to the act four times, compensation should be ensured.
  • The Madhya Pradesh government is selling electricity to other states at INR 2.60 per unit. Therefore, electricity at the same rate should also be available to the people of Madhya Pradesh.
  • All the loans from power projects or companies which are declared under stressed assets or have become non-performing assets, the full amount of it should be recovered without any haircut or write off.
---
Click HERE for the list of civil society participants

Comments

TRENDING

132 Gujarat citizens, including IIM-A faculty, others declare solidarity with Kashmiris

Counterview Desk
A week after it was floated, 132 activists, academics, students, artists and other concerned citizens of Gujarat, backed by 118 living in different parts of India and the world, have signed a "solidarity letter" supporting the people of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), who, it claims, have been silenced and held captive in their own land. The signatories include faculty members and scholars of the prestigious Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A).

Amit Shah 'wrong': Lack of transparency characterized bank frauds, NPAs, jobs data

Counterview Desk
India's senior RTI activists Nikhil Dey, Anjali Bhardwaj, Venktesh Nayak, Rakesh Reddy Dubbudu, Dr. Shaikh Ghulam Rasool, Pankti Jog and Pradip Pradhan, who are attached with the National Campaign for Peoples' Right to Information (NCPRI), have said that Union home minister Amit Shah's claim that the Government of India is committed to transparency stands in sharp contrast to its actual actions.

Bharat Ratna nominee ‘joined hands’ with British masters to 'crush' Quit India

By Shamsul Islam*
The Quit India Movement (QIM), also known as ‘August Kranti' (August Revolution), was a nation-wide Civil Disobedience Movement for which a call was given on August 7, 1942 by the Bombay session of the All-India Congress Committee. It was to begin on August 9 as per Gandhi's call to 'Do or Die' in his Quit India speech delivered in Bombay at the Gowalia Tank Maidan on August 8. Since then August 9 is celebrated as August Kranti Divas.

Gujarat's incomplete canals: Narmada dam filled up, yet benefits 'won't reach' farmers

By Our Representative
Even as the Gujarat government is making all out efforts to fill up the Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river up to the full reservoir level (FRL), a senior farmer rights leader has said the huge reservoir, as of today, remains a “mirage for the farmers of Gujarat”.
In a statement, Sagar Rabari of the Khedut Ekta Manch (KEM), has said that though the dam’s reservoir is being filled up, the canal network remains complete. Quoting latest government figures, he says, meanwhile, the command area of the dam has been reduced from 18,45,000 hectares (ha) to 17,92,000 ha.
“According to the website of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, which was last updated on Friday, while the main canal, of 458 km long, has been completed, 144 km of ranch canals out of the proposed length of 2731 km remain incomplete.
Then, as against the targeted 4,569 km distributaries, 4,347 km have been constructed, suggesting work for 222 km is still pending. And of the 15,670 km of minor canal…

Ceramic worker dies: 20,000 workers in Thangadh, Gujarat, 'risk' deadly silicosis

By Our Representative
Even as the country was busy preparing for the Janmashtami festival on Saturday, Hareshbhai, a 46-year-old ceramic worker from suffering from the fatal lung disease silicosis, passed away. He worked in a ceramic unit in Thangadh in Surendranagar district of Gujarat from 2000 to 2016.
Hareshbhai was diagnosed with the disease by the GCS Medical College, Naroda Road, Ahmedabad in 2014. He was found to be suffering from progressive massive fibrosis. He is left behind by his wife Rekha sister and two sons Deepak (18) and Umesh (12),
The death of Hareshbhai, says Jagdish Patel of the health rights group Peoples Training and Research Centre (PTRC), suggests that silicosis, an occupational disease, can be prevented but not cured, and the Factory Act has sufficient provisions to prevent this.
According to Patel, the pottery industry in the industrial town of Thangadh has evolved for a long time and locals as well as migrant workers are employed here. There are abou…