Even as India’s General Elections 2019 are underway, by now the manifestos of most major parties[i] are out now. The latest one to come out was from AAP on April 25, 2019. Here we have tried to capture the key aspects of the manifestos of main political parties, particularly on aspects that we work on. While looking at the promises in the manifestos, we also look at the track record of the outgoing government, since that is the most relevant and current experience. We try and see how the parties try to come to grips with the massive water and environment crisis that India faces and how the poorest are the first and many times the only victims of the crisis. Continue reading “Election Manifestos of 2019: Which party shows faith in people, rights & democracy?”
Manipur DFO bans mining in Thoubal river Showing serious concerns to the degradation of the Thoubal River as well as its environment, a team of state police and Forest department officials led by District Forest Officer (DFO) RK Amarjit paid surprise visit at Moirang Purel and Itham area under Andro Assembly constituency where sand mining was underway at mass scale. During the inspection visit the govt official saw illegal excavation of soil from nearby hills of the area and dump it at Thoubal River for extraction of red sand.
As the mining of sand not only endangered the forest area of the surroundings but also degrades the condition of the Thoubal River, the DFO put immediate ban on the sand mining as well as excavation at hills of the surroundings. He also ordered ban on transportation of red sand in Thoubal and Kakching district. http://kanglaonline.com/2017/11/dfo-thoubal-swings-into-action-bans-sand-mining-at-thoubal-river/ (21 Nov. 2017)
What does it mean when landscapes, riverscapes, ways of life are altered forever? When a mighty, flowing river is plugged and made to stop, flow in tunnel and released as per our whims? For most of us, life and environment are so fundamentally modified that we would hardly question it. But as our worldview and our politics is set to dam some of the last free flowing rivers in the North East India into Hydro-Electricity Banks, what is at stake? Continue reading “India’s Free Flowing Frontier Part I: Dibang at Nizamghat”
Dams, Rivers & People News Update (22-31 May 2015)
MORE BAD NEWS FOR INDIAN FARMERS:
Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Earth Science
02-June-2015 15:20 IST
Dr Harsh Vardhan Says – “It’s not Just an Unusually Hot Summer, It is a Climate Change” Continue reading “Dams, Rivers & People News Bulletin: June 1, 2015”
“Right now, hydel is almost stalled”: Piyush Goyal (18 May 2015)
Union Power Minister makes some candid comments on Hydro: “Right now, hydel is almost stalled. We have Teesta stuck for various reasons. Subansiri, Maheshwar, Lower Subansiri, all of them have different challenges. Small hydros are facing challenges of transmission, they are facing challenges of local area problems. So, by and by, the hydro sector will need a more holistic thinking. The courts have also taken up certain matters, particularly in Uttarakhand, post the tragedy (of floods in 2013). There is the mission of Ganga to ensure that there is a reasonable flow—Aviral Ganga, which we are committed to. We are working on all of these plans… For example, Subansiri had an issue where the local population had concerns. We immediately got an eight-member very, very high-level expert committee, including Central Water Commission, Central Electricity Authority, and experts from Assam. They are all working together to see the environmental impact, structural impact, riparian state impact and riverbed impact.
10-11 FEBRUARY 2013, AGARTALA, TRIPURA
The participants of the Two Day “Indigenous Peoples Consultation on Dams and Natural Resources Protection in India’s North East”, held at Agartala from 10 till 11 February 2013, organized by the Borok Peoples Human Rights Organization, Committee on the Protection of Natural Resources in Manipur, North East Dialogue Forum, Citizens Concern for Dams and Development, Siang Peoples Forum, Mapithel Dam Affected Villagers Organization, Peoples Movement for Subansiri Valley, Civil Society Women’s Organization, All Loktak Lake Areas Fishermen Union, Affected Citizens of Teesta, Centre for Research and Advocacy, Save Sikkim, Initiative for Human Rights and Indigenous Peoples, Peoples’ Right to Information and Development Implementing Society of Mizoram, Federation of Khasi, Jaintia and Garo People, All Assam Students Union, Save Mon Federation, All Zeliangrong Students Union, Hmar Inpui United Committee on the Protection of Natural Resources, All Tribal Students Union Manipur, Manab Adhikar Sangram Samiti, Naga Women’s Union hereby:
Asserts that the land, forests, rivers and all natural resources in India’s North East belongs to the indigenous peoples of the region. Our land and all natural resources are inherent sources for our life, culture, identify, survival and future of our present and coming generations.
Further affirms that the indigenous peoples in the region have the right to self determination over our land, territory and resources possessing undeniable rights over its management and use.
Expresses our concern with the introduction of more than 200 mega dams and other unsustainable development policies and projects in the region without the free prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples in the region
Asserts that mega dam constructions already commissioned such as Loktak Project in Manipur, Dumbur Dam in Tripura has already led to widespread dispossession, loss of land, extinction of flora and fauna, demographic impacts on indigenous peoples in the region and other human rights violations.
Taking note of the ongoing and aggressive construction of mega dams such as 2700 MW Lower Siang HEP, 3000 MW Dibang HEP, 1750 MW Lower Demwe in Arunachal Pradesh, 1200 MW Teesta III HEP, 500 MW Teesta IV HEP, 97 MW Tashiding HEP, 280 MW Panang HEP etc in Sikkim, 1500 MW Tipaimukh HEP, 7.5 MW Mapithel Dam in Manipur, 2000 MW Lower Subansiri HEP, 600 MW Kameng HEP in Arunachal Pradesh which has already led to widespread dispossession, environment devastations, militarization, conflicts and human rights violations
Seriously concerned with the projection of mega dams in India’s NE as climate friendly and seeking carbon credits and profits by dam developers from CDM mechanisms of UNFCCC Concerned further with increasing corporatization of our land and resources and the aggressive efforts to explore and drill oil in the region by corporate bodies, such as oil exploration efforts by Jubilant Energy in Manipur, Gas exploration in Tripura by ONGC, to mine uranium in Meghalaya by UCIL, etc.
Concerned with the increasing militarization of indigenous peoples land while pursuing mega dams and other extractive industries and the complication of conflicts by the destructive development processes and subsequent human rights violations:
Concerned with the increasing involvement of international financial institutions, such as World Bank, Asian Development Bank, the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation etc in financing energy and water related projects and in deregulation of related policies to intensify corporatization of our land and resources Concerned with the Government of India’s non application of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2007 and the recommendations of other UN human Rights bodies, such as the UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples and UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in 2007 and September 2011 to respect indigenous peoples’ rights
Recall the obligations of all states to ensure participatory forms of development and to recognize indigenous peoples rights as reflected in the outcome of the UN Rio+20 conference, June 2012.
Calls upon the Government of India and corporate bodies:
• The Government of India and all corporate bodies should respect and recognize indigenous peoples’ rights over our land and resources in India’s North East and also to respect and recognize their self determined development processes in the region.
• Implement the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2007 and recommendations of all UN human rights bodies in all development processes affecting their land and resources. • Decommission Dumbur HEP project in Tripura and Loktak Multipurpose Hydroelectric Project in Manipur
• Revoke all MoUs, Environment Clearances for mega dams in the region, especially for 2700 MW Lower Siang HEP, 3000 MW Dibang HEP, 1750 MW Lower Demwe in Arunachal Pradesh, 1200 MW Teesta III HEP, 500 MW Teesta IV HEP, 97 MW Tashiding HEP, 280 MW Panang HEP etc in Sikkim, 1500 MW Tipaimukh HEP, 4000 MW Etalin HEP, 2000 MW Lower Subansiri HEP, 600 MW Kameng HEP etc, granted in the region despite peoples vehement objections and also without their consent.
• Conduct a full review of Mapithel Dam construction and other ongoing mega dams constructions for their compliance with social, environment and human rights norms and safeguards as laid down by the World Commission on Dams, UN Indigenous Peoples Declaration, other human rights treaties and as reflected in “The Future, We Want”, the outcome document of the Rio+20 in June 2012.
• Stop all false projection of Mega Dams as Climate Change friendly in NE India
• Oppose all bilateral or multilateral secretive agreements and negotiations among States on water and energy issues in India’s North East, especially between India and Bangladesh
• Stop all Uranium mining in Meghalaya, Oil exploration efforts in Manipur without the free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples.
• Ensure that all International Financial Institutions, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Japanese Bank for International Cooperation etc investing in India’s North East in water, energy, forestry sector etc should respect indigenous peoples’ rights as per the UN Indigenous Peoples Declaration.
• Repeal Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 and stop all militarization processes associated with development processes in India’s North East
• Protect the human rights of environmentalists, human rights defenders, dam activists campaigning for just and sustainable development in the region We committed to support and extend solidarity to all initiatives and efforts of the indigenous peoples of NE region to assert our right to self determination over our land, wetlands and rivers, forests and all resources and to define our development priorities based on our needs, wishes and aspirations.