Friday, March 30, 2007

a press release from river research center, kerala which is leading the people struggle against the ill fated proposed athirapally hydel dam.

our fake development juggernaut wont stop until it eats up all of india's natural resources and even then it wont stop because when development becomes mindless, there is no stopping the destruction.

Press Release 29rd March, 2007

National Level Conservation Organisations Call for
Fresh Consideration of
Athirappilly Hydroelectric Project

A meeting convened jointly by WWF-India and River Research Centre, Kerala, at New Delhi on the issues raised over the proposed Athirappilly Hydro Electric Project (HEP) in Chalakudy River Basin, Kerala, called for immediate stay on the present Environmental Clearance (EC) under consideration by the Expert Committee for River Valley and Hydroelectric Projects constituted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Government of India.

The 163 MW proposed Athirappilly HEP planned in the Vazhachal Forest Division is the seventh Hydro Electric Project in the Chalakudy River Basin. Given the consistent violations of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification 1994 by the Kerala State Electricity Board with regard to the proposed project and in light of the significant gaps in the assessment of the costs, benefits, impacts and options of the project, organizations felt that the project should be considered afresh. The EIA report had not considered the impact on the sensitive ecology and unique biodiversity of the area. The report grossly underestimates the avian and fish biodiversity of the region which has been declared an Important Bird Area (IBA) by Birdlife International and recommended for a Fish Sanctuary by National Bureau of Fish Genetic Resources. Two High Court judgments have also rejected the Environmental Clearance, whereas in the court-ordered public hearings, the people have unanimously rejected the project and project authorities have yet to fully implement the High Court order.

Repeated requests have been made by affected local communities for a hearing before the River Valley Expert Committee has gone in vain. There has been no response to these requests. Concern over the unwillingness of the MoEF to give an opportunity for project affected communities was also raised in the meeting. It was felt that the MoEF should be more open and transparent and must invite the concerned groups to make their representations before the expert committee . The participants welcomed the site visit of the experts of River Valley Committee and insist that the Committee Members must provide sufficiently advance notice for ample opportunity for local communities to raise their concerns during the visit scheduled on 12 th and 13th of April 2007.

It is strongly recommended that the Environmental Clearance should not be provided on the basis of the current EIA and also without giving adequate opportunity to hear the project affected communities . Presently,Kerala has sufficient power to meet all its requirements and has even been selling power to other states. Hence there should be no urgency to clear the project . The meeting concluded that this is an opportune moment for the KSEB to urgently take steps to "repair, restore to full capacity, all existing hydro-electric projects in Kerala, minimize Transmission and Distribution losses, prevent theft" as per the directions of the Kerala High Court Order 2001 on Athirappilly HEP case, and the River Valley Expert Committee and the Ministry of Environment and Forests to pause and reconsider the need for the project.

Issued by


River Research Centre (Kerala)

Kalpavriksh Environmental Action Group ( Delhi)

Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment (ATREE, Bangalore)

South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP, Delhi )

Intercultural Resources ( Delhi)

Dr.A.Latha River Research Centre 0487-6524110/09847283120


At 6:32 PM , Anonymous Kaustav Bhattacharya said...

As India moves from processing the worlds back office data to developing original research and development and building its knowledge economy, it is facing a new challenge. In a country with such vast resources and people power, how can India take the next step and build a sustainable knowledge economy? Its future lies in its youth who are the individuals who will shape and mould the future economy of India. To succeed in this task the current generation of leaders, Indian heroes, change enablers and entrepreneurs need to nurture and direct the developing minds and aspiration of India's vast army of highly educated minds to ensure that the focus on global economics, science and technology remain at the very core of primary, secondary and tertiary education. These sectors that will count the most in the future - not only for India but for most of the leading and emerging economies of the world. An adaptable education system is paramount to equipping today’s youth of India to cope with the change, challenges and developments which the future holds for our planet so educate we must to succeed on the world scene.

An event organised to develop future leaders and change enablers within India, called Jagriti Yatra, is being organised for December 24th, 2007. The event will take the form of an epic eighteen day train journey starting at the eve of Christmas in Mumbai, weaving its way to the southern tip of India, up its west coast to stop off at various info-tech hot spots and then on to the east in Kolkata, curling around to the north, snaking its way through the centre and culminating at Mumbai. A total of eighteen cities and towns will be visited.

Abroad the train will be three hundred Indian youth ranging from 18 to 25 years old who will have been selected by a rigorous application process. The aim is the have on board youth from all walks of life from as wide and diverse locations within India as possible - focusing on those individuals who have a vision to succeed, rise above the norm and strive to reach one step further to better themselves and their country.

Along the route of the train journey there will be a number of stops to visit institutions, businesses and individuals who have shaped the future of their part of India either through social projects or business initiatives. These stops will serve as focus points for the participants on the train and we hope that their interactions and experiences at each of these stops will serve as educational lessons and inspiration and also provide role models to look up to.

In addition to the 300 youth, the train will be carrying a number of notable mentors, elder statesmen and women who are successful professionals in their own right; some social and some business entrepreneurs. These mentors will be assigned to each train carriage to instigate discussion, debate and to set tasks and goals; ultimately to pull together a range of clarified and documented thoughts, opinions and plans on a multi-point agenda that covers wide ranging topics such as development, economics, infrastructure, the environment and globalization in the 21st century. These conclusions will have been derived by the youth on the train with the experiences guidance and help of the mentors who will be on board.

The ultimate aim of the Yatra is to establish an institute in India that will help aspiring young men and women to be the chance to help themselves and to help their country grow in a global economy. The institute will aim to educate those attending with the right knowledge, skills and attitude to be the next leaders, entrepreneurs and change enablers who have the caliber to make significant contributions to India's development, future and shape its standing on the world scene.

To find out more about this event, visit the Jagriti Yatra web site at


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home