#India- #Aadhaar Roundup: Ration Cards, Govt Salaries, Passport, Direct Cash Transfer & More #UID


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By  on Jan 11th, 2013  | medianama.com

 

Mandatory Aadhaar?

- Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) employees have not received their salary for the month of December 2012 due to lack of UID card. The salary was stopped as per instructions from municipal commissioner Sitaram Kunte and additional municipal commissioner Manisha Mhaiskar. BMC had asked their staffers to get the aadhar card back in 2011. However, BMC has now given them an extension of two months to get the UID card and have paid their salary for the month of December 2012. Read more.

- The revenue department experimented with mandating UID number or an enrollment slip for availing any of the 20 services offered by the revenue department. Read more.

- The Bombay High Court has suggested to the state government to consider linking ration cards with Aadhaar cards to tackle the menace of bogus and duplicate ration cards. Read more.

- The Ministry of External Affairs has advised all Passport Issuing Authorities to accept Aadhaar letter as Proof of Address and Photo identity. The ministry hopes this will makes passport documentation less cumbersome. Read more.

Reliability Issues

- Strangely, people are receiving Aadhaar cards for a second time, despite already having received them earlier: fourteen branch post offices in Garladinne mandal have received a bunch of Aadhaar cards second time. Read more.

- The exercise to collect Biometric details including photograph, fingerprints and iris scan  for the UID and National Population Register (NPR) began in Uttar Pradesh. Read more.

- Unique Identification Authority of India ( UIDAI)’s Aadhaar program will use Iris Scan along along with a finger print scan for authentication. There’s a risk of deterioration of beneficiaries’ fingerprint quality over the years, using iris scan and fingerprint scan will ensure accuracy. Read more.

Direct Cash Transfer

- About 2,000 beneficiaries were transferred an amount of Rs 35 lakh (Rs 3.5 million) on the Aadhaar platform on day 1 of implementing direct cash transfer. The program is aimed at covering 200,000 beneficiaries. Read more.

- CPI(M) has questioned the legality of the government’s cash transfer scheme, saying the law on which the program is based has not yet been passed by Parliament. Read more.

- Rural development minister Jairam Ramesh’s interview where he raises a question on why non-UPA and opposition-ruled states such as Bihar, West Bengal, UP, Odisha and Tamil Nadu, where poverty is very high, were excluded from the first phase of direct (cash) benefit transfer (DBT) scheme which was launched on January 1. Read more.

- Activists were skeptical of the government’s rush to link these cash transfers to Aadhar. They are of the opinion that linking of these schemes can cause huge disruption, not to speak of exclusion, of those who do not have Aadhaar numbers. Read more.

- The Government of India launched direct cash transfer in three districts of Rajasthan with the number of selected welfare schemes being scaled down from the original 26 to merely seven. Read more.

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- The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) will set a toll free helpline, which will be operational from January 13, 2012 to address queries on the Aadhaar scheme. The helpline will be linked to data centers the UIDAI’s data centres at Greater Noida and Bangalore.. Read more.

 

 

#India- The Dark Side of #UID : Why the west dumped #Biometrics #Aadhaar


 

SANDEEP KHURANA | 11/01/2013 , Moneylife.com

UK scrapped in 2010, its The Identity Cards Act, 2006, that was Aadhaar’s equivalent and aimed to capture 50 key data about each individual, including fingerprints, facial scan, iris scan and more. It did enough deliberations on the issue almost around same time as India. Reason for scrapping—“to reverse the substantial erosion of civil liberties”
Identities like Social Security Number (SSN), or National Insurance Number (NI) in the west, or Aadhaar now in India, promise to validate not just identity. Through identity as the master-key (index field in database technology), the respective security agencies can relate identity to past, present and future personal data. For example, PDS querying theAadhaar database for identifying a citizen then digs into its own database to validate, if the said recipient had availed the benefit before.
To access The Dark Side of UID-I, please click here
It is important to know that all such validation means and requires more data capture of all kinds for all seemingly legitimate purposes, so that such validations can be done against it. But each custodian of data—from front-end shopkeepers to ministries and more—also starts keeping copies of such data for validation, commercial use, corruption, stalking or just like that for the future. More data and more copies of data mean a death knell for privacy. Why create such targets of interest for vicious minds. Can the creator of such a Frankenstein monster absolve itself of such consequences merely because it was not the original intent but the creator failed to see the possibilities?

Both USA and UK had a huge hue and cry over possible ramifications of such invasion of privacy despite relatively mature, trusted, independent agencies, unlike India. Australia attempted national ID cards way back in 1985 but withdrew them in 1987 after severe opposition from all quarters.
UK scrapped in 2010,  The Identity Cards Act, 2006, that was Aadhaar’s equivalent and aimed to capture 50 key data about each individual, including fingerprints, facial scan,iris scan and more. It did enough deliberations on the issue almost around same time as India. Reason for scrapping—“to reverse the substantial erosion of civil liberties”. Opinion polls and public reaction were opposed by the majority. 500 hard disks were shredded to destroy all data captured as part of the brief period of restricted implementation of the scheme. As a British politician said, “This marks the final end of the identity card scheme:
dead, buried and crushed…What we are destroying today is the last elements of the national identity register, which was always the most objectionable part of the scheme.”

On a similar note, there is a public outcry in the USA, in the aftermath of the Petraeus scandal. NSA whistleblower William Binney in a TV interview, said on the surveillance by US government, “They are building social networks on who is communicating with whom… social network of every US citizen is being compiled… .they are taking from one company alone 300 million records a day (for storage)…over time accumulated to close to 20 trillion every year… the original program that we put together to handle this was to be able to identify terrorists.”  He also said that the original plan was to encrypt all mails and decrypt only those that met certain criteria of security risk. It is actually a lot easier and efficient for the intended purpose, but now it is much worse. (http://youtu.be/TuET0kpHoyM)
Every single tweet from twitter is archived in the US Library of Congress. Big data and the world’s best processors and servers run algorithms to not just identify terrorists but for all political purposes. It is at best a poorly kept secret.
There are eerie similarities between the ways the US government agencies track personal information, how it came into being quickly after 9/11 fears, how it was intended and where it is now at. The immense power the state gets through controlling such information is enough temptation for any ruler. We have seen through mass exposes on corruption in recent times that there is enough power-sharing between powerful elite of politicians. This includes the opposition, big businesses, bureaucrats and policing agencies. They buy out any resistance from any quarter.
The US attempt to have stronger identification systems (“Real ID” linking many IDs from driving license to SSN and more, in the aftermath of 9/11) was defeated as 25 of 50 statesopposed it. Some of the irrefutable objections were:

  • • “It went against Jeffersonian principles of individual liberty, free markets and limited government”.
  • • “There is no practical way to make national identity document fraud-proof”.  “Costs of identification—in dollars, lost privacy and lost liberty, are greater than security provided”

Electronic Healthcare Records (EHR) in the US too aimed to create unified personal database of health history. Despite obvious efficiencies, it is not finding favour with the masses.  The people do not trust corporate entities (who lobby with the government) withpersonal health histories.
Many argue that even without UID, it was not difficult for the state to ferret details of any individual. The whole point now is the ease, speed and volume of such actions. And the ease, speed and volume are not altered by increments but by order of magnitude. Getting the political dirty tricks department to scour files of activists opposed to government is so common today. Ramdev, Kejriwal, Anna, VK Singh, Vinod Rai, have all had possibly true, half-true and even false witch-hunts launched based on information dug up on them selectively and viciously. How can one trust such state with omnipotent powers of handling all personal data?

A lot has been said in the media criticizing the Aadhaar on multiple lines. I desist from repeating issues of risks with process, technology, costs, promised chimera of zero corruption in PDS and more (a complete and logical argument can be made on what to expect on the PDS front—and believe it or not, it makes no dent into corruption levels in PDS. Only form changes). It is not just the one-time costs either. It is a maintenance monster on the budget.
But I restrict and further extend arguments on privacy issues that are the most serious of the risks.

Aadhaar and its aftermath

 

Apart from the state using information selectively against political opponents whether to buy votes in parliament, silence political opponents or power-mongering over citizens, corporates and global MNCs also have sufficient interest in prizing information of citizens.
An insurance service provider would be keen to get all personal information and then base its decision on them. This can be done with, or without, revealing the source of such information. Illegal or unethical, motives for such actions would be created by Aadhaar. Motives established, such acts are only a matter of time.
Similarly, any marketer would love to obtain such information to do targeted marketing. Companies want it and when demand exists, through bribery or legal means, such information would be public. Attending one such govt-industry event where entrepreneurs showcased their proposed business models riding on UID data, was, to say the least, scary in terms of threats to personal data privacy. Even today, most civil/ criminal cases in courts are fought on evidence of illegally obtained telephone bills, call records and bank/credit card details. Tomorrow there will be more and easier availability of proofs and a larger grey market trading in private information would emerge.
Moneylife is conducting a seminar on “Why UID/Aadhaar is a medicine worse than disease”, with no cost to you, in Mumbai, on 12 January 2013. Register now! For details on registration and the event, please click here.
The corporate sector has vested interests, short-sighted though, in supporting UID for the moolah it generates through the projects. That some of these companies/ partners working on projects have CIA directors on board and gather crucial biometric data is already voiced as a risk in itself.
It is also argued with good reason that by having such a lucrative database, we are creating incentives for wrong interests—from hackers to enemy nations. Probability is low or high is a premature question and not of primary concern. But given the risks, it is enough to worry about.
The way ahead is to raise public awareness and stall this costly and dangerous experiment by over-riding the vested interests of a few. Step by step, adding data agency by agency, and integrating link by link we are headed towards an Orwellian state that wishes to control all aspects of our lives. The benefits of not having such controls over our lives far exceed the restriction on our freedom. The world has studied, debated and moved on from the idea of unified personal ID. Indians should not allow ourselves to be the guinea pigs of the world.
Moneylife recently published a 9-part series on how and why Aadhaar is a bane more than a benefitTo read the complete analysis, click here.

 

(Sandeep Khurana is an independent consultant and researcher. Views expressed are personal. He can be reached at his twitter Id @IQnEQ.)

 

Madras High Court terms TN relief for Dalits in Dharmapuri insufficient #Justice


Press Trust of India : Chennai, Fri Jan 11 2013,

The Madras High Court today said the Tamil Nadu government‘s proposal to provide relief of Rs 7.32 crore to 326 Dalit families of four villages in Dharmapuri district affected in the November 7 violence was “not at all sufficient.”

A group had on that day torched 285 huts in three Dalit colonies in Dharmapuri district after a man belonging to Vanniyar caste committed suicide, upset over his daughter marrying a Dalit boy.

A letter produced before the First Bench today showed the details of the proposal sent to state government for sanctioning the relief eligible as per the SC/ST Act for damages caused to household articles, and Rs 7,32,07,715 has been quantified in this regard.

The total amount of damages arrived at in all four Dalit colonies (Rs 3,61,01,435 at Natham, Rs 53,26,550, at Anna Nagar, Rs 2,98,67,230 at Kondampatty and Rs 18,92,500 at Chengalmedu) was Rs 7,32,07,715.

Counsel for the petitioner submitted that the government has not passed any order in this regard.

The bench, comprising acting Chief Justice Elipe Dharma Rao and Justice Aruna Jagadeesan, said, “.. in our view the amount which has been sanctioned is not at all sufficient taking into consideration, the mental agony and pain underwent by affected people of the area.”

“Further the matter of providing adequate relief is under consideraton with government from January 5. Hence, in order to meet the ends of justice, we direct the government to pass appropriate order, sanctioning the amount of Rs 7.32 crore within two weeks from today.”

The bench also directed the state government to appoint former Madurai District Collector U Sagayam to assist Dharmapuri District Collector in disbursing the amount to 326 families of Natham, Anna Nagar, Kondampatty and Chengalmedu in Dharmapuri district.

Advocate General submitted that the government has sanctioned Rs 1,63,00,000 for providing relief for affected people and the Chief Minister has also sanctioned Rs 50,000 to victims from Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.

The writ petitions were posted for February 4.

 

Give up Valentine’s Day celebrations, Asaram Bapu urges youth #WTFnews #1billionrising


Published: Thursday, Jan 10, 2013, 1
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Pune

Spiritual leader Asaram Bapu, who was recently in the eye of storm for his reported remarks on the Delhi gang-rape victim, said that the youth should celebrate parents’ day instead of Valentine’s Day on February 14. He was speaking at a satsang organised in Pandharpur on Wednesday. During his discourse, Asaram Bapu said, “The youths are adopting foreign culture which is dangerous for society.”

On the controversy revolving around his remarks on the Delhi gang-rape victim, Asaram said that the media has misinterpreted him. “The Delhi gang-rape incident was unfortunate. The victim’s family is not alone. The whole society is with them. Authorities should take more precautions to ensure that such incidents do not occur again,” he said.

Asaram on Monday had said that the 23-year-old gang-rape victim was equally responsible for the ghastly crime and said that she could have called her assailants ‘brothers’ and begged them to stop.

Asaram reached the village around 3.30 in a private helicopter. Later, he addressed around 10,000 disciples at his ashram. The Alandi police had provided security for the programe. Assistant police inspector Bapu Deshmukh said, “We had appointed extra policemen at the programme venue. We provided enough security to him,” he said.

Protest against spiritual guru
Socialist Yuvjan Sabha (SYS), on Wednesday, protested against the statements of Asaram Bapu and

Rashtriya Swamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat on the Delhi gang-rape incident.

SYS president Abhijit Vaidya said, “BJP once came out with India Shining slogan. Now leaders are saying such absurd things. How can they say such things when they have prominent leaders like Sushma Sawraj? If they feel that women should be confined to their homes, it should also be applicable to the female leaders of the party.”

Varsha Gupte, member of SYS, said, “People like Asaram and Bhagwat are sailing in the same boat. Instead of doing something to ensure strict action against the culprits, these people are misusing the freedom of speech.”

 

Dear Parents, Have you told your son about rape? #Vaw #Sex #love


January 11, 2013

Following the sensational GS Road molestation case in Assam last year, blogger Local Tea Party wrote a blog post about what to tell your son on rape. 

You do one thing. First you grow up. Because, if you grow up means, automatically your son will grow up. And when your son is growing up, give him a pack of condoms. Now don’t give that confused look and all. Seriously, give him a pack of condoms. Along with that, give him a lot of free advice. Don’t think that he won’t take it. Give it anyway, he will eventually take it.

Tell your son to go out with the girls. Tell him to give them hugs and high-fives and ask them to go out on day trips and have fun. Tell him that it is not important to get married before having sex and that if he feels like it, ask him to use that condom you just gave him. Tell him that the Health and Glow shop anyway has lots of varieties of them near the cash counter itself and that he need not be embarrassed to go buy them if he has to. No one will notice.

Tell him that he can talk about sex in your presence. And that you will not feel embarrassed about it.

Tell your son that it is okay to watch pornography. Don’t ask him to watch it when you are around and all, that will be indecent, but still tell him that there is nothing wrong in watching two adults in action.

Tell your son to read erotic fiction and have some fun. In fact, if possible, you only give a copy of the Kamasutra to him. He won’t understand any of it anyway, but still give it to him. Or try Harold Robbins.

Ask him to log on to Chatrooms and have sex chat with a random girl on the other end. It could be a guy pretending to be a girl, but still that and all doesn’t matter. Ask him to have it nevertheless.

Ask him to do sexting with this girlfriend, but tell him to do it discreetly. Tell him it is ok to have phone sex with her and that even if you overhear something from his room, tell him that you will pretend you have not heard anything. Promise him you won’t embarrass him.

Tell him to fall in love with a woman (or a man). Tell him to go head-over-heels (or something like that) about her. Tell him to admire her beauty. Actually, tell him to admire the beauty of all women. Tell him that they are single most source of joy on the planet and that without them the world is nothing. Tell him to make love to a woman in a manner that they will remember for the rest of their lives.

Tell him to relax and enjoy sex.

But before you do ANY of the above,

Tell him what they show on National Geographic Channel. Tell him that male animals don’t have sex without the permission of the female animal. Tell him that it is a shame to touch a woman without her permission. Tell him that it is a failure on your part and on the way you have brought him up. Tell him that it is a failure to his manhood.

Tell him that real life pornography requires her permission. Tell him that if a woman agrees, no amount of erotica can match a woman’s passion. But ask him to wait for the woman to agree first.

Tell him that a woman is a human being. Just like him. Not a piece of object. Tell him that while it is ok to admire her beauty, grabbing her body parts without her permission is worse than stealing food from rabies-ridden street dog. Tell him that just because he possesses a penis, it does not give him the right to mate with every vagina in the vicinity automatically.

Tell him that even broken hearts can be mended but he cannot break a woman’s dignity at any cost.

Tell him that raping is a sin for which man will have to pay a heavy price. A very heavy price.

Courtesy: The Local Tea Party

 

Arnab Goswami, cannot stand a ‘ NO”- Harassing, Stalking, Blackmailing- ANHAD #Timesnow #Shame


PUBLIC STATEMENT by  SHABNAM HASHMI, OF ANHAD

I was in Gujarat for over six months and returned to Delhi two weeks ago. While in Gujarat I was asked to appear on different television channels constantly. On one such talk show on Times Now I felt that I was especially being pushed into a corner and it was an absolutely unbalanced panel, I told the Times Now guest coordinator that I will not come on the channel any longer. It continued for about a week or so. Then a representative came from Mumbai and met me in Gujarat office and ensured that it will not happen in future and requested me to come for the Talk Shows.

I agreed and went again whenever I was called.
On December 28, 2012 I released a public statement in Delhi regarding the Gujarat Verdict 2012 and resigned from various UPA committees that I was part of. On the same day I was invited to Times Now and I found the same attitude of being highly aggressive towards me.

January 2, 2013 -I filed a police complaint against Mr Akbaruddin Owaisi in Parliament Street Police Station against the hate speech which he made in Andhra Pradesh. I was called on Times Now and met the same uncivilized and aggressive behavior.

On January 4, 2013 I put the status on my facebook ‘TIMES NOW- MY STATUS- NOT AVAILABLE-GOODBYE MR ARNAB GOSWAMI- SORRY FOR DENYING YOU THE PLEASURE OF BEING THE ‘CONSCIENCE KEEPER’.

All hell seems to have broken out since then. I have been receiving calls after calls from various Times Now reporters. They have barged into Anhad several times, threatening to do stories against Anhad and me.

Anhad has been running from 23, Canning Lane’s Garage for 5 years now. There have been over 30-40 press conferences big and small at Anhad itself attended by all media fraternity including reporters from Times Now. Times Now reporters have come and taken my interviews in this office tens of times, they have attended press conferences, sent their ob vans and pick up cars for Talk Show.

They have suddenly come up with the new evidence Now that Anhad runs from 23, Canning Lane, New Delhi which is Dr Syeda Hamid’s garage.

Despite being informed by my colleagues that the garage was provided to us free, they have asked me the same question four times-How much money you pay?

Anhad has been a space where scores of journalists and media friends have come and visited. We have always respected the media and continue to do so and Anhad has received tremendous support from the media fraternity across India and we greatly value and respect that.

Yes, Anhad runs out of 23, Canning lane, New Delhi-110001, Yes we have FCRA, we raise resources through funding agencies both foreign and Indian, from friends and corporates, Yes we have taken on fundamentalists of all hues.

This is the first time that we are faced with a situation where I personally in 32 years of my grass root activism and Anhad as an organisation in its 10 yrs of work feel being harassed, stalked, and blackmailed. 

Shabnam Hashmi
January 10, 2012

 

Does the death penalty afford meaningful redress in rape cases? #Vaw


Tackling rape requires change, not retribution. Why the death penalty doesn’t help rape victims.

BY AISHA GILL PUBLISHED 04 JANUARY 2013 ,http://www.newstatesman.com

Mukhtar Mai and her son. She has campaigned tirelessly for her rapists’ arrest.
Mukhtar Mai and her son in 2011. She has campaigned tirelessly for her rapists’ arrest. Photograph: Getty Images

Hundreds of women, young and old, continue to protest across India in silent marches, demanding justice for the 23-year-old who lost her life after being brutally assaulted and gang-raped in Delhi. Her brother has publicly called for the execution of those responsible, declaring “We want all the accused hanged, and we will fight for that, till the end.” Since the attack, hundreds of new articles have been written, both to heighten awareness about the pervasiveness of rape in India and to encourage legal reform to increase the number of prosecutions and convictions: many including government officials and victims are calling for the death penalty or chemical castration as punishment for sexual assault.

The collective outcry that this horrific case has provoked parallels that roused by a similar case in Pakistan: on 22 June 2002, Mukhtar Mai was gang-raped in her remote village by four men from a rival tribe. The involvement of the international media and human rights groups expedited the usually slow process of prosecution by encouraging the case to be tried through Pakistan’s anti-terrorism court: by 1 September, six men had been convicted and sentenced to death. In March 2005, before the sentence could be carried out, the Lahore High Court overturned the convictions of five of the men, and commuted the sixth’s sentence to life imprisonment, citing insufficient evidence and faulty investigation. In 2011, the Supreme Court (Special Shariat Branch) acquitted four of the men, also citing lack of evidence, despite the fact that many villagers had witnessed the assault.

Mukhtar has campaigned tirelessly for her rapists’ arrest. She continues to express anger towards her attackers and a desire for vengeance: “I could hire men to kill my attackers. How does one survive dishonour? How does one overcome despair? With anger, at first, with an instinct for revenge that resists the tempting solution of death, an instinct that allows one to recover, go forward, act.” Yet neither the death penalty nor chemical castration offers an answer to the problem of violence against women and girls. Indeed, in India these forms of retribution might well encourage perpetrators to silence victims and witnesses through murder or intimidation, worsening the situation for victims.

The nature of the penalties for rape and other forms of violence against women is not the core issue. The focus of debate should be on the fact that prosecution, let alone conviction, is rare and so penalties of any sort are rarely enforced. Many Indian women feel they have little or no recourse against violence and rape as legal action is not pursued in most cases. Indeed, marital rape could not be prosecuted at all in India until 2008 and even now many Indian states are still silent about the issue, showing that the sanctity of marriage is still prioritised over preventing violence against women. Thus, at the root of India’s inability to deal with violence against women is the fact that patriarchal values that subordinate women to men are endemic in every aspect of society.

The problem is compounded in rural areas; for instance, upper caste men regularly use the gang rape of Dalit women for political purposes, often with impunity. In the rare cases when perpetrators are convicted in India, victims must still face the enormous challenges of surviving in a patriarchal society where they are considered to have been dishonoured by the crimes committed against them. This dishonour has major implications for marriage and even casual contact with other members of Indian society. For this reason, most victims remain silent about sexual violence.

Feminist groups in India argue that about 96 per cent of female victims are sexually assaulted by people known to them. Seeking legal redress under these circumstances often means being shunned not only by one’s family but also the wider community. Moreover, when assailants are in a position of power, as in Mukhtar’s case, influence is often exerted to prevent the registration, let alone investigation, of complaints.

India is at a crucial point in developing effective responses to violence against women. Feminists have made numerous submissions to the Justice Verma Committee about the urgent need for change. The committee has urged the public in general and particularly eminent jurists, legal professionals, NGOs, women’s groups and civil society to share “their views, knowledge and experience suggesting possible amendments in the criminal and other relevant laws to provide for quicker investigation, prosecution and trial, as also enhanced punishment for criminals accused of committing sexual assault of an extreme nature against women.” Awareness-raising is a start, but it is not enough. If change is to be meaningful – for victims and for wider society – it must address both the spectrum of violence against women and girls and the need for coordinated educational and legal reforms backed by coherent policy.

There is cause for hope. Recently, Indian rapper Honey Singh’s misogynistic lyrics glorifying rape were challenged through public protests. However, as Mukhtar’s case shows, without strong international pressure and public outcry, justice often has little chance to prevail in patriarchal societies where violence against women and girls is common: when the pressure ceases, the situation reverts to the status quo. The solution is to ensure that both domestic and international pressure to address violence against women and girls is on-going. Only wide-ranging, meaningful change – in Pakistan, India, and beyond – will ensure that redress is available to all victims. However, to be truly effective redress must ensure that it is perpetrators, and not victims, who are shamed and punished by society.

We must look beyond the natural human desire for retributive justice if we are to seek comprehensive solutions that provide a true and lasting legacy of change, development and, ultimately, the eradication of gender-based violence.

Dr Aisha K Gill is a Reader in Criminology at University of Roehampton

 

Cancel bauxite mining leases in Vizag: House panel


HYDERABAD, January 9, 2013

Special Correspondent, The Hindu Jan 9,2013

‘MoUs signed with Emirate of Ras al Khaimah and Jindal South West Holdings not in interest of State’

The Petitions Committee of the Legislative Assembly has recommended scrapping of the memorandum of understanding entered into by the State government for bauxite mining in Visakhapatnam district with the Emirate of Ras al Khaimah (AnRAK) and Jindal South West Holdings Limited.

The committee headed by Deputy Speaker Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka held elaborate discussions on the lapses in the MoUs on Tuesday.

The members were unanimous in seeking cancellation of the MoUs claiming that they were not in the interest of the State and would immensely benefit the two firms.

MoUs signed by YSR

The then Congress government headed by late Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy had entered into the MoUs for establishment of value added alumina plant and an industry with an estimated Rs. 9,000 crore. Accordingly, 1,212 hectares of forestland, predominantly in the agency areas, was alienated for prospecting and mining.

Discussions held

The issue had come under scrutiny ever since Union Minister Kishore Chandra Deo addressed a letter to the Centre recommending cancellation of the MoUs as they would affect the interests of tribals. The committee held discussions on the issue in response to a petition filed by former legislator Ch. Ramesh through Telugu Desam MLA A. Revanth Reddy.

Speaking to media after the meeting, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) legislators — P. Keshav and R. Chandrasekhar Reddy — alleged that there were several shortcomings in the MoUs. “While the mining project will yield profits to the tune of Rs. 1,200 a tonne, the MoU stipulated that the APMDC would be paid Rs. 170 a tonne.

“Giving the volume of aluminium present, the agreement will translate into huge profits for the two companies,” Mr. Keshav said.

 

Asserting Freedom, Celebrating Resistance: New Year 2013 at Kudankulam #Videos


Anushka Meenakshi, a Chennai-based supporter and film-maker, has recorded 7 interviews with people who returned from Idinthakarai

 

Press Release Mumbai’s urban poor’s 10 Days long struggle ends with victory #Landscam


 

NEW PEOPLE’S COMMISSION ON LAND SCAM

ENQUIRY INTO SRA SCAMS DECLARED

Mumbai, 10th : Ghar Bachao ghar Banao Andolan withdraws its 10 days long agitation, after having received certain concrete decisions and directions for further process on the issues related to housing rights and land scam with corruption in Mumbai.

The State Government has agreed to enquiry by the Principal Secretary, Housing into SRA projects in 6 localities- Golibar, Ambedkar Nagar, Mulud, Ramnagar-Ghatkopar, Chandivali, Sion-koliwada and Indira-nagar Jogeshwari, defining the modus operandis involving all stakeholders and holding public hearings.

Today, hundreds of women and men from various slums reached Mantralaya. They insisted and made their way into Mantralaya, upto 6thfloor and at least 500 people filed their individual applications for Rajiv Awas.

The State has also taken and conveyed a firm decision to take RAY ahead and Mandala RAY project proposal to the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai.

The Municipal Corporation of Mumbai through the Commissioner, has agreed to provide all amenities in slums we have listed from eastern and western suburbs as per 5- A of Slum Act, a review for the same will be carried in next 7 days.

It’s promised by MCGM to look into the violations of law, if any in Sion Koliwada and Jeevannapar redevelopment projects as well as wherever public amenities are destroyed before people getting shifted out.

MCGM has promised to hold meeting of officials and consider our recommendations to hold public hearings at level of community / unit of 3000 families, during development planning process- Existing and Planned Land Use.

With all the issues responded to, the Andolan decided to step back and out of Azad Maidan but with a warning that if all decisions are implemented and promises not fulfilled, we will march straight to Mantralaya with intensified struggle.

10 days long battle converted Azad Maidan into a battleground, but with much creative activities beginning with prayer in the morning and spirited songs till late night. Young activists burnt candles at night and returned with mashaals to their homes, only to return back early in the morning. Food came from different communities in slums as well as from supporter organisations. This andolan paved a new way in the arena of people’s movements.

 

 

Medha Patkar, Jamil bhai, Madhuri Shivkar, Madhuri Variyath, Sumit Wajale, Santosh Thorat, Sandeep Yevale, Kishor Kardak, Girija Bahen,  Prabhakar Narkar, Shilpa Sabale, Kamlesh S S, Siraj, Umar bhai, 

Organised by : Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan, Janta Jagruti Manch, Shahar Vikas Manch, Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar Bachao Samiti, Nagari Niwara Haq Samiti, Waghini Sangathan, SRA Sangharsh Samiti, Bruhanmumbai Niwara Samanvaya Samiti

 

Affiliates of National Alliance of Peoples’ Movements

 

Contact: Madhuri Shivkar 09892143242 | Madhuri Wariyath 09820619174 | Sumit Wajale 09967875999 | Sandeep Yevale 09819307419

 

Previous Press Releases on this campaign :

Ghar Bachao Andolan Exposes Massive Land Scam and Corruption in Mumbai Slums, Sit in Continues in…

Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan Continues, Thousands Continue their Sit-in at Azad Maidan, Mumbai

Thousands of Mumbaikars March towards Mantralaya Claiming Dignity and Equal Rights to City

A Sea of people marched on Streets of Mumbai to reach Mantralaya

Thousands of Mumbai’s Urban Poor to begin new year with long march on foot to Mantrayala