Buri Niyat? Modi Govt Is Changing Rules To Allow Adani Group To Give Power To Bangladesh From Jharkhand’s Share
BJP govt allowed Adani to charge a higher price for electricity generated from the Jharkhand project by changing rules.
This will not be the first time that Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) government is using its power to suppress needy, underprivileged, and hapless villagers. The cycle of dismissing the cries of penniless and catering to vested interests seems to be never-ending. The villagers of Godda district, Jharkhand are the latest victims of unwarranted use of power by the government and corrupt corporates, according to a Scroll.in report.
The Adani group is building a coal-fired thermal power plant in Jharkhand. The project is expected to generate 1,600 megawatts of electricity for Bangladesh. As the host state, Jharkhand is entitled to 25 per cent of the electricity generated from this project. However, Adani Power Limited plans to supply all the electricity generated from the plant to Bangladesh and source 25 per cent electricity for Jharkhand from a different project. But, the other project has not been identified yet.
This, however, is not the only concern underlying this project. What really is questionable here are the inappropriate methods being used by the government for acquiring farmers’ land for the benefit of Adani.
Under The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, the government has the right to secure land on behalf of private companies on the condition that the project is deemed for “public purpose” and 80 per cent of the landowners give consent for it. A project is considered as a “public purpose” project only after careful social impact assessment exercise, which involves weighing the costs and benefits for the local people.
Social impact assessment report for Adani’s Godda project states that it has been awarded consent from all the concerned families of the district. However, the residents of Godda seem to disagree with Adani’s version of the story.
Balees Pandit, 31, a resident of Motiya village was forcibly evacuated from his land on January 16. Another resident, Ram Jeevan Paswan, who had not granted consent for acquisition of his land, witnessed earthmoving machines demolishing his land. When he asked the men controlling the machines, who had given them the authority to excavate his land, he was allegedly threatened. “Then Adani’s man came,” said Paswan. “First, he pushed me, and I fell. Then he hit me with his shoes and insulted me and said ‘dusadh saala, we will bury you into this ground’,” he told Scroll.in.
“We endured a lot of difficulties so it can yield three crops and now they say hand it over? Why would we want to give away the land?” claims Bidya Devi who owns 18 bighas of land in the village of Ranganiya.
“Land is not like the government. One day this sarkar [government], the next day that sarkar. But land is for generations. If there is land, then there is the next generation, else there is not. Whatever your sarkar says, this land is ours and will remain ours,” Devi added.
The other disturbing facts concerning Adani’s Godda Project
- The BJP government in the state amended Jharkhand’s energy policy in 2016 only to allow the Adani company to charge a higher price for electricity generated from the project. This project shall now cost Rs 7,140 crores more to the state.
- The social impact assessment project mentions that the land required for acquisition is owned by 841 families with 5,339 people across ten villages. However, this number is based on a survey taken in 1932 and the actual number of families residing in the area is much higher.
- Many villagers claim that they weren’t allowed entry to the social impact assessment meeting. Therefore, their opinions were not considered while making the assessment. Only those villagers who were willing to grant consent for acquisition of their land were allowed to enter through the gates.
- The electricity generated by Adani’s Godda project will not be used within India. Therefore, experts argue the logic behind stating the project as “public purpose” when Indians gain no benefit from the project.
- The area required for acquisition lies under Santhal Parganas Division, which is governed by the Santhal Parganas Tenancy Act. The Act does not permit the transfer, lease or sale of agricultural land, barring a few exceptions.