Also, please understand that the Kudankulam struggle was going on for 20 years, however, the government agencies have used "similar divide and rule" tactics and diluted the movement. It picked up once again very strongly in the past couple of years due to the good leadership of Dr. Uday Kuamar who has given up everything for the sake of this movement and especially so after the Fukushima accident.
There is noise - as in we have - NAPM (National Alliance of People's Movements(i personally have) been to these villages many times in the past 2 and half years and we conducted many awareness campaigns including a cycle rally last year - in august 2011 that covered the surrounding 60 villages - under the aegis of Dr. Surendra Gadekar, gandhian, and anti nuclear scientist. As people from outside we formed a support group including many intellectuals. There is a great opposition from the local people here. However, due to the local politics and caste dynamics, the fisherfolk especially are vulnerable to take a strong stand.
The local MP - Botsa Jhansi is the wife of Botsa Satyanarayana - Congress Party Chief and State Minister. This gentleman promised the people that if his wife is elected from that constituency (in 2009) he will ensure that the project is cancelled. It was on this note that the people elected this lady. Post elections, Mr. Sattibabu as he is locally known now says, "its a central project, i can't do anything, i will ensure that you will get good Rehab package".
The NPCIL has already bribed a few local leaders like the Panchayat sarpanch who until recently was very strongly favouring the project. Thus Kovvada village was divided into two groups those who were under the influence of the sarpanch and agreed for the project and those who opposed the project. This sarpanch and his men tried to rough us up too sometimes.
Then there are MPTCs and MPPs who are people from a dominant BC community and who still are big landlords (some owning lands close to 4000 acres), and against whom the fisherfolk feel intimidated. However, now some of these leaders have jumped from Congress Party to the YSR CP, and are showing "interest" to oppose the project. The CPM ofcourse will be silent as their stand is to support Nuclear.
However, we have been trying to bring the people together to stand up for their rights. Only time will tell if we will be successful or not.
NAPM (AP Chapter)
1. To add another e.g., less violent than Sandy. In 1997 there was a fire in the gas generating centre in Melbourne. So for a fortnight or so there was no way of getting hot water from taps or showers. TV featured such "innovative ways" of taking shower as shivering in the rear courtyard from the wind while taking a shower under a leather "field shower" filled with warm water by using the electric kettle. In my workplace a colleague dropped in my office and asked me how I survived the cold shower, since I always wore heavier woollens than him. He looked rather deflated when I told him that I took a hot bath by filling a bucket with hot water from the electric kettle, reducing its temperature by adding cold water and using a small saucepan as a mug. However, I knew that he still believed that as a "black" man I also "knew" that I was inferior to whitemen, so he went red in the face with embarrassment if any other person spoke of blackmen in my presence!
2. One of the ways of unveiling a little bit of civilising layers from the mind and open even some chinks to look at "reality" in a new way is to attend a Working Conference, also known as Group Relations Conference. In USA these are offered by the various chapters of AKRI, in UK by the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations and the Grubb Institute, in Israel by OFEK, in Holland by Group Relations Netherlands, in Australia by Centre for Socio-Analysis and Group Relations Australia. In India I would vote for HIDF. It's next Group Relations Conference will be held from Januaru 4 to 9, 2013 and places are still open. HIDF has a website and one can also email to the director of that GRC at firstname.lastname@example.org for a brochure.
When Kudankulam folks are fighting for their livelihood and future generations, here is one person sarcastically termed that as mere noise. Gandhiji correctly identified these educated parasites as people with iron-like hearts. Priya, will you be satisfied if dozens of people are killed in Kovvada like in Sompeta or Kalinganagar or Nandigram?
I thank dte for giving a coverage of such classic case and inviting further response from readers. I also thank environmental lawyer Ritwik Dutta for a positive response.
The September 14, 2006 notification(Gazette of India REGD NO.DL-33004/99,page 69,section 6.4) clearly mentions,
'EVERY PERSON PRESENT AT THE VENUE SHALL BE GRANTED THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEEK INFORMATIONS OR CLARIFICATIONS ON THE PROJECT FROM THE APPLICANT'.
Surprisingly, GPCB, vide its September 2007 (after one year) circular restricts the persons residing out of study area form making "AN ORAL REPRESENTATION" (I HAVE NO IDEA WHETHER SUCH SEPARATE RULING IS ISSUED BY OTHER SPCB), but GPCB ALLOWS ALL (WHETHER PRESENT AT VENUE OR NOT)TO GIVE A WRITTEN LETTER IMMMATERIAL of WHETHER THEY RESIDE OUT OF STUDY AREA.
We fail to understand when GPCB accepts our written response and forwards it to proponent for a reply, HOW PROPONENT DICTATES HIS OWN RULING THAT 'WE ARE NOT ELIGIBLE'AND ON WHAT GROUND THEY DECIDE WHO IS NGO AND WHO IS NOT NGO,AND HOW GPCB ACCEPTED SUCH REPLY, INCORPORATED IN MINUITES OF MEETING AND UPLOADED ON GPCB WEB SITE? I STRONGLY FEEL AND APPEAL TO RESPECTIVE AUTHORUTY THAT SINCE ENVIRONMENT PUBLIC HEARING IS CHAIRED BY DISTRICT MEGISTRATE,AND RO GPCB PRESIDING OVER ON BEHALF OF MEMBER SECRETARY,IN ORDER TO GIVE A JUSTICE TO ALL SUCH PERSONS WHO PARTICIPATE IN ENVIRONMENT PUBLIC HEARINGS TO HELP GOVT.TO SUPPORT THE CONCEPT OF ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION, SHOULD VIEW TO THIS MATTER PERSONALLY AND SERIOUSLY AND SINCE IT IS VERY CLEAR THAT WE ARE ALSO EQUALLY ELIGIBLE, WHY MS-GPCB NEED MORE TIME TO REPLY TO MY LETTER DATED 25th AUGUST 2012 AND NOT PROCEEDING WITH ANY REQUIRED ACTION ON PROPONENT/QCI-NABET ACCCREDITED CONSULTANT FOR NOT HONOURING THE SET GUIDE LINES.
senior citizen, environmentalist.
Thank you for bringing to mind the whole superficial aspect of the so-called civilization aspects of modern society.
To me, the four sentences that summarize this write-up are: "There was no queue. There was no “discipline”. There was no “West”. There is no “West” without surplus—the genie that bankrolls the breathing space between mere survival and the life of consumer dignity."
Indeed, without all this excess, that many in Kolkata and many other cities in so called developing countries around the world are largely unfamiliar with, niceties aspect of civilization as the west seems to portray, may cease to exist.
Then why people are doing something about it. If it is a sacred grove, people from the area and environmentalist should be protesting it. I know people outside this area would not even be knowing about these kind of sacred groves in Haryana, although I am a landscape student searching for thesis topics like this in Haryana.
Debal is one of the most progressive humans I have ever met. This story only tells a tiny percentage of what he has achieved over the years. I feel very sad that with all the billions of dollars floating around this word, funding research into sustainable systems, Debal still has fight so hard to acquire even the most basic income to continue his work. The time will come, and soon I hope, that people will begin to truly realise the value of people like Debal in changing our agricultural systems into models that not only empower the majority but also protect and enhance the natural biodiversity of this planet.
I fully agree with the comments & suggestions submitted by Shikha. Basically the problem is lack of effective waste management by the State Government as well as public.Much better results can be achieved by educating the common man not to litter.The municipal authorities may be persuaded to keep the city clean from all types of clutter.Banning the use of plastic bags is a retrogressive step to cover up the deficiencies of the concerned state government machinery.We cannot stop the cultivation of Bananas to prevent the slipping accidents caused by Banana peel.The solution lies in concerted efforts by all concerned to wipe off the problem of all types of waste.
I belong to Etawah. When i come to know about this project i m too excited as if this going to be true and really its going to be so beneficial to the local people more than we are expecting...