Another Bhopal? Sonbhadra-Singrauli has all the ingredients

AVESH TIWARI@PatrikaNews | 7 June 2016

Have you heard of the Sonbhadra-Singrauli belt? This region at the cusp of Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh is billed by many as India’s energy capital. What nobody talks of is how this belt is on the brink of a disaster that can match the Bhopal disaster.Another Bhopal? Sonbhadra-Singrauli has all the ingredients

The methyl isocyanate leak at the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal led to India’s biggest industrial disaster on 2 December, 1984. Such was the scale of the leak that horror stories haven’t stop coming out three decades on. But have we learnt any lesson?

Doesn’t seem so if we look at Sonbhadra-Singrauli. The 40 square-kilometre area hosts some half-a-dozen power plants – both coal-fired and hydro-electric. Their combined capacity of about 21,000 megawatts (MW) cater to a large part of the country.

Now private groups such as Reliance, Lanco and Essar as well as state-owned utilities are set to add 20,000 MW more by setting up several projects in the next five years.

The belt also houses several other industries like an aluminum, chemical and carbon factories of the Birlas and a cement factory owned by the Jaypee Group.

But these impressive numbers tell just one side of the story.

FARMER TRAGEDIES
The Sonbhadra-Singrauli belt is also known for the plight of its farmers whose land has been ruined by mining and limestone.

This region is also home to over five lakh Adivasis. In fact, Sonbhadra is the only district of Uttar Pradesh where tribals are in a majority.

However, the fruits of industrial activity have barely reached these people with most of them find it difficult to make ends meet.

The region is traversed by eight small rivers. With the area accounting for nearly 16% of the total carbon emission in the country, it is of little surprise that all the river waters are completely polluted.

In other words, every inch of this land is prone to a catastrophe like Bhopal. The greed of industrialists, politicians and bureaucrats is not the only reason for this risk.

The media is equally to blame for this state of affairs. It will highlight Sonbhadra-Singrauli’s issues only after a disaster. Otherwise, it is happy to look the other way.

Enrico Fabian for The Washington Post via Getty Images
POISON FACTORY
The chloro chemicals division of Kanoria Chemicals & Industries Ltd, located at Renukoot, produces some of the most dangerous substances for industrial use. It was acquired by the Aditya Birla group in 2011 at a cost of Rs 830 crore.

It is estimated that the waste produced by this factory kills 40-50 people every year on average. Most of this waste is released directly into the Rihand dam. And the effect is telling on the surrounding population.

Thousands of residents in hundreds of villages around the Rihand Dam have been completely or partially crippled.

“Waste from the Kanoria Chemicals factory at Renukoot kills 40-50 people every year on an average”
In December 2011, 20 people of the Kamari Dand village in Sonbhadra district lost their lives after using the water from the Rihand Dam. Thousands of cattle had also met with the same fate.

Investigations proved that the chemicals released from the Kanoria Chemicals Factory had poisoned the water. Yet, the issue did not attract enough media attention.

Earlier, a gas leak from the Kanoria plant had killed five people in January 2005. The accident reportedly occurred because of the negligence of company officials.

Villages after village in Sonbhadra are falling prey to the fatal disease of Fluorosis, a chronic condition caused by excessive intake of fluorine compounds.

There is hardly a person in villages like Padwa Kodawari and Kusumha, who has not been afflicted with some of kind of physical deformity due to this disease.

HAZARD CALLED MERCURY
The power plants of Sonbhadra-Singrauli emit 1.5 tonnes of fly ash every year. This fly ash is composed of mercury that is extremely harmful to the human body. Traces of mercury have been found in the samples of human hair, blood and even crops of this region.

The locals have no option but to live with the impact of this pollution. The sun here is paled with the dust coming out of towering chimneys. A blanket of haze engulfs the air as soon as the evening sets in.

The pollution has not even spared the still-to-be-born babies. The death of children during the pre-pregnancy period has become a regular occurrence.

Yet, the state-run Obra and Anpara power plants are operating without any environmental clearance. The Central Pollution Control Board has ordered a close down stating they are ‘too dangerous.’

“State-run Obra and Anpara power plants are operating without environmental clearance”
However, nobody seems baffled with such blatant flouting of norms. The seeds of a Bhopal-like tragedy are being sown, not only in Sonbhadra-Singrauli belt but in every corner of the country.

The state as well as the Union Government is avoiding accountability in the name of development. For now, the Sonbhadra-Singrauli region is nothing more than a hen laying golden eggs for them.

While one Warren Anderson may have gotten away, there are many more in the making.

http://www.catchnews.com/india-news/sonbhadra-singrauli-belt-is-called-india-s-power-capital-but-may-be-headed-for-a-disaster-1465284694.html

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रिलायंस पॉवर ने दी पॉवर मैनेजमेंट कंपनी को धमकी , 434 करोड़ रुपये दो नहीं तो 300 मेगावाट बिजली नहीं देंगे

घुमंतू संवाददाता | जबलपुर

सासन पावर ने एमपीपीएमसीएल को थमाया नोटिस

रिलायंस ने मप्र पॉवर मैनेजमेंट कंपनी (एमपीपीएमसीएल) को धमकी दी है कि – यदि उसने 434 करोड़ रुपए का जल्द भुगतान नहीं किया तो वह उसकी निर्धारित सप्लाई तीन सौ मेगावाट घटा देगा। रिलायंस के सासन पावर ने इस बाबत अपने सबसे बड़े प्रोक्यूरर एमपीपीएमसीएल को नोटिस भी भेजा है। एमपीपीएमसीएल के प्रबंध संचालक संजय शुक्ला ने इसकी पुष्टि करते हुए कहा है कि – सासन पावर का यह नोटिस दबाव की राजनीति के सिवाय कुछ नहीं है, जबकि उसे ऐसा करने का अधिकार नहीं है।

सीईआरसी में जाने की तैयारी
सासन पावर का बिजली सप्लाई घटाने का नोटिस मिलते ही मप्र पॉवर मैनेजमेंट कंपनी के अफसर सीईआरसी (सेन्ट्रल इलेक्ट्रिसिटी रेग्युलरटी कमीशन) जाने की तैयारी में जुट गए हैं। दैनिक भास्कर की जब इस मुद्दे पर एमडी संजय शुक्ला से बात हुई तब वे दिल्ली में ही थे। उन्होंने कहा कि – चिंता की कोई बात नहीं है। इस नोटिस को लेकर एमपीपीएमसीएल सीईआरसी के पास जा रही है।

दबाव की राजनीति है यह
मप्र विद्युत अभियंता संघ के महासचिव वी.के.एस. परिहार इसे दबाव की राजनीति बताते हैं। वह कहते हैं कि पहले तो सासन पॉवर ने सस्ती बिजली देने के नाम पर राज्यों से करार किया और इसके नाम पर सैकडा़ें़ करोड़ रुपए के प्रत्यक्ष/अप्रत्यक्ष लाभ मप्र सरकार से हासिल किए। अब यही सस्ती बिजली खुले बाजार में बेच कर मुनाफा कमाने का वह रास्ता खोज रहा है। ऐसा किया जा सके इसीलिए एमपीपीएमसीएल को उसके हिस्से की 1480 मेगावाट बिजली में से 300 मेगावाट की सप्लाई घटाने का नोटिस दिया है।

एससी में जा चुके हैं
ऑल इंडिया पॉवर इंजीनियर्स फेडरेशन के राष्ट्रीय अध्यक्ष शैलेन्द्र दुबे कहते हैं कि – एआईपीईएफ व एमपीपीएमसीएल सहित आधा दर्जन से अधिक प्रोक्यूरर सासन पावर की सीओडी (कॉमर्शियल ऑपरेशन डेट) 31 मार्च 2013 मान्य किये जाने के एप्टेल के फैसले के खिलाफ सुप्रीम कोर्ट में याचिका दाखिल कर चुके हैं। इसलिए जब तक वहां इस पर अंतिम फैसला नहीं हो जाता, एमपीपीएमसीएल सहित बाकी प्रोक्यूरर क्यों सीओडी क्लेम अमाउंट का भुगतान करेंगे।

इसलिए नहीं है अधिकार
एमडी संजय शुक्ला कहते हैं कि सीओडी क्लेम के मुद्दे पर एप्टेल के फैसले के बाद सासन पावर द्वारा बकाया राशि चुकाने बाबत केवल एक पत्र भेजा गया है। बकाया राशि का उसने कोई बिल नहीं भेजा है। बिना बिल केवल पत्र के आधार पर 354 करोड़ रुपए का बकाया और उस पर 80 करोड़ के ब्याज का कैसे भुगतान किया जा सकता है। बकौल श्री शुक्ला- जब तक रिलायंस का सासन यूएमपीपी अपना गणनात्मक बिल नहीं देगा, हम क्लियरीफिकेशन कैसे कर सकेंगे?
http://epaper.bhaskar.com/detail/?id=1009483&boxid=5312172483&view=text&editioncode=180&pagedate=05/31/2016&pageno=1&map=map&ch=mpcg

मोरवा से 50 हजार लोग होंगे विस्थापित

राजपत्र में प्रकाशन के साथ तमाम अटकलों पर लगा विराम
केन्द्र सरकार ने मोरवा सहित 10 गांवों की जमीन अधिग्रहित करने मंजूरी दी
47 सौ एकड़ से ज्यादा भूमि पर कब्जा करेगा एनसीएल

इस क्षेत्र में होगा भू-अर्जन
ग्राम पटवारी सर्किल संख्या क्षेत्र हेक्टेयर में
चटका              29               42
झिंगुरदह          29             507
चूरीदह            29                9
गोरबी              92             10.3
कठास            92              3.54
कुसवई           29               0.52
मेढौली             28            638.3
पंजरेह              29            558
चटका             29             127
झिंगुरदह         29             30
कुल- 1925.66 हेक्टेयर
यह भी उल्लेख- केन्द्रीय सरकार को यह प्रतीत होता है कि अनुसूची में उल्लेखित परिक्षेत्र की भूमि में कोयला अभिप्राप्त किए जाने की संभावना है जिसके लिए महाप्रबंधक राजस्व, पुनर्वास और पुनस्र्थापन, एनसीएल सिंगरौली के कार्यालय अथवा महाप्रबंधक अथवा जिला कलेक्टर सिंगरौली के कार्यालय में किया जा सकता है।

अभी तक ऐसा समझा जा रहा था कि एनसीएल कभी भी मोरवा को कोयला निकालने के लिए खाली नहीं कराएगा। हजारों लोगों का विस्थापन और उनकी पुर्नबसाहट कोई आसान काम नहीं है। लेकिन, ऐसी तमाम अटकलों पर केन्द्र सरकार ने विराम लगाते हुए मोरवा सहित आसपास के 10 गांवों की जमीन अधिग्रहीत करने धारा 4 का राजपत्र में प्रकाशन कर दिया है। इसके साथ ही 50 हजार से ज्यादा लोगों का उजड़ना तय हो गया है। संभवत: यह देश का अब तक का सबसे बड़ा विस्थापन होगा। मेढ़ौली के मुददे पर एनसीएल से नाराज चल रहे विस्थापितों का साथ देने मोरवा के लोग पहले ही सड़कों पर उतर चुके हैं लेकिन अब केन्द्र की अधिसूचना के बाद उनका क्या रुख होगा, ये आने वाला समय बताएगा। उल्लेखनीय है कि दैनिक भास्कर से चर्चा के दौरान अगस्त माह में ही एनसीएल सीएमडी टीके नाग ने इस बात के संकेत दे दिए थे कि मोरवा के अधिग्रहण की दिशा में जल्द प्रक्रिया शुरू हो सकती है। एनसीएल की जयंत, ककरी और दुधिचुआ कोल परियोजनाओं के विस्तार के लिए कोयला मंत्रालय की ओर से भारत सरकार ने असाधारण अधिसूचना का प्रकाशन कर दिया है। यह अधिसूचना एनसीएल मुख्यालय के 16 मार्च को लिखे गये पत्र के आधार पर 4 मई को लागू की गई है।

इस अधिसूचना के जारी होने के बाद मोरवा सहित आस पास के दस गांवों से कोयला निकालने के लिए भू- अर्जन की प्रक्रिया के लिए पहला कदम बढ़ा दिया गया है। इस अधिसूचना के साथ ही कहा गया है कि संबंधित हितबद्ध कोई भी व्यक्ति जो भी इस भूमि या उसके किसी भाग के ऊपर अपना आक्षेप रखता हो अथवा अर्जित भूमि में कि सी प्रकार की नुकसान की संभावना के लिए प्रतिकर का दावा कर सकता है। आपत्ति करने वाले व्यक्ति को 90 दिनों के भीतर महाप्रबंधक राजस्व, पुनर्वास एवं पुनस्र्थापन एनसीएल सिंगरौली के पास अपना आवेदन देना होगा। इस अधिसूचना को जारी करते हुए अधिसूचना में दो अनुसूची भी संलग्र की गई है जिसमें भूमि के अर्जन का उद्देश्य और उसकी सीमा रेखा का उल्लेख भी किया गया है। साथ अर्जन के मद आने वाली भूूमि का क्षेत्रफल पटवारी सर्किल व गांवों के नाम भी दर्शाये गये हैं। साथ ही गांवों की सीमा को बताते हुए उनके अधीनस्थ अर्जित की जाने वाली जमीन का भी उल्लेख किया गया है।

http://epaper.bhaskar.com/detail/?id=1009496&boxid=53121744754&view=text&editioncode=180&pagedate=05/31/2016&pageno=9&map=map&ch=mpcg

Displaced 35 Years Ago, One Man Fights For A Piece Of His Land

May 23, 2016

When India’s state-owned National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) established a power project four decades ago, the city of Singrauli began its journey to become “India’s Energy Capital” and also played witness to the displacement of thousands of people.

During that time, the World Bank provided financial support to the government of India to build this power project, the beginning of what would soon become an infestation of power projects in the region. This inundation of dirty coal projects has, over the decades, ultimately displaced around 300,000 people, many of whom have faced multiple displacements over the last 35 years. Some of them have even been displaced up to four times, but neither the state government nor the Indian central government has paid any attention to their struggle.

People who lost their land during the NTPC Singrauli Power Project in 1977 are still struggling to get their rehabilitation land allotment.

One of these displaced people, Ram Shubhang Shukla, is taking a stand.

“I am tired of running after government officials to get my land allotted,” Shukla said. “I am a physically challenged person and in spite of that, I had to run from one office to the other but to no avail. I have lost all hope, and now after all this, I have been sitting in protest near Rajiv Gandhi Baazar since January 19, 2016. I have been forced to sit in protest.”

Ram Shubhang Shukla has been given 1,200 rupees — the equivalent of less than $18 U.S. dollars — as compensation for his house, but he was not allotted any plot for the land he lost. Even after repeated reminders to officials, all Ram Shubhang has received is false assurances. He further stated that his brother and father have received plots of land but he has not.

A number of displaced families have been allotted land, but more often than not, those lands are already occupied by other people. After hearing about Ram Shubhang sitting in protest to get his land, a number of people who similarly have had to fight for their land, people like Jaggnath Giri from Kota, have joined him in protest.

It is clear that Ram Shubhang Shukla is not alone in his fight, but Singrauli still continues to displace hard-working people in the name of coal. Some have failed to raise their voice, and some, like Ram Shubhang , are still continuing to fight the system for their rights.

Ram Shubhang says that he met administrative officials responsible for the power projects — Mr. Gautum Singh Bhati, section officer Y. K. Chaturvedi, and many other officials — but to no avail.

Ram Shubhang calls on the Madhya Pradesh state government and Indian central government to follow through on their failed promises and allot him and all the other people who have been wrongfully displaced their resettlement land. He also calls on the World Bank, the financer of the NTPC project, to investigate the situation and pressure the government to follow through on their broken promises.

Ram Shubhang Shukla had to give up his protest after 63 days due to ill health. Neither the state government nor central government has taken any step toward fulfilling his legitimate demands.

“I have not taken back my demands or protest,” Shukla said. “Due to my ill health and extremely harsh summer (with temperatures soaring to 49 degrees Celsius or ~120 degrees Fahrenheit), I cannot sit in protest since I don’t want to give my family a tough time. I will sit again in protest as soon as i feel a little better and will continue to demand for my rights.”

Image Source: Joe Athialy

Rajesh Kumar is a Research Associate for Bank Information Center, South Asia.

See more stories by this author

http://www.sierraclub.org/compass/2016/05/displaced-35-years-ago-one-man-fights-for-piece-his-land

 

RPower gains after achieving boiler light up for third unit of Sasan UMPP

RPower gains after achieving boiler light up for third unit of Sasan UMPP

Reliance Power rose 1.05% to Rs 67.25 at 15:07 IST on BSEafter the company said that boiler light up has been achieved for its third 660 MW unit at the 3,960 MW Sasan Ultra Mega Power Plant.

The company made the announcement during trading hours today, 13 January 2014.

Meanwhile, the S&P BSE Sensex was up 298.16 points or 1.44% at 21,056.65.

On BSE, so far 10 lakh shares were traded in the counter as against average daily volume of 17.55 lakh shares in the past one quarter.

The stock was volatile. The stock rose as much as 1.87% at the day’s high of Rs 67.80 so far during the day. The stock lost as much as 0.22% at the day’s low of Rs 66.40 so far during the day. The stock had hit a 52-week high of Rs 98.50 on 22 January 2013. The stock had hit a record low of Rs 58.55 on 28 March 2013.

The stock had underperformed the market over the past one month till 10 January 2014, sliding 9.39% compared with the Sensex’s 2.34% fall. The scrip had also underperformed the market in past one quarter, declining 7.7% as against Sensex’s 2.4% rise.

The large-cap company has equity capital of Rs 2805.13 crore. Face value per share is 10.

Reliance Power (RPower) said that the achievement of boiler light up for its third 660 megawatts (MW) unit at the 3,960 MW Sasan Ultra Mega Power Plant (UMPP) is a critical milestone of the boiler commissioning activities for the unit.

The first 660 MW unit of the Sasan UMPP had been commissioned in March 2013 while the second unit was synchronized to the grid in December 2013, reached full load and is operational, RPower said.

The Sasan UMPP is the world’s largest integrated power plant and coal mining project.

RPower’s consolidated net profit rose 4.3% to Rs 250.50 crore on 22.4% growth in net sales to Rs 1320.63 crore in Q2 September 2013 over Q2 September 2012.

Reliance Power, a part Reliance Group, is India’s leading private sector power generation company.

No trees be cut without consent in UP, MP: NGT to industries

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has restrained industries, including Essar, Hindalco and Reliance’ Sasan Ultra Mega Power project, from cutting trees without consent from competent authorities.

These industries are based in Singrauli and Sonebhadra districts of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar also issued bailable warrants against the officials concerned of Madhya Pradesh government’s environment department, forest department and pollution control board as well as the District Collector of Singrauli as no one appeared on their behalf
despite issuance of notice to them on September 18.

“Respondents 3, 4, 5 (Madhya Pradesh government) and 8 (Singrauli District Collector) have been served. Despite service no one is present… We issue bailable warrants against respondents 3, 4, 5 and 8 in the sum of Rs 10,000…to ensure appearance of these respondents before the tribunal on the next date of hearing.
    
“In the meanwhile, none of the respondents will fell trees without consent of the competent authority,” the bench said and listed the matter for November 12.

The NGT was hearing a plea opposing new power projects in Singrauli and Sonebhadra districts alleging that pollution and serious ailments are being caused due to coal mining as well as emissions of thermal power stations there.

The petition by Supreme Court lawyer Ashwani Kumar Dubey has also raised the issue of alleged felling of trees by Mahan Coal Ltd, a joint venture of Essar Power and Hindalco Industries, without obtaining requisite forest clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF).

During the day’s proceedings counsel for Essar assured the tribunal that its 1200 MW thermal power project in Singrauli has all required clearances and that the power plant is not even in the forest area.

The counsel for Hindalco submitted that its captive power project there only has stage I forest clearance and assured the bench that there no trees are being felled at present.

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