Skip to main content

Joshimath landslide: Tapovan Vishnugad hydel project’s tunnel not responsible?

By Shankar Sharma* 

It seems very illogical for the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) to even thinking of coming up with such a statement. No one expected it to admit the responsibility, as this news link seeks to suggest: Tapovan Vishnugad hydel project’s tunnel not responsible for landslide in Joshimath: NTPC.
Has there ever been a case wherein any agency of the government (or even a private entity even in a case like that of Bhopal gas tragedy) admitting its responsibility? Even in case of nuclear disasters at Chernobyl and Fukushima, no government has admitted its responsibility. 
 Only because of the public pressure and the intervention by the judiciary, some sort of responsibility/ obligation might have been assigned. But the massive impacts to the affected communities have not been averted, and adequate compensation has always been evasive.
If only the concerned agencies/ authorities are honest in applying their minds to the true welfare of our people, and also heeded to the timely precautions/ warning by the stakeholders and the domain experts, such disasters could have been averted and/ or the impacts minimised. 
 But sadly, in all such cases the true welfare of the project affected communities has not been at the focus of diligent consideration; even if ever such a focus has been feasible for the concerned authorities.
As it has always been, the focus continues to be the commercial benefits/ convenience/ luxury considerations of some distant sections of people at enormous costs to the locals. Some of the associated news reports, as in the links below, should indicate how our authorities have become insensitive to our people's true welfare. 
 If our authorities were to have diligently considered the true costs and benefits of such projects, especially in the case of of Tapovan Vishnugad hydel project, and honestly considered various alternatives available to our country to meet the legitimate demand for electricity, many such disasters, including this particular disaster of long lasting impacts, could have been and can be averted.
Can we hope that such critical wisdom will prevail in the future; especially in the context that there are scores of such high risk/ high impact projects, such as dam based and nuclear based power projects, are in the pipeline?
Can we hope that the concerns of the project affected communities, other stake holders, and domain experts will be diligently considered, and that all their concerns are satisfactorily addressed before pursuing with such obviously high risk projects? See the links below:
---
*Power & Climate Policy Analyst

Comments

TRENDING

Women innovators on simple, revolutionary alternate solutions for water problems

By Proshakha Maitra, Mansee Bal Bhargava* The detrimental effects of uncontrolled population rise and accelerated change in the global climate have posed tremendous pressure on the water and sanitation. This calls all stakeholders, from both developed and developing nations, to improve their resilience and to instigate sustainability. It is more crucial than ever to optimise the use of the resources we have on hand since the world population is projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050.

Muted profit margins, moderate increase in costs and sales: IIM-A survey of 1000 cos

By Our Representative  The Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad’s (IIM-A's) latest Business Inflation Expectations Survey (BIES) has said that the cost perceptions data obtained from India’s business executives suggests that there is “mild increase in cost pressures”.

Alleged killing of another Bangladesh youth inside Indian territory: NHRC inquiry sought

By Kirity Roy* There was yet another incident of the killing of a Bangladeshi youth by the Border Security Force personnel attached with ‘Barthar’ BOP of ‘G’ Company of 75 BSF Battalion. In last five years several incidents of killings happened under this police station’s jurisdiction and the cases will get the award as “Not Guilty” as usual.

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

IMA vs Ramdev: Why what's good or bad for goose should be good or bad for gander

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD* Baba Ramdev and his associate Balkrishna faced the wrath of the Supreme Court for their propaganda about their Ayurvedic products and belittling mainstream medicine. Baba Ramdev had to apologize in court. His apology was not accepted and he may face the contempt of court with harsher punishment. The Supreme Court acted on a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

Govt putting India's professionals, skilled, unskilled labour 'at mercy of' big business

By Thomas Franco, Dinesh Abrol*  As it is impossible to refute the report of the International Labour Organisation, Chief Economic Advisor Anantha Nageswaran recently said that the government cannot solve all social, economic problems like unemployment and social security. He blamed the youth for not acquiring enough skills to get employment. Then can’t the people ask, ‘Why do we have a government? Is it not the government’s responsibility to provide adequate employment to its citizens?’

What's Bill Gates up to? Have 'irregularities' found in funding HPV vaccine trials faded?

By Colin Gonsalves*  After having read the 72nd report of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on alleged irregularities in the conduct of studies using HPV vaccines by PATH in India, it was startling to see Bill Gates bobbing his head up and down and smiling ingratiatingly on prime time television while the Prime Minister lectured him in Hindi on his plans for the country. 

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Modi model, Hindutva icon 'justified' alliance with Muslim League before Independence

By Shamsul Islam*  Our PM describes himself as ‘Hindu’ nationalist and member of RSS. He proudly shares the fact that he was groomed to be a political leader by one of the two fathers of the Hindutva politics, MS Golwalkar (the other being VD Savarkar) and given the task of establishing Hindutva polity in India after eradicating secularism.

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.