“DMIC pe halla bol Abhiyan” – NAPM

February 21, 2013

“DMIC pe halla bol Abhiyan”
(Along Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridore, March 8-19, 2013)

Friends, Comrades and Saathis ! Zindabaad !
As Indians, or if not all, then many within government and outside government, seem to love BIG. Big Dams. Big Malls. Big Cities. Or anything Big, Gigantic, Humongous, Megalomaniac !

The Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor Project is such a humongous, megalomaniac, ambitious State-Sponsored Industrial Development Project spanning 1483 km in length across six states in India. It is a joint venture between India and Japan, both having contributed equally to the initial Rs. 1000 crore ($ 182 million) fund. The ‘dream’ is to ramp up the size to $ 100 billion (Rs. 5.5 lakh crore). DMIC is supposed to pass through six states, namely, U.P, NCR of Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra, with end terminals at Dadri in the National Capital Region of Delhi and Jawaharlal Nehru Port near Mumbai.

dmic_map.png

Along with the environmental and material disaster it will have an impact on 14% population of the country, as per official documents. This is being done ignoring the displacement and immense suffering of the people in various projects. What could not be achieved through the Special Economic Zone Act is now being planned through this. The new Bill on land acquisition and resettlement and rehabilitation is being tailor made to this project, and no wonder if this turns out to be the biggest disaster for people in coming years.

Key features of the project:
– will affect a band of 150km to 200km on both sides of the Dedicated Freight Corridor
– incorporates nine mega industrial zones of about 200-250 sq. km each
– approximately 180 million people, 14 percent of India’s population will be affected
– nine junction stations including Vasai (near Mumbai), Gothangan (near Surat), Makarpura (near Baroda), Amli (near Ahmedabad), Palanpur, Marwar, Phulera, Rewari, Tughlakabad

Big Dreams : The stated goals of this monstrously big dream are to:
– double employment potential in five years
– triple industrial output in five years
– quadruple exports from the region in five years

But what is the reality !
DMIC is just one more link in the long chain of fantasies pursued by the corporate-politician-bureaucrat-technocrat-land shark nexus of vested interests who foist projects to benefit themselves at the cost of the toiling majority of our country. The clique of vested interests masquerades as ‘development magicians’ who will make India shine. Technocrats are fascinated by what is big. In their view all that is ‘mega’ is in the interest the country. Whimsical ideas are floated first, feasibility examined as an afterthought and justification drummed around like it is divine decree. Kalpasar, River linking, SEZs, SIRs, DMIC etc. are part of a long history of mammoth fanciful projects with dubious promises, unfulfilled and unfulfill-able benefits.

And what is wrong with this megalomania ?
Experience shows that investment jamboorees across the country do not deliver. At best only 20 to 30 % of the promised investments come good. The record of new employment generated is even worse. Every new job typically requires a capital of between Rs. 80 lakh to Rs. 1 crore. Whether it is SEZs, SIRs or infrastructure projects they are land scams and routes to avoid taxes.

– There is absolutely no mention of the human or environmental impacts of the humongous DMIC project.
– The kind of projects pursued currently are massively resource-intensive. There is no thought spared for where water and power will be available from.
– Even a small project has to be examined for its feasibility, economic costs and benefits, environmental and social impact assessment. No such exercise is known to have been undertaken.
– When something on such a scale is envisioned one cannot look at individual projects, one has to look at the combined impact.
– The real cost of ‘development’ is displacement, dispossession, dis-employment and dehumanisation.
– Ask the toiling majority of women, farmers, farm labourers, Dalits, Adivasis, fish workers; India is not shining, India is declining. Only the Tatas, Ambanis, Adanis, Mittals, Birlas & Jindals are shining. They will soon be joined by Walmart, Ikea, Carrefour.

Will we let this all happen ?
Projects have already started at many of the places and so have the resistance by people. To bring all these struggles together, to reach out to people on the route, spread out information and to be with them in solidarity we have undertaken this yatra from Mumbai to Delhi, culminating in Delhi on March 23, Shahid Bhagat Singh’s martyrdom day. Join us in this yatra, come and be part of an effort to save precious natural resources for future generations, for a people friendly sustainable development planning and stand in solidarity with people struggling for a dignified living.

Why Abhiyan?
NAPM believes in citizens right to development planning and a model of development which is self sufficient, labour intensive and emerging from the bottom, rather than the top down monstrous ideas imposed in the name of public interest. Our fight is not against this or that project, we are challenging the development paradigm itself;

DMIC is a monstrosity that must be exposed, it’s undemocratic, bypasses constitutional rights of citizens, environmentally destructive and a tool for unprecedented resource grab by corporations;

In the history of struggles for reclaiming our rightful share in development planning and ensuring livelihood to the majority, urgent need to intervene lest it circumvents all the legal, political, financial and environmental safeguards in the country;

We believe working classes must reclaim their right for people-centred planning and assert their right to determine the path or paradigm of development. Hence, this yatra to link up, to reach out to farmers, peasants, workers, adivasis, dalits, petty traders and others across the six states that will be swept by the humongous DMIC. NAPM affiliated movements in each of the states have already been working on these issues for sometime now and it is time to link these all up and take the next step forward.

Proposed dates and plan for the yatra is following :
Maharashtra (Suniti S R-09423571784)

March 8-9-10-11
Gujarat (Krishnakant-09427849310)

March 12-13-14-15
Madhya Pradesh

March 15-16
Rajasthan (Swai Singh 09413200044)

March 16-17
Delhi *
18 March Big Dharna and on 19 March Special session of Jan Sansad on DMIC At Jantar-Mantar, New Delhi
* Meeting for future planing on 18th or 19th March in Delhi.

We invite you all to join us in this yatra, wherever you can also support the yatra in various ways. Block dates in you calender, book your train tickets, involve your activist circle, your friends and raise resources for the same.

If you plan to join us from Mumbai till the end then let us know accordingly and plan to reach on March 8th in Mumbai. We are attaching detail maps of the DMIC project. Information can be seen on http://www.dmic.co.in/

Help us with contacts in these states, write about it, spread the information about it, blog about it, support with resources, come and travel with us.

Looking forward

Coordination Committee:
Medha Patkar, Suniti S R, Ulka Mahajan, Prafulla Samantara, Krishnakant, Anand Mazgaonkar, Sawai Singh, Kailash Meena, Anil Trivedi, Tapan Bhattacharya, J. P. Singh, Manish Gupta, Bhupender Singh Rawat, Madhuresh Kumar, Seela Mahapatra and Vimalbhai
for details call : Vimalbhai-09718479517 , Madhuresh-9818905316, Seela-9212587159

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