17 JANUARY 2019
Human Rights : Displacement
Turning a full circle

The situation that Maheshwar Project is in, brings sharply into focus the issue of accountability of those responsible for the decisions that impact millions of people, involve thousands of crores of rupees and vast natural resources. Shripad Dharmadhikary hopes that Maheshwar would also offer a chance to demonstrate how those liable for the mess can be held accountable.

Energy M.P. Human Rights

For Pakistani Hindus in India, hopes start to sour
Hundreds of Pakistani Hindus have taken refuge in India, seeking a better life, especially after the present ruling party had promised in its election manifesto to make India the ‘natural home’ for all persecuted Hindus. But has India kept its word? Devanik Saha meets the refugees to seek an answer.

CAG report on Odisha: Will legislators take note please?
As Parliament debates the amended land acquisition and mining laws, Himanshu Upadhyaya draws attention to the report of an audit of Odisha’s resettlement and rehabilitation policy that clearly highlights the threats to displaced communities.

Government Land Laws
Three villages that show why land acquisition needs a rethink
Three million forest dwellers in Odisha are estimated to have been displaced since independence by various industrial and hydro-projects, among which the Upper Indiravati Hydro Project is one. Abhijit Mohanty brings us the story of three tribal settlements uprooted by it.

Land Poverty Odisha
The invisible makers of the city
Homeless, vulnerable in equal measure to the vagaries of nature and human whims, and deprived of any form of social security, street dwellers often provide critical services, helping to sustain themselves and also the city. Pushpa Achanta meets some of them in Bengaluru and finds out more about their existence.

Livelihood Urban Poor Poverty
SEZ today, gone tomorrow!
In six states of India, close to 5500 hectares of land acquired for 52 SEZs were subsequently de-notified and diverted for commercial purposes! Himanshu Upadhyaya draws attention to this and other findings in the CAG audit of SEZ performance, which leave several questions unanswered.

Public Funds Government Land
What the new processes mean for the dispossessed
The recently promulgated ordinance amending the national law related to land acquisition dilutes several clauses of the earlier legislation that were meant to protect the rights of holders. Kanchi Kohli summarises the key changes brought in by the ordinance.

Government Land Laws
When one man stood up against a 35-storey giant
'Quarter Number 4/11' tells the story of a factory worker’s failed struggle to retain his home in the face of forced eviction by a high-profile real estate development in the heart of Kolkata. Shoma A Chatterji traces the narrative that is a stark commentary on development trends within the country.

Economy Society Films and Books Human Rights
Why the market fails to lure Mali Parbat’s militant environmentalists
The efforts of metals major Hindalco to mine bauxite from Mali Parbat in Odisha has run up against stiff resistance from local Kondh adivasis, who wouldn’t shy away from militancy to protect their ecology, if needed. Javed Iqbal explores why they reject ‘industrial development’.

Mining Land Adivasis Human Rights
When a tsunami is manufactured
In view of the alleged corruption in rehabilitation of dam-affected families, the Jabalpur HC has imposed a stay on the decision to raise the height of the Narmada dam further. Recalling the history of the project till date, Himanshu Upadhyaya asks why a higher dam should be considered at all.

Water Government GUJARAT Human Rights
Decoding the red alert on green NGOs
The accusations of the Intelligence Bureau against foreign environmental NGOs appear hollow and misguided when one looks at the direction and substance of their work in India so far. Darryl D’Monte urges the government to restrict itself to scrutiny of forex norms followed, without stifling the expression of dissent by these NGOs.

Energy Environment Opinions
Steeling into Rowghat’s future
Iron ore from the proposed Rowghat mines in Chhattisgarh is crucial for the sustenance of the Bhilai steel plants. This, however, not only poses a grave threat to the forest ecology of the area, but is also itself vulnerable. Kanchi Kohli details the complexities.

Mining Environment
One hand gives, the other takes away!
The new Land Acquisition law passed recently by the government had several promising provisions, most of which have unfortunately been nullified either by diluting conditions or other loopholes in the act. Shripad Dharmadhikary looks at all that has made this a lost opportunity.

Land Laws
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Amitabha Basu
  • Retired Scientist
  • India Together reader