THE HIMALAYAN TALK: INDIAN GOVERNMENT FOOD SECURITY PROGRAM RISKIER

http://youtu.be/NrcmNEjaN8c The government of India has announced food security program ahead of elections in 2014. We discussed the issue with Palash Biswas in Kolkata today. http://youtu.be/NrcmNEjaN8c Ahead of Elections, India's Cabinet Approves Food Security Program ______________________________________________________ By JIM YARDLEY http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/04/indias-cabinet-passes-food-security-law/

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICAL OF BAMCEF LEADERSHIP

[Palash Biswas, one of the BAMCEF leaders and editors for Indian Express spoke to us from Kolkata today and criticized BAMCEF leadership in New Delhi, which according to him, is messing up with Nepalese indigenous peoples also. He also flayed MP Jay Narayan Prasad Nishad, who recently offered a Puja in his New Delhi home for Narendra Modi's victory in 2014.]

THE HIMALAYAN DISASTER: TRANSNATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT MECHANISM A MUST

We talked with Palash Biswas, an editor for Indian Express in Kolkata today also. He urged that there must a transnational disaster management mechanism to avert such scale disaster in the Himalayas. http://youtu.be/7IzWUpRECJM

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS LASHES OUT KATHMANDU INT'L 'MULVASI' CONFERENCE

अहिले भर्खर कोलकता भारतमा हामीले पलाश विश्वाससंग काठमाडौँमा आज भै रहेको अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय मूलवासी सम्मेलनको बारेमा कुराकानी गर्यौ । उहाले भन्नु भयो सो सम्मेलन 'नेपालको आदिवासी जनजातिहरुको आन्दोलनलाई कम्जोर बनाउने षडयन्त्र हो।' http://youtu.be/j8GXlmSBbbk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS LASHES OUT KATHMANDU INT'L 'MULVASI' CONFERENCE

अहिले भर्खर कोलकता भारतमा हामीले पलाश विश्वाससंग काठमाडौँमा आज भै रहेको अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय मूलवासी सम्मेलनको बारेमा कुराकानी गर्यौ । उहाले भन्नु भयो सो सम्मेलन 'नेपालको आदिवासी जनजातिहरुको आन्दोलनलाई कम्जोर बनाउने षडयन्त्र हो।' http://youtu.be/j8GXlmSBbbk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS BLASTS INDIANS THAT CLAIM BUDDHA WAS BORN IN INDIA

THE HIMALAYAN VOICE: PALASH BISWAS DISCUSSES RAM MANDIR

Published on 10 Apr 2013 Palash Biswas spoke to us from Kolkota and shared his views on Visho Hindu Parashid's programme from tomorrow ( April 11, 2013) to build Ram Mandir in disputed Ayodhya. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77cZuBunAGk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALSH BISWAS FLAYS SOUTH ASIAN GOVERNM

Palash Biswas, lashed out those 1% people in the government in New Delhi for failure of delivery and creating hosts of problems everywhere in South Asia. http://youtu.be/lD2_V7CB2Is

Palash Biswas on BAMCEF UNIFICATION!

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS ON NEPALI SENTIMENT, GORKHALAND, KUMAON AND GARHWAL ETC.and BAMCEF UNIFICATION! Published on Mar 19, 2013 The Himalayan Voice Cambridge, Massachusetts United States of America

BAMCEF UNIFICATION CONFERENCE 7

Published on 10 Mar 2013 ALL INDIA BAMCEF UNIFICATION CONFERENCE HELD AT Dr.B. R. AMBEDKAR BHAVAN,DADAR,MUMBAI ON 2ND AND 3RD MARCH 2013. Mr.PALASH BISWAS (JOURNALIST -KOLKATA) DELIVERING HER SPEECH. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLL-n6MrcoM http://youtu.be/oLL-n6MrcoM

Imminent Massive earthquake in the Himalayas

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICIZES GOVT FOR WORLD`S BIGGEST BLACK OUT

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICIZES GOVT FOR WORLD`S BIGGEST BLACK OUT

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS TALKS AGAINST CASTEIST HEGEMONY IN SOUTH ASIA

Palash Biswas on Citizenship Amendment Act

Mr. PALASH BISWAS DELIVERING SPEECH AT BAMCEF PROGRAM AT NAGPUR ON 17 & 18 SEPTEMBER 2003 Sub:- CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT ACT 2003 http://youtu.be/zGDfsLzxTXo

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Thursday, September 10, 2015

7th Field Visit of MoEF Canals Expert Committee concludes

PRESS RELEASE

7th visit of Expert Canals Committee of MoEF concludes in Narmada Valley

Canal-affected expose violations due to ISP-OSP Canals 

Farmers stop beeline of Committee's and NVDA's vehicles:

Demand environmental accountability

9th Sep, 2015: A two-day visit by the Expert Committee appointed by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests to monitor the environmental aspects of the Indira Sagar (ISP) and Omkareshwar (OSP) canals concluded its visit to some of the canal areas on the 7th and 8th September, 2015. The Committee which was on its 7thmonitoring visit toured some of the 'command / beneficiary areas' of the canal, many of which also proved to be canal-affected!

 

The Team of Experts included the Chairperson, Dr. B.P. Das, Hydrologist; Mr. B.B. Barman, Director, MoEF and Mr. Lakhwinder Singh, Member-Secretary & Regional Director, MoEF, Bhopal. The team was accompanied by a large number of senior officials of the Narmada Valley Development Authority (NVDA) from Bhopal, Indore as well as field officers from the project-areas. Numerous farmers and activists of NBA followed the team as they went to different villages and inspected the work. The Committee wad constituted by the MoEF, empowered by an order from the Supreme Court in Aug, 2011.

 

The visit began with a presentation to the Committee by NBA at Indore on the 7th morning, wherein the claims and exaggerations by NVDA and realities of actual areas receiving canal irrigation as well as the true status of environmental compliance was established. It was pointed out that the so-called Action Taken Report by the NVDA on the 6th Monitoring Report of the Expert Committee did not respond to the major issues / violations pointed out by the Committee itself in the previous reports including inadequate, poor quality canal construction and on-farm development (ODF) as well as command area development (CAD) works leading to canal breaches, seepage, water logging; all causing severe crop losses to the farmers worth lakhs of rupees for the past few years.

 

NBA also asserted that construction of field channels is part of the Project and the NVDA cannot escape from its responsibility. It was pointed out that while other network of canals are prioritized, the minors and sub-minors are delayed and the field channels as well as OFD (protective measures) are altogether left off, very meagre budgets are allotted and no remedial measures undertaken, despite the clearance condition of MoEF dt. 28/8/2011 mandating that "in no event must there be any water logging or seepage and project-authorities must allocate separate budgets for all eventualities".

 

The Committee visited a few canal sites covered by the Omkareshwar Project on the first day. The first part of the day was spent at the Phase-I areas such as Omati Distributary, Satajana, Bediya distributary etc. As the Committee moved further to Mogava, Londhi, Barlai, Palsud etc. the problems of cracks alongside the canals, incomplete lining, broken siphons, cropped up where farmers complained of water logging. It was also seen all over that poor siphoning lead to deposits of huge silt in the canal tracks that would ultimately reduce the life of the canals itself. Farmers informed the Committee that lining from Village Nazarpur (Tehsil Maheshwar) to Village Badvi (Maheshwar) upto end of Phase II of OSP is pending over a stretch of 50 kms. Much work of sub-minors and field channels is also yet to be done here.

 

While on the one hand, officials tried every possible way to mislead the Committee, take longer routes, skip key problematic areas, waste time in sapling-plantation and sweet-distribution activities etc, on the other, many farmers who followed the Committee at every spot, tried their best to make sure that the Committee which has a primary mandate to investigate the "environmental violations" does not spend time only on the engineering aspects of the irrigation projects. NBA objected to the manner in which the meetings venue was misinformed, schedules were not even shared, despite NVD having pre-planned programmes at some places where even pandals were erected.

 

While NVDA made tall claims of "newer areas under irrigation", NBA pointed out that much of the sub-minor and field channels work remained and NVDA cannot claim completion of Phase-wise work without this. This was also exposed by the hundreds of private pipelines that the Committee itself saw all along the main canal. NBA demanded that phase-wise information should be sought from engineers of the actual area under irrigation through direct lifting from canals and through surface / canal irrigation.

 

Taking to the Committee at the Sanavad Rest House, farmers from the Punasa, Khargone (ISP) and Sasliya (OSP) lift-irrigation project-areas demanded that the Committee should visit their villages as well where also the problems of tank-induced seepage is a major issue.

 

The second day of the visit, covering the Phase-II and Phase-III of the Indira Sagar Project areas was quite revealing. Once again, as the NVDA tried to avoid the key areas and lead the Committee to the only areas of their choice such as the Junapani and Kuwa distributaries. However, at the instance of the affected farmers, the Committee had to go back and visit village Bither (which was infact promised by the Chairperson in the morning), where other villagers from Patiyapura, Sadlai, Ojhra, Balyapura, Kharipura, Sangvi (Tehsil Kasravad, Khargone) gathered and pointed out massive crop losses in the wheat season of Feb-2015 and the previous seasons due to the poor and incomplete lining. The silence of NVDA's ATRs on all these problems were questioned by the farmers and NBA.

 

In Phase-III, despite the Committee's assurance that it would pass through the main canal, officials led to the Committee through the main highway, leaving aside the canal area. Yet again, adivasi women and men and other farmers stopped the Committee at the Khadkal bridge and protested in front of the Committee's beeline of vehicles.  They had to ultimately relent and go back to the spot at Mundla, where it was shown that despite 7 years of muck deposited on the un-acquired farm of Babu Bau, neither compensation has been paid, nor has a pathway been constructed in his field, as part of OFD. The only reward he and his family members got from NVDA was a few weeks of jail and endless court dates now. Farmers of Sangoda, Khadal stated that despite the Committee's own directions to put in place permanent OFD structures, only temporary measures are being taken up by the NVDA. 

 

Over the two day's NVDA's attempts to suppress vital facts and the farmer's efforts to draw the Committee's attention to continuing violations as well as the Committee's own weak approach towards monitoring, was more than evident. The farmers are keen to pursue the matter and raise the issues of canal-related before the Expert Committee, the High Court of M.P. as well as Jst. N.K. Jain Committee appointed by the Court to inquire into various other violations. 

 

Deven Tomar           Mukesh Bhagoria                Devkaur           Vikram            Jagdish Patidar

Ph: 09179148973 / 09826811982

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