Lands Of Farmers Grabbed By The MNCs

The Great Land Grab

The Great Land Grab

The Indian farmers are facing unprecedented problems in India- an agrarian republic in which farmers serve as lifeline. However, the nation that sees itself as a future superpower cares a damn about the issues pertaining to the farmers. They have been left at the mercy of God. Reeling under unspeakable problems, they are battling against all odds for survival. Consider the way, the government fixes low prices for their produces in times when farming has become an extremely costly affair in states like UP and Bihar, marred by severe water crisis and erratic power supply. Worse, the prices of fertilizers keep touching new heights. If that’s not enough, the government is also not much interested in having upgraded granaries, leading to tonnes of food grain to go down the drain. “Also, as per the court commissioners’ report, the wasted grain figures were around 1, 30,000 million tonnes, more than twice the government’s own estimates. The court’s commissioners said the negligence by officials was ‘genocidal’ and recommended that responsibility and accountability ought to be fixed at the highest level in central and state governments.”(The Economic Times)

Anyway, I have something more tragic to offer. It relates with land grabbing done in organized way by the MNCs. The poor farmers are unable to offer strong resistance because these MNCs enjoy the support of government and, above all, they have great resources to suppress opposition of any type. Something similar happened in this case as well. Welspun Energy Ltd. allegedly grabbed huge land, being in tandem with land mafias disguised as land brokers, for establishing a 1320 MW Thermal Power Plant at Dadri- Khurd village situated in Mirzapur District in Uttar Pradesh. In this connection, I met with social activist Rajendra Mishra, a senior scribe associated with Kaashivarta, representing the cause of these harassed farmers, forcibly deprived of their source of livelihood. He along with other prominent social activists of Mirzapur/Varanasi region including Pradeep Kumar Shukla, has left no stone unturned in ensuring justice to the dispossessed farmers. In fact, they played a great role in agitations related with Ganga Expressway project leading to Allahabad High Court order, which stayed the project, ordering state to have “complete a full environmental study and obtain permission from the central government before embarking on the construction.”

Rajendra Mishra made some startling revelations in connection with land allotment done for this power project. He stated that land mafias operating as land brokers compelled the farmers to sell lands to them at throwaway prices, which were later sold to the Welspun Energy Ltd.at a higher price. If that was not enough, the extra lands needed were acquired at gun point. In some cases, the fake cases got filed against farmers to get hold of their lands. It’s real shame that so much happened but district administration preferred to be a mute spectator. In fact, it facilitated the sale by refusing to intervene. 

Welspun Energy Ltd: Leaving  Farmers High And Dry!

Welspun Energy Ltd: Leaving Farmers High And Dry!

Incidentally, it entered in cosmetic gesture of organizing a public hearing to obtain public testimony and register the objections in this regard. However, it became one-sided show. The social activists, represented by Rajendra Mishra, and aggrieved farmers were prevented by the goons allegedly deployed at strategic points by the land brokers. They threatened and stopped them when they were on the way to attend the public hearing organized on April 07, 2012. Some of the farmers who managed to attend the public hearing were asked to keep their mouths shut by the anti-social elements present there. The social activists are also worried that if the power plant gets established it would lead to environmental imbalance of very serious nature in that region.

In fact, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Division, Ministry of Environment and Forests, has been apprised of irregularities associated with the project. The social activists allege that project has entered in gross violation of provisions laid down in the EIA notification issued by the Ministry Of Environment And Forests on September 14, 2006. It makes “prior environmental clearance from the concerned regulatory authority” mandatory. Above all, the gestures of district administration is serious violation of human rights as farmers were not only denied the right to express their concerns but also threatened of dire consequences if they dared to pursue their case. The district administration might claim that it organized a public hearing but insiders claim that it was mere superficial gestures. For instance, no special effort was made to make concerned people living in the remote areas aware of such hearing. Thus, they were deprived of their right to register protest. Anyway, those who somehow managed to attend it were forced to remain tight-lipped.  

It’s really tragic that farmers are being meted out such treatment. They are being denied to live life of dignity and are made to starve. After all, what else’s could be the fate when their lands-the source of livelihood- fall into wrong hands? Hats off to social activists like Rajendra Mishra, Pradeep Kumar Shukla, Ramagya Singh (farmer), Ramashankar Singh (Advocate) and others who have dared to challenge the administration in this regard. I am sure they would emerge as winner-the way they came to block the Ganga Expressway project by organizing huge protest rallies. It’s in the interest of justice that farmers emerge as winners. The lifeline of the nation should not succumb to negative forces. It’s time to punish those who not only snatched the land of farmers but also violated provisions aimed at protection of environment.

Power Plants: Making Farmers Powerless And Helpless!

Power Plants: Making Farmers Powerless And Helpless!


References:

The Economic Times 

Welspun Enegrgy Ltd.               

Ganga Expressway Project     

 1320 MW Thermal Power Plant at Dadri- Khurd   

EIA notification

Map Of The Site
Pic Credit:

Pic One 

Pic Two 

Pic Three

 

7 responses

  1. Vishal Sabharwal, New Delhi, said:

    Health of a nation and its prosperity is directly proportional to health of farmers. Very simple and eternal rule. Farming also includes dairy here. Infact Farming is only industry needed for humans to survive amd thrive.

    Author’s Response:

    …..And you can see what sort of treatment is being meted out to them…They are being dispossessed from their lands..They are being left at the mercy of fate …To die a slow death..

  2. Thanks Sc Mudgalji, New Delhi;Lazaro Ecenarro, Miami, Florida (United States); Champak Periwalji, Biratnagar (Nepal); Ravi Hooda, Canada; Bob Berg, Manoj Joshi, Nagpur(Maharashtra), Anupam Verma, Mumbai; Nityanand Sharma, Nita Pandey, Chennai (Tamil Nadu); Praveenji, Mandala(Madhya Pradesh); Rekha Pandey, Kulwant Singhji, Patiala(Punjab); Shashikant R Pandey, Ahmedabad(Gujarat);Srikant Nagarpurkar,Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh), Rajesh Vakharia, Nagpur(Maharashtra); Himanshu B Pandey, Siwan (Bihar) and Lalita Jha, New Delhi, for liking the article.

    **************

  3. Thanks earthstonestation for your well-meaning appreciation…

  4. Anjeev Pandey, Senior Journalist based at Nagpur (Maharashtra), said:

    नए घोटाले और तूफान का संकेत

    Author’s Response:

    अगर आपने ये स्टोरी पढ़ी है पूरी ठीक ठीक तो ये आपको समझ में आ गया होगा कि किस तरह बड़ी कम्पनियां डरा धमका के जमीन हथिया ले रही है प्रशासन से मिल कर..चूकी खुद कवर की है स्टोरी इसलिए भयावहता का अंदाजा है मुझे.

  5. Vishal Sabharwal, New Delhi, said:

    So true prabhu Ji. Most of liberalisation is centered around nasty things like credit cards , Loans , Coke ,dirty potato chips and some trash clothings , foul Mcdonalds and KFCs and any of us hardly needs this. We were rather self sfficient in all this. Liberalisation has done india no gud indeed if u actually analyse.

    Author’s Response:

    True, the liberalization has been a dream gone sour for India..Instead of bridging the gulf between haves and haves-not, it has widened it further. One class is living amid extreme poverty, the another class is enjoying all the pleasures of life as if life is never going to end..

  6. Chandrapal S Bhasker, Great Britain (UK), said:

    Decent article on the important issue of corporate landgrab and the effects of corporate capitalism on an agrarian society such as India. Thanks Arvind…

    Author’s Response:

    Many thanks for taking note of it. It’s one of the news reports that has failed to grab the headlines. I took personal interest in the case and brought it in the limelight since it’s a very serious issue..Above all, anything pertaining to the cause of farmers always manages to stir my emotions, after all, my ancestors were farmers..Farming is still a source of livelihood in my village and so keeping silent on this issue would only mean making other farmers prone to such organized crimes..

    Hope the concerned authorities wake up and do something substantial in ensuring justice for the aggrieved farmers..

  7. Prasanjit Saha, West Bengal, said:

    You are right. The farmers who are small and poor are facing the maximum burnt. In the name of progress, Gov is detroying the fertile agriculture land by allowing MNCs to set up software and manufacturing companies on these farming lands. Farming is looked upon as a very low level profession in India because Indian farmers majority of them are poor. Our society and GOV gives only importance to white collar jobs. Gov should try to bring more land under agriculture and pass legislations that will protect agriculture land and farming community from land grabbers and punish those who buy and use agriculture lands for purpose other than farming. GOV must find some other inovative solutions to generate jobs rather than scarificing the country’s fertile land in the name of progress of India. If this destruction continues then the day is not far when all our agricultural land will be lost for ever in the same way as India has lost its most of the precious wild life and forest.

    Author’s Response:

    Many thanks for letting me become aware of your precious views..In this land, the people who really matter are always the most neglected! Once upon a time the slogan was “Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan”…Now it’s ” Jai (Misguided) Naujwan”!!

    Let’s hope farmers get their lands back, now in the hands of agents of change!

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