NEWS Click | May 04, 2020
The draft notification pushed during the lockdown, in more ways than one, tries to minimise public participation in determining impacts of any particular industrial project on livelihoods and environment.
New Delhi: In what could spell catastrophe for the lives and livelihoods of millions of citizens across the country, the Central government has sought to introduce new rules whereby environmental clearances can be granted to industrial projects on a post facto basis. That is, projects that have commenced operations – by way of construction, installation, excavation, production, etc – without obtaining necessary clearances can be legalised as per provisions of the Draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2020 when it comes into effect. (more…)
The Times of India | Feb 18, 2020
VIJAYAWADA: The disquiet among the Adivasi community in the tribal regions of Visakhapatnam has been rising in recent months as the state government appears to be turning a blind eye to critical rulings by the courts, including the Supreme Court, on the rights of Adivasis to their land.<!–more–>
One important ruling on the rights of the Adivasis was given by the Supreme Court in July 1997. In its judgment filed in the lawsuit brought by Samata, a non-governmental organisation, the apex court declared null and void the transfer of land in the scheduled areas and also upheld the Forest Protection Act of 1980.
“The Supreme Court decision, which has since been called the Samata judgment, is by far the most progressive of rulings, but unfortunately its efficacy has been steadily diluted in AP and other states,” says Ravi Rebbapragada, who is the executive director of Samata, which had brought the lawsuit against the AP government. The Samata ruling had allocated 20% of the net profit to the local area development councils in the states, but somehow that order has been followed more in the breach than in practice, Rebbapragada claimed.
The AP government has also been tardy in enforcing laws pertaining to the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution, which governs the laws in Adivasi land. “While the AP government has not given any licence for mining of bauxite in the Agency areas of Visakhapatnam, it has allowed the mining of laterite, which is also illegal. More importantly, the government has been allowing plains people to illegally set up so-called tourism projects in Agency areas like Lambasingi, Paderu and Anantagiri,” Rebbapragada alleged.
“The Adivasis are even not paid minimum wages. They are treated like slaves by owners of guest houses and hotels and other attractions in these places,” Rebbapragada said.
Apart from over-exploiting the fragile ecology of the Agency areas, tourists have made a mess of the region with rampant littering. “Dallapalli has been almost drowned in single-use plastic bags and other litter, which has not been removed by the administration, making it clear that it wants to exploit the Agency areas at the expense of the Adivasis who have been living in the region for generations, eking a living out of the forests,” he added.
The alleged continuing onslaught on Adivasi rights has prompted them to get together to launch an agitation for the protection of the Fifth Schedule rights. The community held a massive show of strength in Paderu on February 12 which was attended by over one lakh people. A joint action committee of the Adivasis has also requested the AP government to resolve their issues at the earliest.
According to EAS Sarma, a former Union expenditure secretary, Adivasis’ land was being commandeered illegally by plains people on the pretext of setting up hotels in Anantagiri, Paderu and Lambasingi .
Down to Earth | Vivek Mishra | July 30, 2019
आंध्र प्रदेश उच्च न्यायालय ने केंद्रीय वन एवं पर्यावरण मंत्रालय की उस अधिसूचना को रद्द कर दिया है, जिसमें कहा गया था कि लीनियर प्रोजेक्ट में ग्राम सभा के मंजूरी की जरूरत नहीं होगी।
करीब छह साल बाद ग्राम सभा को अपनी खोई हुई ताकत वापस मिल गई है। गांव में आर्थिक और सामाजिक विकास वाली योजना और परियोजनाओं को जमीन पर उतारने के लिए पहले ग्राम सभा की मंजूरी लेनी होगी। आंध्र प्रदेश उच्च न्यायालय ने केंद्रीय वन एवं पर्यावरण मंत्रालय की ओर से जारी की गई उस अधिसूचना को रद्द कर दिया है, जिसमें ग्राम सभा की भूमिका को कम करते हुए विकास परियोजनाओं और कार्यक्रमों के लिए जमीन अधिग्रहण व लैंड यूज में बदलाव जैसी गतिविधि में ग्राम सभा से मंजूरी लेने की शर्त को खत्म कर दिया गया था। यह अधिसूचना 5 फरवरी, 2013 को जारी की गई थी। (more…)
Counterview.net | July 22, 2019
By Our Representative
A delegation of two civil rights groups, Samata and mines, minerals and People (mm&P), has impressed upon several of India’s members of Parliament (MPs) to discuss and raise issues relating to illegal mining, the Samata judgment, children in the mining areas and the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) in Parliament, adding, the issue of involvement of gram sabhas in decision making ought to be central for allowing any new projects in forest areas.
The delegation — consisting of mm&P’s Ravi Rebbapragada (chairperson), Ashok Shimali (secretary general), Deme Oram, Mukesh Birua, Raju Pandara, Shivkumar malagi, and Swaraj Das; and Samata’s Mithun Raj, BP Yadav and Sree Harica — told Kirodilal Meena, MP, Rajasthan, about the need to implement the Samata Judgment in letter and spirit in Rajasthan. (more…)
The Hindu | July 13, 2019
‘They are neither regularised nor given share in income’
Rebbapragada Ravi, founder of Samata, an NGO, met District Collector Vinay Chand on Friday and represented the long-pending case of the tourist guides of Borra Caves.
The tourist guides at the million-year-old Borra Caves, which is one among the most sought after tourist destinations, are in dire straits. They have been fighting a battle with the authorities concerned over regularisation of their employment, since last two decades.
About 20 guides, were recruited by the Tourism Department in 1993, on temporary daily wage basis, with promise of regularising them in a short time. (more…)
The CSR Journal | By Kasmin Fernandes – July 2, 2019
The order of the Supreme Court issued on February 13, 2019 with respect to the claims of forest-dwelling peoples in India — the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers — is a case of the Supreme Court speaking against itself.
In effect, the court has ordered the eviction of lakhs of people whose claims as forest dwellers have been rejected under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, or FRA. As a matter of fact, this order negates the claims of citizens under special protection of the Constitution, viz. the Scheduled Tribes and other vulnerable communities, who are already pushed by neglect precariously to the edge. (more…)
The Hindu | Vizag | June 27, 2019
A question mark hangs over the future of the 1.5 million-tonne alumina refinery set up by Anrak Aluminium Limited (AAL) in Visakhapatnam district with Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy announcing the cancellation of a key Government Order.
The refinery, set up in 2013 with a total investment of over Rs.6,000 crore, was allowed to mine bauxite ore in Gudem and Chintapalle blocks through G.O. Ms. No. 97. The mining was done by A.P. Mineral Development Corporation in the reserve forest area. (more…)
Supreme Court’s well-known judgment in Samata Vs. Government of Andhra Pradesh. It said that the Government should prohibit transfer of tribal land to non-tribal people. The apex court, in 1997, had ruled that only cooperative societies owned by tribes and public enterprises can conduct mining or industries under Schedule
Samatha has been conferred the Lakshmipat Singhania – IIM, Lucknow National Leadership Awards 2008 under the Young Leaders Category in Community Service and Social Upliftment…
Ravi Rebbapragada of Samata Receives National leadership Award for Social Service from Vice President Shri Hamid Ansari – Youtube Video
The Logical India || Contributors Written by : Rahul Basu (Guest Author) || Edited by : Bharat Nayak || April 2nd, 2019
If mining destroys the environment, the minerals are sold and the mineral stock depleted, what is there for future generations? The National Mineral Policy 2019 lays a systematic foundation for the implementation of the Intergenerational Equity Principle. While rooted in the Constitution, some steps need to be taken quickly to reduce uncertainty to the mining industry. (more…)