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What's Inside

The paper by Jaideep Hardikar, published in ‘Infochange' titled The destruction of 'development'http://infochangeindia.org/index2.php?option=com_content&a
, does not go into depths and details, but it gives a bird's views of the problem.

Main Points:

    * Since independence at least 50 million people in India have been displaced by dams, mines, thermal power plants, corridor projects, field firing ranges, express highways, airports, national parks, sanctuaries, industrial townships, even poultry farms. They continue to pay the price for India's 'development'.

    * These may be conservative figures. Because displacement is usually only understood as direct displacement from land, such figures exclude many groups who are affected but who do not own land.

    * A vast majority are landless and marginal farmers, mostly tribal, dalit or other economically backward communities. One study suggests that roughly one in every ten Indian tribals is a displaced person. Tribals constitute 8% of the country's population, and more than 40% of the displaced persons.

    * Displacement by mines or thermal power plants is perhaps less visible than the forced movements of people triggered by dams. The acquisition takes place in phases. The would-be oustees are the last ones to know about their eviction by mines. This gives them little or no chance of resistance or coming together to bargain for a better rehabilitation package.

    * As things stand today, there's no region in the country where people haven't been displaced by development projects. And there's no region in the country where you would find people rehabilitated according to their aspirations and priorities.

World Bank: Resettlement and Rehabilitation (R&R) Policy

The World Bank has a policy for Resettlement and Rehabilitation (R&R),

The Bank's present policy is contained in the document "Involuntary Resettlement," Operational Directive (OD) 4.30, adopted June 1990. According to the WB, the objective of its resettlement policy is to ensure that the population displaced by a project receives benefits from it.

The WB says, "Development projects that displace people involuntarily generally give rise to severe economic, social, and environmental problems."

Its R&R policy emphasizes the need for:

    * Minimizing involuntary resettlement;

    * Providing people displaced by a project with the means to improve, or at least restore, their former living standards, earning capacity, and production levels;

    * Involving both re-settlers and hosts in resettlement activities;

    * A time-bound resettlement plan; and

    * Valuation and compensation principles for land and other assets affected by the project.

For environmental point of view, the World Bank has categorised the projects into three groups. According to this, Group "A" projects need a full environmental assessment (EA). Category B projects do not require a full EA but do require some environmental analysis. Category C projects do not require environmental analysis.

Category A projects are:

    * Dams and reservoirs;

    * Forestry production projects;

    * Industrial plants (large-scale) and industrial estates;

    * Irrigation, drainage, and flood control (large-scale);

    * Land clearance and levelling;

    * Mineral development (including oil and gas);

    * Port and harbour development;

    * Reclamation and new land development;

    * Resettlement and all projects with potentially major impacts on people;

    * River basin development;
    * Thermal and hydropower development; and

    * Manufacture, transportation, and use of pesticides or other hazardous and/or toxic materials.

Category B projects are:

    * Agro-industries (small-scale);

    * Electrical transmission;

    * Aquaculture and mariculture;

    * Irrigation and drainage (small-scale);

    * Renewable energy;

    * Rural electrification;

    * Tourism;

    * Rural water supply and sanitation;

    * Watershed projects (management or rehabilitation); and

    * Rehabilitation, maintenance, and upgrading projects (small-scale).

Category C projects might be:

    * Education,

    * Family planning,

    * Health,

    * Nutrition,

    * Institutional development,

    * Technical assistance, and

    * Most human resource projects.

Rural Expert

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