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    NATIONAL WATER POLICY Massive anti dam demonstrations in Spain Jalbiradari opposes NWP2002 Turkey, Canada, Malaysia, China Alternative Policies Irrigation Options

    PM‘s Speech: Extracts IRRIGATION

    A Comment on NWP WATER SECTOR

    Some Expert voices on NWP2002 GROUND WATER

    World Bank‘s WRSS: Delhi consultation Groundwater Polluted in Kanpur, Hapur, Delhi, NOIDA… SANDRP Comment on WRSS WATER SUPPLY OPTIONS SSP lobby decides Water Resource Secretary LAKES, TANKS, WETLANDS, GLACIERS Siliguri meeting on Dams and Development RURAL WATER SUPPLY DAMS PUBLICATIONS AVAILABLE WITH SANDRP Can Bhakra give water to nearby villages? Parliamentary Standing Com on Rural Drinking Water Kanhar Dam: Saga of injustice URBAN WATER SUPPLY News from the Narmada valley BOTTLED WATER BUSINESS IPT demands halt to Maan construction WATER PRIVATISATION Indefinite Fast for Maan R&R QUOTES

    Financial Mismanagement in SSP FLOODS


    MoP‘s Façade on R&R ‗Consultation‘ RIVERS RELATED ISSUES A letter to Suresh Prabhu FOODGRAINS MANAGEMENT SANDRP note on R&R in Power Projects AGRICULTURE

    Does MoP Understand Environmental issues? SUGAR

    Teesta Hydel: Too many concerns POWER OPTIONS

    Maheshwar: Anti people decision POWER

    Athirapally Public Hearing throws many issues POWER FINANCE NEWS SOUTH ASIA ENVIRONMENT

    Pak: Tarbela, Thal, CRBCP, Ghazi Barotha WE AWAIT YOUR RESPONSES Sri Lanka: Upper Kotmale SPECIAL REPORT:

    Nepal: Arun, Melamachy KARNATAKA‟S BLUFF: THE MAHADAYI DAMS AROUND THE WORLD ABOUT THE UPDATE The update will be available both in electronic (text and

    word versions) and printed versions. The Updates are also Apologies for the delay in bringing out this fourth issue of

    available at the Update covering mostly the months of March and April. The Update on Dams, Options and Related Issues is The suggested minimum annual contribution for the being brought out by SANDRP with a hope that it will Updates is Rs. 100/-, which would cover the cost of printing become a medium of useful information dissemination, and mailing. Please send your check/ DD in Favour of information sharing & interaction. The update has been YUVA, payable at Mumbai and send it to our Delhi address. produced mainly from media sources, both from internet For checks from banks outside Mumbai, please add Rs. 15/- and printed editions and also from official websites and for outstation check charges. networks. We would be happy to know your responses and

    suggestions about the update.

CONTACT INFORMATION: Himanshu Thakkar, Bipin Chandra, Ganesh Gaud, South Asia Network on Dams, River and People (A YUVA

    Project), C/o 53B, AD Block, Shalimar Bagh, Delhi 110 088. India. Ph: 747 9916. Email: Web:


National Water Policy adopted The National Water traditional wisdom to harvest water at the grassroots level Resources Council adopted the National Water Policy, for years. The Govt. is trying to commercialise water.‖ He 2002, which is a modified version of the policy of 1987. said that instead of promoting water harvesting techniques, The revised policy was stuck for the last two years because the new policy has completely ignored it. People from 17 several states had mainly opposed two issues related to the states gathered to express their views. Well known author policy: the clause on setting up inter-state river basins, and and senior activist Anupam Mishra said ―Earlier people on drawing up the national policy guidelines for water used to take care of their needs through traditional allocations among the states. Suggestions made by several structures. Now they are dependent on the govt. for States in the meeting were incorporated in the policy, drinking water and we can see the result. Reviving the which is a guideline for planned development and structures and giving technology a cultural dimension can management of water resources at the national level. The help solve our water problem.‖ meeting cleared the river basin clause after toning down the

    Alternative NWP People‘s Science Institute has formulated Centre‘s role in the matter. But the issue of water allocation

    an alternative water policy at a meeting at Dehra Dun on among states could not be finalised. States will now have to

    Jan. 30-31 and plans to advocate that the same be adopted. formulate their own State Water Policy backed by an

    It also plans to take it across Himalayan communities as operational Action Plan within two Years. The State Policy

    Himalayas is at the focus of this policy. The policy will have to take into account community participation and

    demands that the ownership of water should be with the evolve its own detailed resettlement and rehabilitation

    people. The policy demands that small projects should be policies for people displaced by the dams.

    taken up for WRD and power generation. ? Punjab Chief Minister opposed the revised policy

    ? Jal Biradari, at a meeting in Himmatsar in Bikaner on saying ―it did not take into account the riparian principles

    Jan. 26 and at a convention in Delhi on March 5-6 has for allocation of water to the basin states‖. (NWP2002, THE adopted an alternative water policy, which stresses on HINDUSTAN TIMES, THE HINDU 020402) community ownership of water and denounces any move

    Jal Biradari opposes the NWP2002 The Jal Biradari has to commercialise, centralize and nationalize water opposed the NWP2002. It has called for a countrywide resources and its development and management. The movement to oppose privatisation and encourage meeting in Delhi strongly criticized the NWP draft. The community control. The NWP2002 does not fulfil the meeting said that in stead of National perspective, WRD people‘s expectations. The policy emphasises on private should be carried out keeping in mind the local peoples control by declaring water as an asset questioning the priorities. About allocation priorities, the alternative draft fundamental rights of the people. Supply of safe and called for a distinction to be made between drinking water adequate drinking water is the prime responsibility of the and domestic water use. Also, among crops, foodgrains Govt. This anti-people policy has been declared despite the should get priority and among the industries, non polluting fact that an alternative water policy document was debated and environment conscious industries should get priority. and prepared by large number of NGOs and was circulated Rejecting the notion of inter-basin transfer of water as in to all the MPs, leaders of all parties including regional NWP, the meeting said that first all local options must be parties, media and academia. This shows how successfully exhausted before tampering with river flows. On river the govt. has cheated and played with the future of basin organisations, the alternative draft has demanded that common public. It negates the people‘s ownership rather such organisations should be formed watershed upwards. strengthens the centralised control. It is also shocking to (RASHTRIYA SAHARA 020302, THE HINDU 040302, see that water allocation priorities do not specifically 080302, THE TIMES OF INDIA-D 070302, RASHTRIYA JAL mention about the protection of the interest of poor BIRADARI PR 080402, others)

     population, marginalized sections and marginalized areas

    New water conservation law in AP The AP Water, Land such as drought prone areas. It should have been clearly

    and Trees Act, 2002, claimed to be one of the most mentioned that drinking water for whom, gets priority.

    comprehensive pieces of legislation on water conservation Similarly, irrigation for which crop and region gets priority.

    and green cover, would come into effect from June 1. (THE

    HINDU 230402) Earlier a Jal Sammelan organised by Rashtriya Jal Biradari

    in New Delhi on March 5 & 6, demanded that let people

    take care of their water resources the way they have been

    for hundred years. Rajendra Singh of Tarun Bharat Sangh,

    discussing Draft National Water Policy, said, ―While the

    policy says water is a national asset, we feel it is

    community‘s property. The people have been using

    SANDRP MAY 2002 2


    PM'S SPEECH harvest rainwater in order to recharge groundwater AT THE FIFTH MEETING OF THE NATIONAL resources. WATER RESOURCES COUNCIL Let this meeting of the Council send out a powerful EXTRACTS message that "harnessing of every drop of rainwater" Lakhs of villages in our country have become water-scarce is a national priority. We should lay special emphasis or, worse still, no-source villages. Many towns and cities are on localized, decentralized harnessing of water facing acute shortage of drinking water and water for resources, which is most cost-effective and which also industrial use. Depletion of ground water resources, on lends itself to better community participation. which millions of rural families depend for their drinking water needs as well as irrigation, continues unabated. This Our catchword should be: "Catch the catchment". is made worse by the growing pollution and inefficient use Wherever necessary, our farmers and rural communities of surface water. Our culture and tradition enjoins should be encouraged to bund every field and bind every upon us to treat our rivers as sacred. Yet, over the past rivulet. This will prevent soil erosion and silting of the few decades, more rivers are getting more polluted at reservoirs. There is a suggestion that every village should more places than ever before. Scarcity of water is earmark five percent of its area for creation of community compounded by its unequal, irrational, and unjust water bodies, much like the community grazing grounds distribution in both rural and urban communities. that still exist in many villages. It is a powerful idea whose time has come. Therefore, the situation is forcing us to recognize water security as an overriding national objective both as an An issue that demands a critical look is the inefficient use inseparable aspect of food security but also in its own of water in our agriculture and industry. Technologies and independent right. While we prepare for the challenge methods are available today whereby the agriculture sector ahead, we should critically re-examine the administrative could cut its water needs by 10 50 %, industries by framework and the policies we have actually implemented 40-90% and cities by 30 35 % without any sacrifice of during the last 55 years for the water resources economic output or quality of life. development. Another aspect that I would like to emphasize is We are, therefore, left with no alternative but to think transparency in the implementation of water projects. radically, and come up with innovative and bold The government spends huge sums on these projects. responses to the enormous challenge that our nation However, the process of incurring expenditures, and its and our citizens are facing. What we need is an relationship to intended benefits is often opaque. The integrated, multi-disciplinary approach. An approach that supposed beneficiaries often do not have an opportunity to covers not only technological aspects but also social, know the details of expenditure on these projects, or to economic, legal, and environmental concerns. relate them to the benefits that are supposed to follow. Therefore, the National Water Policy should start a new In particular, right to drinking water should be culture of public monitoring of expenditure and outcomes accorded a priority over every other alternative use. of water projects. The policy should also recognize that the community The draft National Water Policy has rightly laid down the is the rightful custodian of water. Exclusive control by principle of "polluter pays" as the key to preventing the government machinery, and the resultant mindset pollution of water sources. While this is welcome, we among the people that water management is the exclusive should go a step further and make it clear that prevention responsibility of the government, cannot help us to make of pollution and wastage of water is a National priority.‖ the paradigm shift that to participative, essentially local (PIB PR April 01, 2002, emphasis supplied) management of water resources. Both the Centre and the State governments should, therefore, actively seek the COMMENT: What is noteworthy about the above involvement of the community at all levels from statements is that most of them are contradicting the decision-making to monitoring the implementation of contents of water policy that the meeting was to pass! decisions. While some have passed it off as another of the April Fool‘s day, we see a clear pattern in the dichotomy between Nowhere is community control more needed than in the what he says and what the water resources ministry does. augmentation, management, and equitable use of Now some may pass it off as another version of the famous groundwater resources. I would like the State mask, but isn‘t the issue too serious for that? Governments to actively encourage community action,

    wherever necessary with appropriate group incentives, to

    SANDRP MAY 2002 3


    cause of watershed approach, much of which is already

    diluted by its populist implementations. The NWP 2002 document could not come out as a pro-people, environment-sensitive, conservation oriented The limitations of water resources have to be viewed from tool assuring equity, justice and ecological sustenance the micro level and one has to live with the reality that vis-à-vis water resources development and management. water deficiency cannot be met with the application of

     technology that can flood a highland and convert the There is little rationality in the document with regard to deserts green. conservation of water, its protection from pollutants and violations, immediate linkages of the water resources with There may be a policy shift that all future growth in land, forest, flora, fauna, agriculture and ecology. Industry and Urban development and changes in cropping patterns must adhere to limitations set out by the water The document builds the context for a centralised resources. Emperor Akbar had created Fatepur Sikri as his management of water resources. It is explicit in the new capital that did not last, the newly built palaces and statements that water a natural resource can be ‗put to forts were not razed by natural disasters or by enemy beneficial use‘ as ‗one and indivisible‘ and that ‗rivers and attacks, they simply had to be abandoned as there was not aquifers cut across state boundaries‘. This attitude may also enough water around the place. be latent in all other macro management proposals of that envisage inter basin transfer and regulation of inter-state Dilip Fouzdar (C-489, Sarita Vihar, NEW DELHI-110044,

    (Comment prepared for the Update) rivers (articles 3.2, 3.4, 4.2 & 21.1).

    SOME EXPERT VOICES ON NWP2002 Most of the document is devoted to the engineering of water. Here engineering should mean harnessing, controls It is a victory for the IMF, the World Bank and the and manipulation. In fact the three factors mentioned can multinational corporations, which want to trade on water. also be attributed to the root cause of major water crisis in Rajendra Singh, Tarun Bharat Sangh (THE HINDU 090402) the country. The constructive ingredients one may like to call them dams or irrigation systems have emerged as the Even after years of colossal financial failures of centralized core theme. The attitude of the NWP-2002 in this respect water management, our policy makers seem to find it is no different from the one formulated in 1987. extremely difficult to accept that decentralised water management systems must be an inalienable part of a Inter basin transfer presupposes that one water basin has national water policy… But then what do you expect from surplus water resources to feed another water basin. This the in-the-box-thinking of our water establishment? often is built on assumptions rather than proven data on Particularly when the box has been sealed airtight for so specific cases and it (inter basin transfer) often emerges as long that that it gets no oxygen and certainly everything major source of exploitation. The so called water deficient inside is long dead and rotten. basin may also be a politically stronger area to demand Sunita Narain, Director, Centre for Science and Environment more than its natural share of water than the other that may (THE TIMES OF INDIA 0504002, BUSINESS STANDARD 160402) be politically mute, ignorant or short-sighted. Little is done to discourage farmers from growing water NWP2002 does not have corresponding supportive hungry crops like sugarcane in relatively arid areas of policies for the views contained in Article 15. There are Maharashtra. options to link the aspects of water availability with Edit (THE ECONOMIC TIMES 050402) agro-climatic regions. These are well recognised by further spelling out the limitations of certain perpetually The new policy was drafted in 1998 and the final document dry (arid and semi-arid) geographical regions making was to be the product of a detailed national consultative choices of cultivating water intensive crops or creating process. I was part of the consultation initiated by urban or industrial centres with water demand higher than CAPART... Others who were part of this National its natural share. Consultative Committee on Water included Anna Hazare,

     Achyut Das, Vandana Shiva and Rajendra Singh. Senior Watershed approach (Article 17.6) has been viewed as a officials of the Planning Commission and all Ministries comprehensive soil-conservation, catchment area concerned attended meetings of this Committee. It is a sad treatment, forest protection measure and not as a balanced commentary on the state of Indian democracy that not one micro-level water management module. To a greater of the final written recommendations made by this degree, by presenting watershed approach as an appendix Committee finds a place in the new water policy. to flood control measure the NWP-2002 has killed the Mihir Shah (THE HINDU 070602)

    SANDRP MAY 2002 4


    The World Bank‟s Water Resources Sector Strategy and and development opportunities for the people in On May 20, the World Bank held its Delhi Consultationdrought-prone and flood-affected areas. Any activity by the Delhi consultation on its proposed Water Resources Sector Bank that fails to correct this anomaly and instead puts Strategy. SANDRP was invited at the meeting and some of further resources into large projects would not be helpful the comments made by SANDRP at the meeting and in poverty alleviation in India. subsequently submitted to the Bank, specifically about the

    * Para 169: ―Efforts to promote reform, however, often India section in the WRSS are given below. The fact that

    had little result.‖ This last sentence of para 169 captures the the Bank expressed its inability to invite some of the most

    essence of World Bank experience in India. Eight years ago well known people‘s movements and organisations for the

    Orissa was a model state for the World Bank with India's consultation says a lot about the ―consultation‖.

    first state water resources consolidation and power sector

    Comments on “What the new Sector Strategy might restructuring projects being implemented there. Today mean in India in general and the state of Andhra these World Bank projects are so disastrous that the name Pradesh in particular” (pp.55-60) Orissa seems to have become unmentionable. Nowhere

     in the WRSS is OWRCP mentioned. While the Bank has by South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People accepted the major challenge is in attention to the (These comments form part of a forthcoming critique of the environment, managing scarce resources in an efficient and WRSS by SANDRP) accountable manner etc, there is little reflection of this in the Bank's activities in India. At the same time the WRSS The India section does not give an accurate account of the shows the Bank is ready to support yet more large projects. successes and failures of what the World Bank has been The case of hydropower development illustrates this. In doing, and is at present doing in India. Because it gives a this para the Bank says there is opportunity for false impression of the Bank's work in India, the contents development here, but it is well known that existing of the section and its conclusions are by necessity quite hydropower stations are not performing most efficiently, misleading. and there is huge scope in improving their performance

    and addressing the large unresolved social and * Para 167: While it is true that Water Resources

    environmental problems caused by these projects, many of Development has linkages with poverty levels, this does

    them supported by the Bank. Moreover, the Bank's bias for not mean that the large irrigation projects are best methods

    large projects and its equation that development means of reducing poverty. In fact, evidence shows that local

    large projects (one can see attempt to see this correlation in systems are far superior at reducing poverty: unlike large

    WRSS) is once again apparent. We do not find the Bank projects, local systems do not generate any poverty, and

    saying that there are many options for development for they have much lower social, environmental, economic and

    water resources and energy, and that least-cost and opportunity costs. 70% of the population is dependent on

    appropriate options should be adopted in a participatory agriculture, most of them on rainfed agriculture. Any water

    way. In the entire WRSS, there is little mention of local resources-related activity that helps the maximum number

    water options, groundwater recharging, demand side of the poorest of rural people would have the greatest

    management and watershed development as an option in impact on poverty and the cost of not doing local

    water resources development, nor is there mention of systems in terms of impact on poverty is much larger

    drought-prone areas and flood-affected regions, both of than cost of not doing large systems. Today, India,

    which are large in India. produces about 210 MT of foodgrains, but a very big

    proportion of poor people still do not have purchasing power to buy the food. Uneconomic and wasteful storage * Para 173: (Note the lack of any mention of Orissa, of over 60 MT of foodgrains at the same time leads Haryana or Tamil Nadu, where the Bank has implemented compelling loss-making and highly subsidised export of Water Resources Consolidation projects over the last 7-8 foodgrains. One activity that can surely change this picture years). The claim that in Andhra Pradesh, ―This ambitious is local water development and management systems. experiment has proved to be successful . . . water

     distribution and overall productivity improved . . .‖ are

    * Para 168: The World Bank became a key lender to Indian rather early and too self-congratulatory in the absence of water sector only after the early 1970s, leading to the credible figures. Other feedback on the Andhra Pradesh construction of many big dams, most of them experience raises questions about the sustainability of the unaccountable, uneconomic, destructive projects giving institutional reform, and whether there has been real unsustainable and inequitable benefits at best. Today, benefits from the program so far. about 80% of India's water resources budget goes for large

    * Para 174. The Bank forgot to mention here that it has a dams and the World Bank surely shares responsibility for

    these warped priorities, taking away the precious resources Haryana Water Resources Consolidation Project. If SANDRP MAY 2002 5


    Haryana farmers are so unhappy with their irrigation the proportion of people below the poverty line is more systems, does this not suggest that the Bank's Haryana than 40 %, the utilisation of the groundwater is at about WRCP has been largely a failure? 15.22 % and 35.99 %. As per World Bank standards, 525 M

    people in India are below the poverty line. NWP2002 has * Para 176: The mention of an ―integrated river basin

    not given adequate attention to the linkages between safe approach‖ as central in India's National Water Policy only (THE TIMES OF drinking water, sanitation and health. shows how shallow and superficial the Bank's standards are. INDIA-D 160402) It is well known to any objective observer that there is little

    SSP lobby decides nation‟s water resource secretary In a happening in terms of a river basin approach in India. The

    surprise U-turn and gross violation of the govt.‘s own same is true for most states and their water policies.

     policy on extension of service to officials, the Centre has * Para 179: The World Bank's hope of supporting private decided to grant a year‘s extended tenure to Union water hydropower in India, particularly when the most resources secretary B N Navlawala. In a neat maneuver, the well-known experience in this regard has been such a Centre has decided to continue Navlawala‘s appointment

    disaster (the Maheshwar HEP), shows the Bank is on contract basis by creating the post of adviser. And what essentially interested in imposing what it considers good in official circles is being described as unprecedented and for the private sector and neither consulting nor keeping extraordinary step, the adviser has been given full the interests of poor people in mind. additional charge of the secretary‘s post. According to highly placed sources, Navlawala‘s unusual continuation * Para 180: the discussion here only goes to show once has come about thanks to his Gujarat politicians led by again that the option of going in for local water systems in Chief Minister. Hailing from Gujarat, Navlawala has been Godavari basin or the drought-affected portions of pitching for the controversial SSP. Sources said he had Krishna basin does not even figure in World Bank thinking. even tried to schedule a meeting of the NCA on April 29 to If the large projects option is exhausted, immediate option decide raising SSP dam height to 100 m. (THE TIMES OF looked at by the Bank is long distance, inter-basin transfer INDIA 300402) of water. Moreover, there is no attempt to understand the experience of lift irrigation systems either. Nor is there any

     effort to get people's views on available options.

     At a well-attended meeting On Dams and Development in

    * Para 181: The Bank here does not even mention the North Bengal and North East on April 20-21 at Siliguri, a

    basin-wide approaches. Thus if Krishna basin is the issue, unanimous resolution was passed supporting the the people of the other states of the Krishna basin, namely implementation of the Report of the World Commission Karnataka and Maharashtra, need to be involved, and it on Dams. The two-day meeting was jointly organised by should be decided in a participatory way what kind of NESPON and SANDRP. The resolution also raised many development will thus come about when the river basin questions on the proposed Teesta Low Dams Stage III and approach is applied with the Dublin subsidiarity principle. IV to built on Teesta river near Siliguri and demanded that Nor is there any mention of the need to assess the until the questions raised are answered to the satisfaction appropriateness of existing cropping patterns. of all, particularly the local people, the projects should not

     go ahead. Organisations and individuals from W Bengal, * Para 182: It is questionable whether the Bank should be Bihar, Assam, Manipur, Nagaland and Maharashtra talking about the appropriate incentive system for political attended the meeting. leaders. Secondly, the strategy of picking up the lowest hanging fruit first may not apply in irrigation sector. The Chief Engineer of NHPC in-charge of these projects also jury is still out on whether the sequence of reforms selected attended the meeting and was unable to answer most of the by the Bank in AP is indeed the best available or even an questions raised at the meeting. Many questions were also effective option. raised about the Environment Impact Assessment being undertaken for NHPC by the North Bengal University. Access to clean water a basic human right According to an

    ICSSR-IDPAD research project on groundwater

    availability in India, the states having higher levels of

    groundwater development show lower level of poverty.

    Punjab, which is having only 6.16 % of its people under the poverty line, utilises 98.34 % of its groundwater resources.

    Similarly, in Haryana only 8.74 % of the people are below

    poverty line and it utilises about 75.61 % of its groundwater

    resources. On the other hand, in Orissa and Bihar where

    SANDRP MAY 2002 6


    deciding raising of Mullaiperiyar dam from 136 ft to 142 ft. (THE HINDU 090402) Can Bhakra dam please give some drinking water to nearby villages? Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister has demanded Panel on Tehri rehabilitation The Uttaranchal Chief

    water for drinking and irrigation needs of nearby villages Minister has asked the Centre to release a special financial from various completed dams such as Bhakra, Pong and package of Rs 400 M for the rehabilitation of the people the Beas - Sutlej link. displaced by the controversial 1000 MW Tehri-I HEP. He (TRIBUNE 020402) has also constituted a high-powered Coordination Opposition to Pagladia dam The people of Bodoland have Committee headed by the Irrigation Minister, to expedite formed a committee to unite against construction of the the rehabilitation. He has asked the committee to ensure Multi-purpose Pagaldia Project on the Pagladia river, safety of the life and property of all those who will be Bodoland MP S K Bwiswmuthiary said. The 23-km-long affected by the increase in the reservoir waters during the and 26.20-m-high MPBP has already started bringing coming monsoons. The problems of the PAFs, including 5 misery to the people of the region. Thousands of people 000 persons (1 100 families) still staying in Tehri town from 33 adjoining villages will be uprooted from their should be sorted out amicably and they be shifted to ancestral homes. Ironically, the MPBP will provide benefits suitable places immediately. The new congress govt. has to only 37 villages in the southern part of the NH 31. The expressed dissatisfaction with the rehabilitation plans and ‗Pagladia Bandh Prakalpar Khatigrasta Alekar Sangram wants to have a new package. (THE HINDU 120302, 080402 Sammittee‘ has submitted an alternative proposal to the & INDIAN EXPRESS 110402) Planning Commission. A memorandum has also been ? Safety of Tehri Dam still an open question The Tehri submitted to Prime Minister and Water Resources Minister Project has been challenged on geological, seismological, requesting them to scrap this "inhuman and hostile" dam technical, economic, environment and social grounds. project. (SENTINEL 080402) Critics say, "The project is being implemented for providing water and power to Delhi and other areas. The KANHAR DAM: Saga of Injustice Resumption of work on development of the local population is not in the mind of 40 m high dam on river Kanhar, a tributary of river Son, the planners and govt." (DAILY EXCELSIOR 070402) has provoked opposition from the local people for numerous social, environmental and economic reasons. R & R in UKP is not complete The ongoing Upper Krishna After completion it will submerge an area of 3000 Ha. It is Project involves submergence of 201 villages, including expected to irrigate 25 772 Ha of land in district Sonbhadra part of Bagalkot town. According to the commissioner and 8 000 Ha in adjoining districts of Jharkhand and Rehabilitation and Land Acquisition all the 41 villages near Madhya Pradesh. The dam is evicting more than 7 500 Narayanapur dam and 65 in Almatti had been shifted. families from 25 villages from their ancestral land and Another 35 villages would be shifted this year and the homes to make way for a reservoir with a storage capacity remaining as and when required. The R&R work of phase of 0.262 M acre-feet. The project got approval in Sept. II of UKP first stage had come in for severe criticism by 1976 from CWC with an initial cost of Rs 277.5 M. It was the WB in the early 90s. The WB, which approved a loan technically approved in 1979 with a revised estimate of Rs. component for the programme in 1989, had stopped it 558 M. Inter-state dispute between M.P, Bihar and U.P on midway. The WB funding concluded in 1997. (THE TIMES submergence land was overlooked by CWC, finally OF INDIA-Bangalore 250402) sanctioning a revised estimated cost of Rs 694.7 M. Dept. of Environment of all three states were ignored completely Koyna dam: drinking water first priority The Maharashtra

    and also no proper survey was made which concealed and Energy Minister said that the first priority in utilising water overlooked the real picture of the miserable and pathetic from the Koyna dam would be to meet drinking water condition of tribals. The project is depriving basic rights of needs in the Satara and Sangli regions. Only then will the affected villagers and tribals. Preliminary figures estimate remaining water be used for irrigation, while ensuring that 900,000 trees, 2500 kuccha and 200 pucca houses, 500 the Koyna hydro project is not adversely affected. wells and about 30 govt. schools along with some other (BUSINESS STANDARD 12/03/02) buildings shall be doomed under water. People have

    demanded Resettlement policies on the lines of R&R in Sardar Sarovar Project. (From- Bhumi Haqdari Morcha IPT demands Halt to the Maan Dam construction A three Sonbhadra, UP, April 2002) member tribunal consisting of former judge of Bombay High Court G G Loney, Human Rights advocate Vinod Fear of seismic impacts of Mullaiperiyar Kerala govt. has Shetty and Delhi University Sociologist Dr Nandini Sundar; urged the Supreme Court that a detailed study should be was appointed by the Indian People‘s Tribunal on conducted by credible team on the seismic impacts before Environment and Human Rights to investigate the SANDRP MAY 2002 7


    situation of the people affected due to the Maan irrigation oustees. It may be noted that although submergence and project, in view of the impending submergence in June filling of the reservoir is only two months away, even 2002. The Maan dam is located at Jeerabad, in Dhar district rehabilitation sites for the majority of the affected people in MP on the river Maan (a tributary of the Narmada River). are yet to be developed. The affected people insisted that The maximum height of the dam is 52.4 M and according the govt. must immediately take cognizance of these issues to official estimates, it will submerge 17 villages. According and include all people who are adults at the time of to the govt. gazette notification of 29 December 2001, submergence on 30 June 2002, as was done in the Bargi submergence will be complete by June 2002. A public (NBA PR 160402) dam. th hearing was held at village Khedi Balwari on 17 March,

    which was attended by about 600 people from all the

    affected villages. According to the findings the situation in the villages is in urgent need of redressal. The families of 17 As we edit this issue, the indefinite fast by four activists villages are under immediate threat of losing their thhave entered 27 day, demanding just R&R of the Maan livelihood unless alternative land for cultivation and affected people as per Madhya Pradesh R&R policy. It is housing plots are urgently provided before submergence. ironic that Maan is one of the smallest of large dams being Submergence should be postponed till the oustees are built in Narmada Valley and agitation is not against the properly resettled and rehabilitated. We find it shocking project, but for rehabilitation of some 5000 tribal people, that the resettlement of oustees is not an integral part of the and yet the state govt. is unable to achieve satisfactory R&R construction of the dam and that even after 17 years of and people have had to resort to such extreme measures. construction; their situation has been ignored. We also find That too in a state where Digvijay Singh is Chief Minister, that the concerned govt. officers are not addressing the proving more and more to be good CM only on paper as genuine grievances of the people. We call upon the Govt. Arundhati Roy noted in her reply to the CM. of MP to take immediate cognizance of the genuine grievances of the affected families in all the 17 villages and Financial Mismanagement in Sardar Sarovar According to adhere to the Rehabilitation policy of the MP govt. for the a report of Comptroller and Auditor General of India, the oustees of Narmada projects. Since it is not possible for the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd. had incurred Govt. to immediately complete the R&R before the expenditure of Rs 109.786 B as of March 31, 2001, out of monsoon of 2002, the dam construction should be halted which, Rs 24.14 B, or 22 %, was towards interest charges urgently until such time as R&R is complete. (NBA PR and servicing debt liability. The CAG report said: "the SSP 18/03/02, THE HINDU 26/03/02) was approved without outlining the sources of raising of ? Maan Affected Demand Just Resettlement The MP funds and cost element towards borrowings. The company Govt. has declared Rs 120 M new financial package for borrowed in an ad-hoc manner and cash flow was not Maan Dam oustees. The oustees marched in Dhar worked out accurately... There was no rationale for demanding agricultural land rather than cash compensation forming a separate company to execute the project." Due for rehabilitation and said that the package is inadequate. to huge outstanding of Rs 5.0237 B as on March 31, 2001, They demanded that the oustees must be rehabilitated as a from all the beneficiary states, SSNNL had to resort to community on large chunks of fertile and irrigated borrowings from other sources at 12 - 18 % interest. This agricultural land and provided with all community facilities. has resulted in an avoidable loss of interest of Rs 12.098 B The rehabilitation policy for the oustees of the Narmada as of FY01 end. There remained an aggregate amount of Rs Projects that apply to the people affected by the Maan 13.813 B as of FY01 end with Gujarat Govt. Though this Project stipulates that the oustee must regain if not money was earmarked for SSNNL, the state govt. did not improve on his/her standard of living in the new site. permit SSNNL to use it. So, SSNNL had to borrow funds Section 3.2 of the policy states that all those losing more to the extent of balance in PLA and had to pay a huge than 25 % of their lands will be entitled to a minimum of 2 interest of Rs 2.208 B from 1988-89 to 2000-01. Due to Ha of agricultural land and that the responsibility of non-reservation of right to redeem the bonds through a call providing irrigation belongs to the state. This will have to option, SSNNL would suffer an avoidable loss of Rs be read along with section 5.4 of the Rehabilitation policy 30.335 B by way of interest on redemption of these bonds that a grant will be given to meet the difference between on their maturity. Against the anticipated revenue from sale the compensation amount and the amount required for the of water and power of Rs 220 M per annum from 1995-96, purchase of equal land in a new place, and that for no revenue was generated till date. (THE TIMES OF members of Scheduled Castes and Tribes, this grant will INDIA-A 070402) equal the full difference. Section 10.1 states those rehabilitation sites with minimum facilities of electricity, SSP affected on Dharna in Bhopal The people affected by drinking water, school, etc. would be provided to the Sardar Sarovar Project sat on a dharna at the NVDA SANDRP MAY 2002 8


    headquarter in Bhopal. NBA issued an ultimatum to the the decision at least twice before finally giving a clearance NVDA authorities saying that they should call for all just in time to save Rs 4.6 B allocated to the project from records. They alleged that the MP government had getting lapsed. The project is to cost Rs 43.55 B and produced fake records to push the SSP dam height from 90 expected to be completed by May 2005. m to 95 m before the monsoon. NBA called off dharna

    after meeting with Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh and receiving an assurance that the demand would be taken up Ministry Of Power‟s Façade of R&R „Consultation‟ On for consideration by the Cabinet sub-committee. The NBA May 14, 2002, Ministry of Power called a meeting on R&R alleged massive irregularities in the rehabilitation of in power sector that looked more like a meeting of villagers from the areas that would get submerged by SSP rehabilitation of power sector mandarins. SANDRP was at the height of 90 m. The NBA wants that a task force on invited for the meeting, but had to walk out from the the lines of Maharashtra should be formed and entrusted meeting. The following letter to the Union Power Minister with the job of checking the actual status of the written the next day and the attached note that was given rehabilitation in the villages. (THE HINDU-D 230402, to Power Ministry officials are self explanatory. Protests 290402, THE TRIBUNE 230402) letters are understood to have been written by a number other organisations including Narmada Bachao Andolan, SSP Costs The cost estimate of SSP stood at Rs 260 B two Manthan Adhyayan Kendra and Matu. years ago, of which Rs 120.98 B has been spent till Dec. 01. It has been the practice at SSNNL for some time now to To: Shri Suresh Prabhu utilise the market borrowings for capital cost as a good Union Minister for Power portion of the budget allocation goes towards repaying the market borrowings. Average annual budgetary allocation Dear Sir, for SSNNL is around Rs 9 B. The latest private placement

    This is to explain to you the circumstances under which I (with public sector banks, insurance companies, state coop

    walked out of the one meeting on ―R & R in Power banks and PSUs) has been underway and has so far

    Projects‖ in protest yesterday at the end of Technical collected Rs 3.5 B. (BUSINESS LINE 170402) Session One. I had informed Joint Secy Mr. Anil Razdan

    that I am walking out in protest and had requested him to

    circulate the attached note to the participants of the meeting including you. I am attaching that note with this The Supreme Court of India has issued notices to affected letter in case he has not given you a copy so far. states, Narmada Control Authority and the Union Govt. to explain what steps they have taken to rehabilitate as per I had rather reluctantly agreed to come for the meeting. NWDT award and Supreme Court orders the people to be The reluctance was due to the fact that none of the affected in SSP submergence area due to raising of height important people or organisations that have been doing of the dam from 90 m to 95 m. This was in response to a some real work with and for the affected people since fresh petition filed in NBA. The bench hearing the petition many years had not received invitation for the meeting till has referred the case to another vacation bench as the first th13 May 02 morning, till when I was in touch with them. I two judge bench could not arrive at common perception of have mentioned some of the names in the first point of the the situation. attached note. I myself received the invitation very

    th belatedly, only on the 10 May, without any agenda, Displaced Tribals get no benefits from Tawa Tawa dam schedule, names of speakers or any material that would built on Narmada river in Hoshangabad district in MP has reflect the state of thinking in the ministry on the subject. displaced tribals from 44 villages but no benefit of the After receiving opinions of a number of colleagues and project has gone to them. Many of them stay within 1-6 km most importantly, thinking that may be the meeting would of the Tawa Canals. Tribals have now demanded benefits lead to some progress for the people affected by large dams, from the scheme and said they would agitate if this does some of the most condemned people of the country, I not happen. (Sarvodaya Press Service 010302) decided to go for the meeting. I also thought that may be the ministry should be given a benefit of doubt and may be NSP gets Cabinet nod The cabinet on March 19 accorded they had invited some affected people or their clearance to the controversial Indira Sagar power project in organisations that I have not contacted or I do not know of. MP after almost two years of construction having started. How wrong that thinking was! The project was earlier referred to CCEA, which twice refused to take a decision and wanted the matter to be On seeing you, minister of state for power, power secretary, taken up by the full cabinet. Even the full cabinet deferred CEA chairman and joint secy on the pedestal in the first SANDRP MAY 2002 9


    session, on hearing these dignitaries, one was starkly published, Ashish Kothary of Kalpavriksha, Girish Sant of disappointed. On seeing CMD NHPC, CMD THDC, Prayas, Vimal Bhai involved with Tehri issues, Prashant principle secretary MP and senior Sardar Sarovar official Bhushan, a Senior Supreme Court advocate, Ravi Hemadri from Gujarat as scheduled speakers in the first technical working with Bisalpur affected people in Rajsathan, to session on R&R for hydro projects chaired by CEA name just a few of the important, well known people and chairman (only other sessions in the meeting were for organisations involved in these issues for a long time and thermal and transmission projects), I started wondering if I known to power ministry through our earlier have come to the right place or was the meeting about correspondence) and I was shocked to learn that possibly R&R of CMDs and power ministry mandarins? Not one none of them were invited. affected person, not one affected people‘s organisations

    The amiability thus was quickly replaced by suspicion as to and not one non governmental organisation or person

    what can be the purpose of a meeting where the most among scores of people working on these issues for

    important groups were missing. The first point I would decades, surely known to you and your ministry (if not

    like to make is that no such consultation can be otherwise known, at least through our correspondence a

    worthwhile if the affected people and the groups few weeks earlier) and you have not bothered to assure

    working with them are not part of the process. participation of any of these? About the content of what was spoken at the meeting, less said the better. 2. The second aberration that caught my eye was that invitation came at such a short notice and without any This kind of meeting on R&R would be unacceptable to background note or papers. Now this is not even mildly any right thinking person. My continued participation may shocking because R&R is not a new subject we are provide some legitimacy to a meeting when none is due, I confronted with. And unless we take stock of what we have thought. I then informed Mr Razdan about this decision achieved over the years, and try and learn lessons from and walked away. there, there is little hope from such consultations. Indian

    experience in displacing and NOT resettling its people is In the twenty first century, when you all do not tire of

    possibly most notorious in the world. To date, though talking about participatory governance and sustainable

    Govt of India has yet to come up with any study or figures development, this kind of event is difficult to imagine. If

    of people displaced by large dams, here is what the you were really interested in doing something worthwhile

    Mid-Term Appraisal of India‘s Ninth Five Year Plan (Oct. on this issue, the attached note would provide some

    2000) said on the subject: directions, I hope.

    Thanking you for your attention and best wishes, "Systematic irrigation development and construction of big Himanshu Thakkar dams in the country have caused land to be submerged and led to large scale displacement of people from their original Brief Note on habitat. Almost half of the displaced persons are tribals Resettlement and Rehabilitation who have least resources, experience and temperament to in the context of Power Projects negotiate their lives after displacement. Due to the For a One Day Meeting in New Delhi on May 14, 2002 submergence the project affected persons (PAPs) face Called by Ministry of Power numerous problems… There are no reliable statistics with

    break-up of social and economic classification of the 1. Firstly, I must thank Union Power Minister for calling

    me for this meeting. This was a pleasant surprise, at first people displaced by each of large projects since glance, it seemed. Then I checked with the people and independence. Many researchers place their estimates at organisations working on these issues with affected people between 10 million and 25 million. The implementation of for very long time (e.g. Shri L C Jain, former member of R&R programmes for the Project Affected Families (PAF)

    has thrown up the following important issues, which need Planning Commission, Medha Patkar of Narmada Bachao

    Andolan, Chittarupa Palit and Alok Agarwal, also of NBA, consideration. working with Maheshwar and Mann affected people, i) Prior Consultation and information to Project

    Affected Persons Shripad Dharmadhikary a senior activist of NBA also

    involved in the process of World Commission on Dams, ii) Need for National Rehabilitation Policy which has come out with the most remarkable of report of iii) Provision for land from Command area to those who displacement and rehabilitation, Shekhar Singh of Indian bore land in the catchment area Institute of Public Administration, involved in these issues iv) Availability of basic infrastructural facilities like health,

    education etc at relocation sites. for years and also associated with Union Environment

    Ministry and Planning Commission for many years and v) Policies to take into account specific problems of most whose book on social impacts of large dams have just been vulnerable sections of the displaced including tribals." SANDRP MAY 2002 10

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