Karnataka – What women want – Open letter to Congress #Vaw #Womenrights


Vaishalli Chandra , oneindia one news : Friday, May 10, 2013,

Bangalore, May 9: With Congress getting a clear lead in the recently held Karnataka Assembly Elections 2013, they are busy deciding who will be the next CM. There is one issue that takes centre stage for women – that of their safety. An open letter to Congress – on what women expect out of the government: To Congress, Congratulations on your win. I am sure, it will feel good that finally you have come to power in a state that was beginning to turn saffron. Now, let me not beat around the bush and put forth my wish list (actually it is more of a demand, but I will try a polite approach, for now). Under the last government, I did not feel safe

Wish #1: NO moral policing, no deadlines, whatsoever. Yes. The last government, tried it and see where it is now. Do not judge me by the way I dress, speak, company I keep, places I visit (pubs et al), time of the day (or night). Do not make it a basis to refuse to help me in distress. It is my right to freedom, provided by the Indian Constitution (Article 19 (1) (a) Right to freedom of speech and expression). It doesn’t help if you curb my movement either. Therefore, even before you think of coming with any brilliant ‘deadline for women’ ideas, I’d humbly request you to put them away. Actually, throw that thought out completely, burn it, if possible. Let’s understand that a deadline is NOT a solution you can provide to make me feel secure. (Remember, most stats point at violence at home – so) Try instead to 1. Light up – dark alleys and by-lanes. 2. Public transportation – provide better last mile connectivity. 3. Police patrolling – presence of the cops can keep trouble-makers at bay.

 

 

Wish #2: Gender Sensitisation Top cops in the past have pointed fingers at women, saying it is there fault crimes happen to them. Therefore, you really need to get the police task force ‘gender sensitised’. What would really make me feel secure and safe is that when I approach a cop on the road, he listens to me and acts on my complaint, instead of making me feel guilty of my choice of clothes, company I keep, location I choose or the time of the hour (repetition of wishlist #1). Moral policing by the police is NOT acceptable. Really. No-lip service, put a feedback mechanism in place, so when you do spend money and time into the sensitisation of the police force, you know that it was spent well. Encourage feedback from the people to access how well your policemen behave. When you get scathing feedback from us, work on it feedback. Don’t get angry and/or get preachy. Incentivise (monetarily) the good behaviour of the policemen. You will be surprised how far that can take you. Also, since I commute by the public transport that the government provides, I’d really appreciate if there is a helpline number in all the buses that: (a. functions; (b. functions even past 6pm (life goes on after sunset, you know).

Wish #3: Fix the ‘headlessness’ of the Karnataka State Commission for Women (KSCW): Your manifesto under the section Women Welfare, reads very vague. Here’s what it reads: ‘Undertake programmes in schools, colleges and industries for gender sensitisation and prevention of sexual harassment by involving NGO’s and voluntary organisations and giving them financial incentives.’ Without a preamble then. You do have an uphill task when it comes to providing a sense of security to the women in the state. Your immediate job responsibility should be to fill the vacant post of Karnataka Women’s Commission’s post, that has been vacant ever since C Manjula resigned to join politics early this year. A report in an English daily, pointed out that even the counselling sessions that are held every Tuesday and Friday have become less frequent. That is sad. The counselling sessions were helpful because the chairperson could give oral instruction to the police to help the women in distress. Once a chairperson is appointed, ensure that the KSCW’s website is re-vamped. Look at it yourself. You will not find anything of use to women in distress, apart from brochures that date back to 2012. Wake up it is Mid-2013. As a web-savvy woman I can tell you this, this website is offering me no help. It doesn’t even tell me what the KWC is all about. The ‘About’ page describes the commission in Kannada only, what about an urban population that cannot read Kannada? Is the Commission selective, in who it will help? Shouldn’t the website have information in Kannada and English. The team has a table with names and numbers. With C Manjula still listed as the chairperson of the commission. Think it is time to update that too.

Wish #4: Implement the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Law: This law is still in a nascent stage. It will be up to you to direct the concerned department to ensure it is followed. Maybe, a good starting point would be to ensure that all organisations have an in-house committee. Without these committees in place the law is of no use to women. Do, you think you will be able to get these in place along with your ‘gender sensitisation’ programs in schools, colleges and the workplace? Undersigned, A woman, who loves this city to bits.

Read more at: http://news.oneindia.in/feature/2013/wish-list-to-congress-from-a-city-woman-1212783.html?google_editors_picks=true

 

Rs 4,500 cr under Scheduled Castes Sub Plan (SCSP) plan alleged to be not used


 

The state government is accused of not fulfilling its commitments under the Scheduled Castes Sub Plan (SCSP). Chamar Mahan Sabha president Paramjit Singh Kainth on Thursday submitted a memorandum in this regard for the governor to deputy commissioner Arun Sekhri here. “Under the SCSP, post-matriculation scholarship was planned for students of the category but the government’s performance on this account was nil,” Kainth, later, told the media. 

The plan included awareness camps at villages to educate the Scheduled Caste women about livestock management, diseases, feeding, vaccination, and de-worming. None of these was done. There was also the unfulfilled promise of providing landless and marginal families with hand-driven chaff-cutters and giving pre-selection training to youth for enrolment in defence, paramilitary forces, and the police.

“Contrary to the plan, no computer training was given to poor boys and girls after Classes 10 and 12,” said Kainth. “No equipment and raw material were supplied to 24 training-cum-production centres of the welfare department.”

Computer training to educated unemployed Scheduled Caste youth was to happen at the Ambedkar institutes and Bhawans at district headquarters. It did not happen. Kainth accused the state government of failing to spend the entire money allocated to the SCSP in the 11th Plan (2007-2012).

“Out of the total allocation of Rs. 11,573.83 crore, the government had spent only Rs. 7,085.34 crore,” said Kainth. “The unutilised money amounts to Rs. 4488.49 crore. Even the amount shown as utilised has been diverted to building roads, over-bridges and projects for general category.”

Rs 1 crore allocated for coaching to the SC students for competitive examinations, and more money that was to be given to unemployed SC youth for professional airhostess, travel and hospitality management, hotel operation, and vocational training courses was also unspent, Kainth has said, quoting from official figures of the directorate of the SCSP.

On Friday, the Chamar Mahan Sabha will submit a memorandum to the administration in Jalandhar, demanding an inquiry by the comptroller and auditor general (CAG), or if there is a fraud involved, the central bureau of investigation (CBI).

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Punjab/Patiala/R-4-500-cr-under-SC-plan-alleged-to-be-not-used/SP-Article1-1057602.aspx

 

 

#India – Unhealthy Health Governance


EPW Vol – XLVIII No. 20, May 18, 2013 | Ravi Duggal
Global Health Governance by Jeremy Youde (Cambridge, UK: Polity Press), 2012; pp 176, $26.95 (paperback).

Ravi Duggal (rduggal57@gmail.com) is an independent health researcher and is associated with the International Budget Partnership and the People’s Health Movement.

Good governance has in recent times emerged as the new mantra to address the failures of public systems. Especially so, in the arena of public health where there is a clear divide between the front line providers of healthcare who face the public and the bureaucracy that makes the decisions. There is growing literature both at the country level1and globally2 on the criticality of governance in delivering efficient and good quality services. Jeremy Youde’s book is an addition to this literature focusing on global governance in health.

Global Issues

Governance implies the exercise of political and administrative authority and within countries this is derived from the sovereignty of the nation state. At the global level such sovereignty is absent and this poses a major challenge to address inter-country or global issues. In the health arena there are numerous global challenges and the difficulties in meeting them hinge on governance failure.

In a recent article in the New England Journal of MedicineFrenk and Moon have identified three global health challenges that are difficult to realise because of governance failure – the unfinished agenda of infections, undernutrition and reproductive health problems; rising global burden of non-communicable diseases and associated risk factors like smoking and obesity; and the challenges arising out of globalisation itself such as health effects of climate change and trade policies.3 Youde’s book deals precisely with these issues and how global mechanisms for dealing with this have been coping.

An Overview

Global Health Governance by Youde begins with an overview of the historical evolution of international health governance efforts and then moves to discuss how some of the key actors like the World Health Organisation (WHO), World Bank, Global Fund, Gates Foundation, Treatment Action Campaign, among others have played their roles to reign in various global health challenges, and finally, discusses some key issues like infectious disease surveillance, health security and access to pharmaceutical as examples of the struggle to address global health governance challenges.

While the book does justice to documenting the evolution of global health governance and some of the key events which shaped its form, functioning and influence, it fails to adequately capture the political-economy context under which such governance efforts developed or rather failed to sustain. Historically WHO (emerging from its precursor the Health Organisation of the League of Nations) was mandated by nation states to engage with global health governance issues with a clearly defined constitution to direct it, but the character of the global political economy prevented it from achieving its goals. The profit-first nature of global capitalism, exemplified by the global pharmaceutical industry, and the cold war did not permit WHO to exercise its authority in right earnest. Due to these political-economy factors the evolution of global health governance assumed a direction in which a fragmented and selective approach developed leading to the spawning of a number of other players like the Global Fund and UNAIDS – the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS – on one hand, and private players like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Clinton Foundation on the other.

Youde recognises the problems of these developments, but does not attribute the failure of WHO to these developments. Rather, Youde mentions that the failure of WHO was responsible for emergence of these mechanisms. This may appear to be true when we view it from the evolutionary perspective, but if we recognise the political economy context, then the story is very different. Let me summarise Youde’s trajectory of arguments.

Evolutionary History

Youde begins with identifying four key attributes of effective global health governance – it must focus on factors that cross and ignore geographical boundaries, it must employ multisectoral and multidisciplinary approaches to craft effective interventions, it should give voice to a wide range of actors and it needs to rely on transparent and accountable systems. No disagreement with this. But for governance to be effective two other factors are critical. First an adequate budget to deal with its mandate, and second a political backing to make it work. Later in the book Youde does identify these factors while discussing why WHO failed, but if Youde had recognised these upfront, then the trajectory of arguments could have developed differently.

The evolutionary history of global health governance is very well-documented by Youde from the international sanitary conferences of 19th century to the role of the Rockefeller Foundation post-first world war and right through to today. But there is one factual issue that needs to be addressed. There seems to be an assumption that the cross-border spread of disease was an east to west phenomena. While many diseases emerged in Asia and Africa, the west also contributed through syphilis, typhus, tuberculosis, etc, which spread to the east through trade.

The earliest response to contain epidemics was quarantine and this was done on country borders and entry points, but traders did not like it as it affected movement of goods, and consequently, their profits. Soon international conventions emerged like the International Sanitary Bureau in Americas, International Office of Public Hygiene in Europe and ultimately culminating into the Health Organisation of the League of Nations and post-second world war, WHO.

Key Players of Global Health

In the next section Youde discusses the key players like WHO, World Bank, Global Fund and a few non-state actors who are presently part of the global health governance mechanism. Again each organisation that Youde discusses is done quite thoroughly and here Youde does factor in the influence of the political economy context, especially in the discussion of the WHO. Youde tells us that over time WHO does evolve into a strong organisation and the Alma Ata Declaration forms a key watershed of its strength as a global organisation addressing global health challenges as well as supporting public health issues within countries, especially the developing world. It reaches its peak under the leadership of Halfdan Mahler with Health for All as the epitome of its success – what Youde calls the activist orientation phase of WHO which promoted health equity.

This phase of WHO demonstrated that global health governance is feasible – there was a political leadership under Mahler and its finances were quite robust. Youde acknowledges this but does not go far enough to say that this in itself posed a threat to global capitalism which in the health sector operates primarily through the pharmaceutical industry. After Mahler, the next director general of WHO, Hiroshi Nakajima, was indeed, a pharmaceutical man (who had earlier worked for Roche in Japan), who changed the trajectory of WHO setting it on a path of destruction. This changed political economy destroyed WHO and opened up the arena for new players in the global health governance arena led by the World Bank.

WHO under Nakajima

The fact that the World Bank entered the scenario, not only undermined WHO, which under the two terms of Nakajima’s leadership (incidentally Nakajima died recently on 26 January 2013 and the world over obituaries focused on how under his leadership WHO became fragmented and deteriorated as an organisation) was considerably weakened through under-financing of the core budget – a clear shift of resources of WHO from the dominance of its regular budget that member countries contribute to a dominance of programme – and project-based budgets that donors contribute and then dictate the agenda.

Youde has captured this quite well. This budget shift also began the process of fragmentation of WHO’s strategy into dealing with global health challenges as vertical programmes. The latter was already happening with public health programmes across most developing countries and this clearly moved the agenda from Health for All, a universal access approach, to a selective and fragmented approach to deal vertically with specific diseases and health issues like polio, malaria, immunisation, tobacco control, and later HIV/AIDS and reproductive and child health (RCH). This shift has been largely under the leadership of the World Bank,4 Global Fund and various private players like Gates, Ford and Clinton Foundations, among others, as also various bilaterals like the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Department for International Development (DFID).

Fragmenting Global Health

Youde has again documented very well the roles of the World Bank, UNAIDS, the Global Fund and the Clinton and Gates Foundations in supporting this new trajectory in global health governance where the control shifted from nation state controlled-WHO to these other so-called “non-political” players. It is precisely the change in politics of health that changed the lead players in global health governance and Youde acknowledges this by quoting Nuruzzaman5 – the World Bank’s strategy as a change from understanding health as a fundamental right to a conception of health as a private market-based good. This, in turn, changed the political economy of global health governance. User fees, public-private partnerships, privatisation, outsourcing, health insurance, etc, are some of the strategic changes that the structural adjustment policies of the World Bank brought to global health governance. WHO, unfortunately now follows this along with most other key players in global health, and primarily because WHO’s budget is predominated by donor contributions who call the shots.

Youde explains that UNAIDS actually emerged out of a conflict situation within the WHO, whose Global Program on AIDS (GPA) was headed by Jonathan Mann, who was a great fundraiser and helped raise the profile of HIV/AIDS globally that attracted huge funding and this created strong jealousies and disagreements with the leadership of WHO under Nakajima forcing Mann to quit, and subsequently, the GPA was transformed into an independent agency of the United Nations (UN) christened as UNAIDS under the leadership of Mann’s assistant Peter Piot. Since UNAIDS focused on providing technical and informational support, another agency to play the funding support role called the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria was created. This maintained the continuum of fragmenting global health governance and reducing the importance and strength of the WHO.

Youde describes all this very illustratively. One question comes to mind when reading Youde’s discussion of these institutions: What was the underlying reason of setting up these institutions and moving it out of WHO’s control? Was it the new patents regime and the need to facilitate pharmaceutical industry’s profit-making by keeping the control of governance of global health outside the nation state-controlled WHO? And a related question – despite having strong oversight mechanisms in the Global Fund, why has there never been an audit of pharmaceutical purchases by the Global Fund?

The private actors discussed by Youde, Gates and Clinton Foundations, basically fell in line with the World Bank strategy and supported the need to raise substantially the involvement of non-state actors in global health governance. Both these institutions also helped raise further the HIV/AIDS profile globally with more resources being committed to it and also advocated for a more market-oriented approach, for instance, in the procurement of antiretroviral (ARV) medicines. In reality what they were doing is trying to address market failures in health so that the larger health system can be made more market-oriented.

Conclusions

The chapter on civil society organisations (CSOs) focuses on the role that CSOs have played in global health, primarily representing the interests of the common people, as Youde puts it – as voices for the voiceless. Youde illustrates this with the examples of OXFAM International and the Treatment Action Campaign from South Africa.

In the last section Youde goes back to the key issues around which he has built his discussion on global health governance – surveillance of infectious diseases, framing health security and access to pharmaceuticals, mainly ARVs. The first two issues revolve around global regulation of communicable diseases and the response of the international community and how the global health governance mechanisms discussed above have at best been able to engage in firefighting. In the case of access to pharmaceuticals, the access to ARV campaign is viewed as one that could possibly lay the basis for a larger campaign for access to free medicines – regarding medicines and public goods. The Twelfth Five-Year Plan in India, based on the experiences of Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan, is promising access to free medicines in all public health institutions. Will this become a stepping stone towards universal access to healthcare and take us back to the Health for All intiative?

Youde concludes by saying that global health governance has evolved from being a technical issue addressing mechanism until the 1970s to a more rights- and equity-based phase during the 1970s and 1980s, when WHO was in control and since then has entered its neo-liberal phase under the tutelage of the World Bank and various non-state actors, though in recent years, there is a clear effort with pressure from civil society to bring back the Health for All agenda under universal access to healthcare. But this would cost money, conservatively at least 5% of gross domestic product (GDP). Is there the political will of the G-8 or G-20 or other G’s to muster these resources by putting the burden on capitalism by imposing the Tobin tax or financial transaction tax, for instance, which can rein in huge resources in this era of finance capital, and of course, we do not want to forget the old Rio commitment of developed nations to contribute their 0.72% GDP for the global development agenda. The shaping of the post-2015 development agenda goals needs to emphasise this very strongly.

To conclude, Youde’s book is a very good documentation of how global health governance has evolved in the last 150 years or so but it is limited in its conclusions because Youde opted to use the lens of communicable diseases. Today, as Youde acknowledges in his conclusions, non-communicable diseases are much larger global health challenges, but governance issues for these would be very different from what he has discussed in the present book. To deal with these we will have to steep much deeper into issues governing global political economy.

Notes

1 Kumar (2005) 38-53 also see website http: //indiagovernance.gov. in Rao (2013).

2 See for example: Demmers et al (2004); see alsohttp://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Development/GoodGovernance/Pages/Good-Gov… accessed 25 March 2013.

3 Julio Frenk and Suerie Moon, “Governance Challenges in Global Health”, NEJM, 368: 10, 7  March 2013, pp 936-42.

4 See the 1993 World Development Report – Investing in Health, OUP, New York, which became the Bible of this new approach to healthcare.

5 Quoted by Youde from Nuruzzaman, Mohammad (2007).

References

Demmers, Jolle, Alex E Fernández Jilberto and Barbara Hogenboom, ed. (2004): Good Governance in the Era of Global Neoliberalism: Conflict and Depolitisation in Latin AmericaEastern Europe, Asia and Africa (London: Routledge).

Frenk, Julio and Suerie Moon (2013): “Governance Challenges in Global Health”, The NewEngland Journal of Medicine(NEJM), 368: 10, 7 March, pp 936-42.

Kumar, G Narendra (2005): “An Institutional Framework for Good Governance in India”, ASCI, Journal of Management,34(1&2), Administrative Staff College of India, Hyderabad, available at http://journal.asci.org.in/Vol 34 (2005)/04.% 20G N.%20Kumar.pdf accessed on 25 March 2013.

Nuruzzaman, Mohammad (2007): “The World Bank, Health Policy Reforms and the Poor”, Journal of Contemporary Asia, 37(1), pp 59-72.

Rao, N Bhaskara Rao (2013): Good Governance – Delivering Corruption-free Public Services, (New Delhi: Sage).

 

CPI(M) demands abolition of #deathpenalty


Monday, May 13, 2013, 20:13 IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

Decribing executions as “inhuman”, CPI(M) on Monday said it stands for abolition of death penalty in the country as it is “arbitrarily implemented” and advocated imprisonment till death in rarest of the rare cases.

Prakash Karat

Decribing executions as “inhuman”, CPI(M) on Monday said it stands for abolition of death penalty in the country as it is “arbitrarily implemented” and advocated imprisonment till death in rarest of the rare cases.

A decision on the party’s position was taken at a two-day Central Committee meeting of CPI(M) that ended here yesterday.

Addressing a press conference here, CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat said the Central Committee discussed a note presented by the Polit Bureau on the abolition of the death penalty and decided that it will advocate the abolition of capital punishment.

“In India, death penalty, as it is in practice is arbitrarily implemented. It is inhuman…Instead of capital punishment, the party wants in rarest of the rare cases and most heinous crimes, life imprisonment should be extended for the entire life of the person convicted with no scope for remission,” Karat said.

He said the Politburo had been discussing the issue since last year.

Referring to the controversy surrounding the execution of Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru, Karat said he was denied what was provided in the law about right to appeal after the mercy petition was rejected.

“Afzal was denied this opportunity and his family was not informed also,” he said.

The CPI(M) leader said 97 countries have abolished death penalty and it was time for India to change its statute.

Last month, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury had said that the party were willing to discuss and consider death penalty for rapists.

 

Punjab – Minor Dalit girl raped by two brothers in Punjab #Vaw #WTFIndia


Last Updated: Sunday, May 12, 2013,
Moga: A 17-year-old Dalit girl was allegedly raped by two brothers, also related to the victim, police said on Sunday.

Joginder Singh and Swaran Singh, both residents of Rauwal village, allegedly raped the girl on the evening of May 10 when she was alone in her house, they said.

The duo escaped after the victim’s mother arrived in the house and caught them in the act, police said, adding that the accused were relatives of the girl.

A case has been registered and a special investigation team has been constituted to probe the case in which no arrests have been made so far.

PTI

 

PUCL condemns arrest of Jaya Vindhyalaya #Vaw #ITAct


PUCL CONDEMNS ARREST OF JAYA VINDHYALA, PUCL – AP STATE PRESIDENT:PUCL DEMANDS RELEASE AND DROPPING OF CHARGES


————————————————————————-
The PUCL National Executive meeting in Delhi today strongly condemns the arrest by the AP police of Ms. Jaya Vindhyala, State President, PUCL AP at 7.30 am today (12th May, 2013) in Hyderabad. Ms. Jaya Vindhyala has been exposing the corruption of the Chirala MLA, and other senior officials of AP.

The PUCL strongly believes that the arrest of Ms. Jaya Vindhyala is a vindictive action of the state police meant only to silence the growing voice and demand for fair, independent investigation into the corrupt deals of the Chirala MLA as also other high dignitaries and officials.

The PUCL feels that the timing of the arrest on a Sunday is to ensure that no legal recourse like bail can be availed by Ms. Jaya. The PUCL questions the need for the state police to arrest Ms. Jaya Vindhyala especially in view of the Supreme Court directions in
the case of `Joginder Kumar vs State of UP’, (1989) that arrest of a person need not be effected if the person will appear before the police on summons and there is no danger of the person absconding, threatening witnesses or tampering with evidence. This is not the case in the case of Ms. Jaya Vindhyala who is a widely respected person, and is a senior and well known Advocate of the AP Bar and is a well known human rights defender.
It is revealing to note that the three FIRs registered by the Chirala police against Ms. Jaya, includes offences under section 307 (attempt to murder), 506 (threatening with intention to kill), 120-B (Conspiracy) IPC and Information Technology Act. These provisions are routinely abused and misused by the police to foist false cases and in the cases against Ms. Jaya, we learn, are all based on false allegations not making out any of these offences.

The PUCL has also learnt that 9 other members of PUCL – AP have also been named in the FIR and the police is hunting them down.

The PUCL demands the immediate release of Ms. Jaya Vindhyala and closure of all the cases against her, as also other PUCL members, in Prakasham district.

(V. Suresh)
National General Secretary, PUCL

 

WHAT SHE SHARE DON FACEBOOK IS BELOW

 

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.518246704900792.1073741844.100001464027378&type=1

 

Public hearing sans public for Jindal plant in Gadchiroli


Author(s):
Aparna Pallavi
Issue Date:
2013-5-13

Affected people stage boycott, administration carries on nevertheless

Additional collector  
Sanjay Dhivre, who chaired the public hearing, argues with activists  
protesting that the hearing was illegal (photos by Aparna Pallavi)Additional collector Sanjay Dhivre, who chaired the public hearing, argues with activists who were protesting that the hearing was illegal (Photos by Aparna Pallavi)

Despite a boycott staged by 17 villages affected by a proposed iron mine project, a public hearing for it was held at Alapalli in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district on May 8.

Additional collector Sanjay Dhivre, who chaired the hearing, and Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) regional officer Nilkanth Nigul, who was part of the panel, ignored repeated pleas of activists and public to cancel the proceedings in view of the absence of the affected people and various illegalities committed by the Jindal group company and the administration in holding the hearing. They also pointed out that the panel of the public hearing was incomplete as per regulations since the sarpanch and gram sevaks of the two affected gram panchayats (Gardewada and Gatta) were not included on the panel.

Activist Harshali Poddar brought to the panel’s attention a gram sabha resolution drawn up by the residents of village Damkondwahi in the Gatta gram panchayat where the project by JSW Ispat Steel Limited has been proposed. The resolution, drawn on May 1, this year stated clearly the residents were against the project and directed the administration not to grant permission to the project. The resolution was submitted to the Etapalli tehsildar on the same day for appropriate action, but no cognisance was taken, she pointed out.

Activists and residents of Dhanora and Sironcha tehsils in the district who were attending the hearing in solidarity with the project-affected people raised slogans demanding the cancellation of the hearing. However, instead of taking cognizance of the grievances, Dhivre called the police to force the activists into silence.

Harsha Poddar and her colleague Anand are forced into silence by police  
personnel Harsha Poddar and her colleague Anand are forced into silence by police personnel

During the rest of the hearing, which lasted about three hours, repeated arguments broke out between Dhivre and the activists, resulting in several rounds of police intervention, and the speakers were forced to speak while being surrounded by police personnel.

EIA lies, procedural violations

During the hearing, Poddar and Anand from the Bharat Jan Andolan pointed out that MPCB had not displayed the notice of the public hearing at the Gadrewada and Gatta panchayat offices, and that only a single copy of the executive summary of the environment impact assessment (EIA) had been made available. What is more, JSW steel had not even submitted a Marathi EIA, as required by regulations. They also trashed the claims of MPCB of having issued public notices in a local English and Marathi newspaper, saying the affected people were highly vulnerable Madia tribals whose literacy rate was extremely low and no newspaper was available in the project area.

Poddar pointed out that the EIA itself contained many lacunae. For instance, while the June 26, 2009 notification of the Ministry of Environment and Forests mentioned allotting 995 hectares (ha) to the project, the EIA mentioned an additional 213 ha of which no account was given.

The EIA also did not provide the mandatory methodology and study details used to arrive at conclusions regarding various environmental aspects like flora and fauna, drainage patterns and so on. Several groups objected to the hearing being held at Allapalli, 80 km away from the project area, and demanded it be cancelled and rescheduled to be held where the affected people could attend. Others raised objections regarding the fact that the mine was not accompanied by industry which could generate local employment.

Anand exhibits evidence showing people in Gatta and Gadrewala had no  
notice of the public hearing   Anand exhibits evidence showing people in Gatta and Gadrewala had no notice of the public hearing

Irfan Khan, a resident of Etapalli tehsil where the project area is located, said the project should not be justified on grounds of corporate responsibility promises made by the Jindal group, “Government should organise for education and welfare on its own, not depend on corporate,” he said.

Some 100 bogus speakers recruited by the company, comprising rural women from Gadchiroli who were not sure why they had been brought there, and company employees were not allowed to speak at the hearing by the activists.

Administration ‘unaware’ of procedural lapses

Talking to Down To Earth after the hearing, additional collector Dhivre made a surprising statement. Whether the hearing was legal or not was none of his business, he said. “I had been asked to chair the proceedings, and I have done that,” he said.

MPCB regional officer Nigul said he had received no objections regarding procedural violations since the public hearing notice was put up. “We cannot entertain objections at the last moment,” he said. He also denied knowledge of the gram sabha resolution opposing the project.

The brazen manner in which the hearing was conducted has led to widespread public discontent in the area. MLA Namdeo Usendi of Gadchiroli has issued an objection letter to the administration regarding the issue. Local MLA Deepak Atram, who had demanded that the protest be held at Etapalli, and held a protest during the hearing itself, has also extended support to the protest against the hearing. Vidarbha Environment Action Group, which was instrumental in forcing Wardha district administration to organise a repeat public hearing for Lanco Infratech’s coal fired power plant, is preparing to challenge the hearing in court, informed Sudhir Paliwal of the group.

 


Source URL: http://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/public-hearing-sans-public-jindal-plant-gadchiroli

 

The draconian LBT: Local Body Tax explained


 

ANANTHRAM RAO | 13/05/2013 , Moneylife.in

LBT is a draconian Act, especially with key words like ‘goods’, ‘dealer’, ‘business’ loosely defined in the legislation, giving enough scope for the administrators to stretch their imagination to fanciful limits to the common man’s harassment and dismay

LBT, local body tax, draconian Act, common man, transport of goods, goods, dealer, business, Octroi, Cess, LPT, Local Panchayat TaxWith the wedding season round the corner, imagine you are going in your car from Navi Mumbai to Mumbai to attend a marriagewith your wife who is wearing gold ornaments and a silk saree; please do not be surprised if a government officer stops you and demands LBT on the car, saree and gold ornaments. Your luck may run out further, if he invokes the provision saying that you have failed to take a registration under LBT (Local Body Tax Act). He may demand, in the name of penalty, a compounding fee, that may exceed the cost of the ornaments or the car or the saree itself. You may, along with your wife, be convicted for the offences you may have deemed to have committed under LBT.
Take another situation. Your dabbawala gets your tiffin box daily to your office in Fort area from your house in Thane. As the financial year comes to an end, one fine day, after December, a LBT officer lands in your office instead of the dabbawala with a warrant to arrest you for having brought into the city limits the goods exceeding the prescribed turnover limits.
These may look too fictitious and simplistic or some may call these situations “beyond the wildest stretch of one’s imagination”. Well, going by the experience of dealing with the department, you might have come across officers trying to levy tax on flats situated in Navi Mumbai, purchased from a builder in Mumbai, arguing that the flat was brought into the city limits from Mumbai where the builder’s office was situated. With this kind of background, the LBT looks like a draconian Act, especially with key words like ‘goods’, ‘dealer’, ‘business’ loosely defined in the legislation, giving enough scope for the administrators to stretch their imagination to fanciful limits to the common man’s harassment and dismay.
LBT stands for Local Body Tax, which has been introduced in most of the municipalities and corporations in Maharashtra,  in lieu of Octroi or Cess. It is a levy under entry 52 in the State list of Schedule VII of the Constitution of India, on the entry of goods into a city limits for the purpose of consumption, use or sale therein. Thus, the recent agitations against LBT, a levy, which is constitutionally valid, have given rise to questions as to the root cause of the agitations.
Octroi is a levy which was prevalent in Roman times. It was extensively used as a tax tool in Europe till World War II. Now, it is almost extinct except in Ethiopia and Maharashstra (a true reflection of comparable development of the economy or the situations of drought). Other states in India have done away with this levy and they share a portion of the Value Added Tax (VAT) or Sales Tax (ST) with the local bodies.
Municipalities, with a share from the state government and other tax collection methods like property tax, entertainment tax, etc, can run the administration with a decent budget.  A power to use (more likely abuse), does not necessarily warrant a situation to use. However, the greed to have extravagant budgets, in the name of development (personal development of bureaucrats and ministers as actual development remains a mirage), is the driver that makes the local bodies and the state government stick to their guns in implementing the LBT despite protests.
Being the representatives of the people, our corporators, MPs and MLAs have forgotten that they have a duty to echo public opinion and ensure that government is run as per the wishes of the public. At the time of introduction of VAT in 2005 the Government of Maharashtra had promised that Octroi would be removed and there will not be any additional tax burden on citizens but now they have introduced  the LBT. Thus, LBT is not a good system of tax collection suited for the 21st century, and when there are many other better options available with the government.
LBT, local body tax, draconian Act, common man, transport of goods, goods, dealer, business, Octroi, Cess, LPT, Local Panchayat TaxAnother reason which goes against LBT is the exorbitant compounding fees. The Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporations Act, 1949,  the Act that gives right to levy LBT, as such does not have a penalty-limit prescribed for any violations relating to LBT, though there is an elaborate Annexure prescribing the various penalties. That shows that penalty cannot be levied legally.

However, the Rule 48  framed under this Act, quantifies the penalty that can be levied in different cases. Thus, the said Rule is ultra vires the Act.

Further, the compounding fees, is payable, only if the dealer is convicted. However, the administration is collecting the compounding fee as tax at the time of assessment itself making it a dubious source of revenue for the Government.
Another point against LBT is the cascading effect of teh Tax. Unlike excise or service tax or VAT, there is no concept of set-off or input credit. In other words, every time the goods cross the city limits they will be liable for LBT and levy of LBT may exceed the value of goods itself. A simple reading of the Act would necessarily warrant a LBT when goods are imported from one city to another (as the goods are purchased from another registered dealer under the Act), the corporations interpret that the LBT is leviable in such cases as each city corporation is a different entity despite the fact that the legislation empowering the levy is same. This shows that legislators have not applied their mind while framing the law; else they have done so with full knowledge that it will fill the Governments and their own coffers through corruption.
Another reason that frightens the businessmen is the LPT or Local Panchayat Tax.  Like the areas near Bhiwandi or Khopoli, which adjoin Mumbai, but are outside the city limits and hence octroi-free zones, are now allowed to levy a similar tax on the entry of goods into the village limits. Thus, now this may be looked as a gold mine for extracting LPT by the Panchayats as many businesses have set their shop in view of enjoying the tax-benefits. In absence of such benefit, which may be a reality, if LPT is introduced, these panchayats may not have any attraction to retain the existing business, leave alone attracting the business. Many of the businessmen have started thinking of shifting to neighbouring states, especially Gujarat.
Another reason against LBT is that there is no time-limit that is specified for completing the assessment of the firms. In such situations, the dealers may be kept in suspense as to their liability to maintain books and records. Further, the appeal process is against the principles of natural justice for the simple reason that in case you decide against the order of the LBT officer or commissioner, you are required to deposit the entire tax demanded before filing the appeal. Draconian and unconstitutional, I would think, isn’t it?
LBT, local body tax, draconian Act, common man, transport of goods, goods, dealer, business, Octroi, Cess, LPT, Local Panchayat TaxThe Act is not a comprehensive Act that is well worded or suited for taxation. With lot of alternative avenues open for collecting enough revenues for the corporations, the political class should respect the difficulties of the businessmen and common men, and help them to reach the sane voices (if there are any!) in the government. They should bring in the changes in legislation to repeal LBT and make suitable changes in VAT so that the local bodies do share  revenues the state government derives from VAT. This will ensure that the administration frees itself from the task of collection of addition tax and other related administrative work. This will also help the dealers of additional hassles of payment of tax, filing of return, surveys, raids, check posts, assessments, appeals etc. and also dealing with one more Government body prone to corruption.
(The author is a partner at Borkar & Shenoy, Chartered Accountants)

 

Press Release- Narendra Modi you need to reply to Permanent-Resident-Gujaratis (PRG)


modi

PRESS RELEASE

Mr. Narendrabhai Modi replied the questions raised by Non-Resident-Gujaratis (NRG) so we hope that Mr. Modi will also reply the questions of Permanent-Resident-Gujaratis (PRG). – Rohit Prajapati & Trupti Shah, Permanent-Resident-Gujaratis (PRG)

 

Rohit Prajapati and Trupti Shah

Permanent-Resident-Gujaratis (PRG)

37 Patrakar Colony,  Tandalja Road, Post: Akota,

Vadodara 390 020, Gujarat Phone/Fax No: +91-265-2320399,

Email: rohit.prajapati@gmail.comtrupti.vadodara@gmail.com

By Fax and Email

13 May 2013

To,

Shri Narendrabhai Modi

The Chief Minister of Gujarat

Government of Gujarat

1st Block, 5th Floor, New Sachivalaya,

Gandhinagar – 382 010.

Subject: You replied the questions raised by Non-Resident-Gujaratis (NRG) so we hope that you will also reply the questions of Permanent-Resident-Gujaratis (PRG).

Dear Sir,

We Permanent-Resident-Gujaratis (PRG) would like to raise certain issues for your response as we heard in the morning to your replies to the questions raise by the Non-Resident-Gujaratis (NRG). We are also sending the copy of the letter to the press so that you can also give your response to the press. These are not new; we have repeatedly raised these same issues in letters sent to your various departments and directly to you but we have yet to receive a proper reply. Your office always referred these letters to the so-called concerned department even when straight questions were addressed to you. We are ready for dialog in an open meeting with you. We are also prepared to attend a press conference to discuss these issues in the presence of press. We assure you that we are eager to engage in dialog with you, and are sending you our concerns so that the discussion may be thoughtful.

The then Finance Minister of Gujarat Mr. Vajubhai Vala on 11th January 2011 said while addressing a day-long pre-Vibrant Gujarat Summit seminar at Ahmedabad Management Association on ‘Industry Responsive Skill Development: The Emerging Trends in Gujarat’ that “A farmer engaged in agriculture on a five acre plot will earn enough only for his family. But if an industry is set up on that land, it will provide sustenance to families of 25-30 thousand workers.” [1] He asked local industrialists not to spoil workers by giving them more than what is rightfully due to them.[2] We want you to clarify your position on such statements.

(1)   Your book CONVENIENT ACTION – Gujarat’s Response To Challenges of Climate Change selectively presents information and data which are convenient to defend the ‘development model’ being pursued by the state. Even the Gujarat Ecology Commission report acknowledges the abysmal status of the environment in Gujarat. Why did you base your book on cherry-picked evidence that ignores the level of irreversible environmental degradation in the state of Gujarat? You have included in your book on page 132-133 a photo of the ‘Common Effluent Treatment Plant’ of Vapi, a facility which has not been able to fulfil the environmental norms prescribed by Gujarat Pollution Control Board since many years. While the photo is very large, there is no discussion about the functioning of CETP of Vapi. Your book completely ignores the failure of all major ‘industrial effluent treatment facilities’ of Gujarat. Why?

(2)   Gujarat is the only state where all registered chemical factories have been identified and categorized in various hazard classes, by Directorate Industrial Safety and Health. Considering their hazard potential,[3] Major Accident Hazard (MAH) factories are identified as per standard norms of related law. Gujarat state is having highest total 497 MAH Class factories which amounts 30 % of MAH factories in India. At present in Gujarat state, 3204 ‘B’ +’C’ class hazardous chemical factories are identified. Gujarat is having total 30,310 factories registered under the Factories Act ( employing directly 940567 Workers ) out of which total 4,559 (15%) are hazardous chemical factories.[4]

The Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority (GSDMA), it seems, doesn’t think that chemical industries have potential to cause chemical disasters in the state. Despite the Bhopal gas tragedy that killed thousands of people 25 years ago, the Gujarat government doesn’t seem to have learnt anything. Reply to our Right to Information Application about Chemical Emergency Plan of the Gujarat state the GSDMA stated in their replies that “A Chemical Emergency Plan is currently under consideration at the Disaster Management Authority.”[5] GSDMA further stated in their replies that “In reference to your above mentioned letter where information like numbers and names of the chemical industries, chemical used, final product, pollutant generated and its impact, also information about engineered landfill site – treatment storage and disposal facility, effluent treatment plants, common effluent treatment plants, etc. have been sought by you, we would like to inform you that the requested information is not available with this office.”[6]

Mr. CM is the chairperson of the Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority and the same authority has to implement ‘The Gujarat State Disaster Management Act, 2003. The Act clearly states ‘(2) (h) “ disaster”  means an  actual or imminent  event, whether natural or otherwise  occurring in any part of the State which causes, or threatens to cause  all or any of  the following: (i)  widespread loss or damage to property, both immovable and movable; or (ii)  widespread loss of human life or injury or illness to human beings; or (iii)  damage or degradation of environment;’[7] but the web site of Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority states ‘The GSDMA has been constituted by the Government of Gujarat by the GAD’s Resolution dated 8th February 2001. The Authority has been created as a permanent arrangement to handle the natural calamities.’[8] What about environmental disasters? There is no ‘Comprehensive Chemical Emergency Plan’ with the Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority. The Director, Health & Safety Department has an ‘Off Site Emergency Plan;’ but when I demanded a copy of it, I was told that it is secret.[9] A chemical emergency plan is not among the priorities in Gujarat, a chemical state with one of the country’s highest concentration of chemical industries. This is nothing but disastrous situation of Chemical State Gujarat.

4) We had also launched a complaint against residential & commercial complexes coming up in the vicinity of hazardous solid waste sites in Ahmedabad (Vatva & Naroda) in violation of GPCB notification on industrial hazardous solid waste and The Hazardous Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 1989. These complexes were in violation of the CPCB & GPCB guideline and norms requiring a 500 meter safety distance from TSDFs & CETPs to residential complexes.

Instead of punishing the violating builders/contractors, The Forest & Environment Department and Urban Development and Urban Housing Department of Government of Gujarat decided, in the meeting dated 5-9-2011, to relax the required 500 meter safety radius to only 100 meters for the purpose of legalizing all illegal residential complexes which came after the notification. For future, it was decided that the 500 meter distance would be enforced.

The original guideline was issued with the intention of preventing risk to the health and safety of the people. The revision obviously looks at the profit margin of unscrupulous contractors, not the innocent residents who will suffer in future.

This post-facto regularization of illegal residential complexes sends a clear message that the safety norms can be bent to accommodate economic interests.   This is going to be a disastrous action on the part of the concerned authorities as far as the health and safety of the people is concerned.  It is clear that such a decision can only be due to immense pressure from the rich and powerful.

It cannot have been a suo motto decision. Instead of taking firm action and enforcing the regulations, these departments are succumbing to pressure from all sides from powerful rich people who want to legalize their illegal residential complexes.

Any post facto relaxation in the present environmental guidelines and norms is nothing but manipulation of present environmental norms to legalize illegal construction activities in order to favour powerful rich people who can pressurize the Government to act against the interests of ordinary people. We are opposed to the proposed dilution of norms, and have expressed this and written letters to you.  We would like to know your position on this issue, especially the acceptability of changing laws to accommodate violators.

(5)   As treatment facilities of Gujarat continue to be unable to meet the Gujarat Pollution Control Board‘s (GPCB) norms, a moratorium on opening new industries or expansion of existing industries was declared for the Ankleshwar area on 7-7-2007, and now the Ministry of Environment and Forests has extended till further order. Later on, on 13-1-2010 a moratorium was declared for other areas like Vatva, Bhavnagar, Junagadh, Vapi, etc. The moratorium was subsequently lifted for the Vapi, Bhavnagar, and Junagadh area because of the pressure of the Gujarat Government. We objected to the lifting of moratorium for Vapi because treatment facilities of Vapi are still not able to meet the GPCB norms. Today the moratorium for Vatva, Ankleshwar is extended till further order. This has rightly stalled the projected huge investment in these areas of Gujarat. However, we believe that as responsible citizens, we are not and cannot be concerned only with the quantum of investment, but also with what is being invested, what the goal of the investment is, and how it affects the people in general. The Gujarat Government has perpetually opposed these moratoriums, despite obvious need.  Given that the industries are facing moratoriums from the Ministry of Environment and Forests for unabated cycle of pollution which continues to impact adversely all kinds of lives – human, agriculture and livestock, we are interested to know what you have to say regarding the industrial moratoriums in our state.

(6)   Why does your government fail to have land use policy? Why is an abundance of chemical industries allowed in fertile land, including the ‘vegetable basket’ of India like Padra Taluka of Vadodara District?

(7)   On 7-5-2004 in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 657/1995, the Supreme Court ordered Gujarat State to provide clean drinking water to residents of villages near Vapi, Ankleshwar, and Effluent Channel Project of Vadodara, where the water supply was irrevocably damaged by industrial activities. Yet, there are ongoing actions contrary to what the Court has ordered. This order is waiting for its implementation. When will your government implement this order?

The quality of groundwater in Gujarat has reached at critical stage and yet it is being contaminated continuously. Orders for clean drinking water are passed based on the visit of the Supreme Court committee, and the committee is not able to visit all the affected villages of the Golden Corridor.  The groundwater of about 14 districts and about 74 talukas of Gujarat are critically affected by pollution. Even if we take the routine parameter like Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), Total Hardness (TS), Dissolved Oxygen (DO), Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), and some heavy metal like Cadmium, Copper, Lead, Mercury, Iron etc. Thus condition of the groundwater of Gujarat requires immediate attention as the rural population is deprived of the very basic need of safe drinking water and clean water for their animals and crops.

      Ahmedabad, Daskroi, Mehmedavad, Vadodara, Ankleshwar, Bardoli, Choryasi, Kamrej, Mangrol, Olpad, Palsana, Valod, Vyara, Navsari, Sanand, Dhoraji, Jetpur, Okha Mandal etc talukas are critically polluted. Amreli, Jambusar, Junagad, Mandvi, Kalol, Morvi, Upleta, Mahuva, Chorila, Dhangadhar, Limdi, Bansda, Umbergaon etc talukas are found moderately polluted.[10] If we talk about Vatva to Vapi – Golden Corridor it is clear that 70% of the groundwater is contaminated and it has reached the irreversible level. When you are going to act on this serious issue of contamination of ground water?

(8)   The air pollution situation is also alarming in the Golden Corridor of Gujarat. The Gujarat Pollution Control Board admits[11] in writing “5. PROBABLE POLLUTANTS: … (B) Air: HCL, SO2, NH3, H2S, NOx, PM2.5, PM10, VOCs, PAHs, PCBs, VINYL CHLORIDE. Note: Benzene, VOCs, PAHs, PCBs, vinyl chloride are not being monitored by GPCB, as no measuring facility is available with GPCB. This statement speaks for itself. In an advanced state like Gujarat, why do we not have facilities to take these basic measurements?  Moreover, when will you take actions to clean up the air quality, which has become some poor?

(9)   You are the chairman of the Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority and the same authority has to implement ‘The Gujarat State Disaster Management Act, 2003. The Act clearly states ‘(2) (h) “ disaster”  means an  actual or imminent  event, whether natural or otherwise  occurring in any part of the State which causes, or threatens to cause  all or any of  the following: (i)  widespread loss or damage to property, both immovable and movable; or (ii)  widespread loss of human life or injury or illness to human beings; or (iii)  damage or degradation of environment;’[12] but the web site of Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority states ‘The GSDMA has been constituted by the Government of Gujarat by the GAD’s Resolution dated 8th February 2001. The Authority has been created as a permanent arrangement to handle the natural calamities.’[13] What about environmental disasters? There is no ‘Comprehensive Chemical Emergency Plan’ with the Gujarat State Disaster Management Authority. The Director, Health & Safety Department has an ‘Off Site Emergency Plan;’ but when we demanded a copy of it, we were told that it is secret. Kindly clarify your position on the crucial issue of a disaster management plan and its transparency.

(10)   A direct outcome of our persistent efforts since 1994 has been forcing GPCB / Government to act against Hema Chemicals of Vadodara which was responsible for illegal dumping of hazardous chromium waste in Gorwa area of Vadodara. As per the direction of the Supreme Court Monitoring Committee the company has been ordered in year 2004 to pay Rs. 17 Crores as first instalment towards remediation of the site. Why has your government failed to remove the hazardous waste dumped by Hema Chemicals, recover the Rs 17 Crores fines from Hema Chemicals as per the direction of Supreme Court?

(11)   In Gujarat the Final Effluent Treatment Plant (FETP) of Ankleshwar which was inaugurated by you continues to be unable to meet the Gujarat Pollution Control Board’s norms.  The Project is designed to divert industrial pollution from Amla Khadi and the Narmada River.  The FETP is operated by Bharuch Eco Aqua Infrastructure Ltd, (now known as ‘Narmada Clean Tech Ltd.’). The FETP was built by the sweat of tax payers.  Out of a total project cost of Rs 131.43 Crores, the industries paid only Rs 21.75 Crores (about 17%); the rest of the tab (Rs 109 Crores) was spent by the Central Government, Gujarat Government, and Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) – all of which ultimately draw from public money.  It is a familiar story: the profits are distributed privately, but the institutional costs and environmental burden are borne by another segment of the population. Why did you inaugurate the FETP pipeline project despite its non-compliance with the GPCB norms? Why do you endorse the public paying when industries pollute?

(12)   Which law allows the effluent that does not meet Gujarat Pollution Control Board norms to be discharged from Tadgam Sarigam Pipeline, from FETP, Ankleshwar, ECP, Vadodara, CETPs of Ahmedabad? We would like you to clarify your position on the issue of such an open and blunt disregard of environment laws.

(13)   The Municipal Solid Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000 is violated across the state. Why Gujarat Pollution Control Board has failed to implement this law?

(14)   As per the data provided by ‘The Director Industrial Safety and Health, Government of Gujarat’, 30.33 % of industries are closed in Gujarat as per Government of Gujarat’s own figures dated 1 January 2011. Why figures are not available up to 1 January 2013 on the website? Government of Gujarat is silent about the workers who must have lost their employment because of closure of these industries.

Office wise Factories – Gujarat State – AS on 01/01/2011

 

SR. NO

OFFICE

WORKING FACTORIES

CLOSED FACTORIES

TOTAL FACTORIES

1

Ahmedabad

6344

2998

9342

2

Gandhinagar

696

234

930

3

Mehsana

1859

754

2613

4

Nadiad

393

273

666

5

Anand

582

431

1013

6

Baroda

2747

989

3736

7

Godhra

397

372

769

8

Bharuch

1608

328

1936

9

Navsari

412

303

715

10

Valsad

2465

755

3220

11

Surendranagar

429

430

859

12

Bhavnagar

237

373

610

13

Alang

113

80

193

14

Rajkot

2533

752

3285

15

Jamnagar

371

450

821

16

Junagadh

611

110

721

17

Adipur

429

128

557

18

Surat

2980

1213

4193

Total

25206

10973

36179

 

Source: Director Industrial Safety and Health, Government of Gujarat website http://labourandemployment.gov.in/dish/statistics/Factories/office_wise.htm

 

(15) Let us also looks at the Human Development Index of Gujarat State as Government of Gujarat is making very toll claims. Gujarat is no. 11 (two-digit figure) in Human Development Index. Why?

 

List of Indian states and territories by Human Development Index, 2011

Rank

State/Union Territory

HDI (2011)

High human development

 
1 Kerala 0.790
2 Delhi 0.750
3 Himachal Pradesh 0.652
4 Goa 0.617
5 Punjab 0.605
6 North eastern India (excluding Assam) 0.573
7 Maharashtra 0.572
8 Tamil Nadu 0.570
9 Haryana 0.552
10 Jammu and Kashmir 0.529
11 Gujarat 0.527
12 Karnataka 0.519
13 West Bengal 0.492
14 Uttarakhand 0.490
15 Andhra Pradesh 0.473
  India (national average) 0.467
16 Assam 0.444
17 Rajasthan 0.434
18 Uttar Pradesh 0.380
19 Jharkhand 0.376
20 Madhya Pradesh 0.375
21 Bihar 0.367
22 Odisha 0.362
23 Chattisgarh 0.358

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Indian_states_and_territories_by_Human_Development_Index

There is little to debate regarding the factual basis underlying our concerns.  We have also made our perspective clear: the environment and the well-being of people in general should be treated with more respect than industrial/profit-making interests.  By writing this letter, we are soliciting your stance on these issues in writing. In the interest of democracy and transparency, we feel we are entitled to a response from you.

 

Rohit Prajapati                                     Trupti Shah

[Rohit Prajapati]                                  [Trupti Shah]


[1] Gobbling farm land for industry a fair game: Minister, Indian Express, 12th January 2011.

[2] Gobbling farm land for industry a fair game: Minister, Indian Express, 12th January 2011.

[5] Reply by GSDMA to Rohit Prajapati dated 10-8-2007

[6] Reply by GSDMA to Rohit Prajapati dated 23-8-2007

[9] Reply by Director, Health & Safety Department, Vadodara, to Rohit Prajapati, dated 9-9-2010

 

[10] State Environmental Action Programme – Industrial Pollution Phase III – Sectoral Report, Volume – I, Gujarat Ecology Commission, April 2002

[11] Comprehensive Environmental Pollution Abatement Action Plan – Vapi Industrial Cluster – Gujarat, GPCB, Gandhinagar 2010

_________________________________
Rohit Prajapati / Trupti Shah
37, Patrakar Colony, Tandalja Road,
Post-Akota, Vadodara – 390 020
GUJARAT, INDIA
Phone No. (O) + 91 – 265 – 2320399
Email No: rohit.prajapati@gmail.com
_______________________________________________________________

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