Creating an Undemocratic and Unaccountable Biotechnology Regulator

A critique of the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India Bill, 2011

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Biotechnology is a cross cutting issue that affects food production, farming, health, environment and information technology sectors. It is to be expected then that formulation of any law governing this high risk technology would be deeply democratic and transparent exercise. Particularly because the Constitution of India guarantees that States and Local Governments are principal levels for engaging with debates and decisions when it matters to peoples access to food, health, a clean environment and livelihoods in general. The role of the Centre is supportive, at best. International law also strongly supports this process of bottom up decision making involving the people meaningfully.

The Indian Government, however, seems to now believe that biotechnology as a sector must be under the “control” of the Union Government. Accordingly, it has proposed the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority Bill, 2011, to establish a Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) and Biotechnology Regulatory Appellate Authority (BRAT) and a host of other regulatory and appeal agencies. There has been no discussion whatsoever during the formulation of this Bill with Local and State Governments, and it would not be wrong to say that the process by which this legislative proposal has been formulated is absolutely opaque.

The Bill is now set for debate and discussion in the winter session of the Parliament. It is to be seen if this would be possible as the House has been rocked by protests from Opposition and allies of the ruling UPA coalition against the Union Government’s decision to allow FDI in single brand retail, amongst other issues. The opportunity now exists to subject BRAI Bill, 2011 to a thorough review at all levels.

To assist in this process, Environment Support Group, a not for profit public interest research, training, campaign and advocacy initiative responsing to various environmental and social justice concerns, has prepared a critique of the Bill entitled: “Creating an Undemocratic and Unaccountable Biotechnology Regulator: A critique of the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India Bill, 2011, with particular emphasis on environmental laws”. The same is attached.

 

We do hope that our contribution helps in deeply democratising the debate and discussion on this legislative proposal, especially considering the massive impact it has on food security, health, environment and governance, and the livelihoods of millions.

Leo F. Saldanha

Bhargavi S. Rao

Environment Support Group


The real foreign hand SAMIT AICH

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/article2946804.ece

The PM should know that agrotech and nuclear firms, rather than NGOs, are undermining the public interest.

By raising the spectre of the “foreign hand” supposedly behind protests against nuclear energy and GM food, the Prime Minister has dismissed the concerns of millions of Indians, creating a smokescreen behind which to undermine both nuclear safety and the food safety of 1.2 billion Indians.

It is no coincidence that the PM’s statements come even as the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India Bill and the Rules under the Nuclear Suppliers Liability Act are due to be introduced in Parliament. Both are seen as critical by the real foreign hand: giant American agrotech companies and the French, US and Russian nuclear industries.

Through his recent statements, the PM is trying to discredit and undermine the people and groups asking legitimate questions of a government that they have elected.

The last few years have seen mass mobilisation by farmers and consumers who do not want their seed sovereignty and food safety jeopardised, all to benefit American corporations such as Monsanto.

They opposed the introduction of genetically modified Bt brinjal. Public sentiment and scientific questions led to the former Environment Minister, Mr Jairam Ramesh, imposing a moratorium on GM food.

Similarly, following the Fukushima disaster, concerns grew about the dangers of nuclear energy. From Fatehabad in Haryana and Jaitapur in Maharashtra to Haripur in West Bengal and Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu, lakhs of farmers and fishermen are rising up to protest their lands, homes and livelihoods being taken over for the risky, expensive and uneconomic proposition that is nuclear energy. Middle-class urban India has also grown sceptical that nukes are a solution to our energy shortages. By dismissing these protests as being engineered by a foreign hand, the PM has shown he is out of touch with the grassroots.

NUCLEAR LIABILITY

In July 2011, the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, bluntly demanded that India amend its liability law — demanding that the will of Indians, through their elected representatives, be disregarded. The US State Department spokesperson, P. J. Crowley, and Ambassador to India, Timothy Roemer, have made similar statements.

The Manmohan Singh Government has spared no effort to reassure the governments of France, the US and Russia, that neither protests nor the Civilian Nuclear Liability Bill will be allowed to delay the entry of foreign nuclear companies into India. If nuclear energy is truly safe, why are the suppliers worried about being liable in the case of an accident? The nukes liability law has now been passed, and any amendment is politically unfeasible. So the government is seeking to circumvent the law by framing Rules which will protect foreign suppliers by severely limiting their liability — even as the PM diverts attention by accusing civil society of being controlled by foreign interests!

Similarly, the Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) Bill seeks to bypass the opposition to GM foods. The Bill will institute a centralised, single window clearance to GM crops, taking away the powers of the States. It will not be in keeping with India’s biosafety obligations and overlooks the principle of absolute liability.

MUZZLING NGOS

Rather than engaging with the legitimate questions of millions of Indians, the Government is browbeating those who do not toe their line. If there is wrongdoing by NGOs, why has the government not made its evidence public? Crude attempts to muzzle the right to protest have no place in India. These statements must be seen in the light of a wider governmental crackdown on non-profit organisations.

The FCRA 2010 now enables the Home Ministry to suspend the FCRA registration of any non-profit organisation for up to 180 days without a hearing, and for 0a number of reasons, including ‘public interest’. Similarly, under the proposed Direct Taxes Code, NGOs will be denied the existing benefit of being able to transfer up to 15 per cent of their annual income into a corpus against future contingencies. The Finance Ministry has ignored pleas from India’s leading charities that this provision be reconsidered.

It is ironic that a Prime Minister who has been instrumental in opening up the economy to foreign corporations now accuses civil society of being controlled by a foreign hand.

(The author is Executive Director, Greenpeace India, a registered NGO)

రైతులకు విఆర్‌ఎస్‌!

ప్రజాశక్తి-హైదరాబాద్‌ బ్యూరో   Mon, 16 Apr 2012, IST
  • భూముల నుండి వెళ్లగొట్టే కుట్ర
  • రాష్ట్ర స్థాయిలో రెగ్యులేటరీ అథారిటీ
  • అనుబంధంగా భూ అభివృద్ధి కార్పొరేషన్‌
  • ప్రణాళికా సంఘం ముసాయిదా
  • సిఎంల భేటీలో చర్చ ?

స్వచ్ఛంద ఉద్యోగ విరమణ (విఆర్‌ఎస్‌) అమలు చేస్తున్నట్లు రైతులకు సైతం స్వచ్ఛంద సాగు విరమణ పథకాన్ని ప్రభుత్వం త్వరలో ప్రవేశపెట్టనుంది. రైతులు స్వచ్ఛందంగా తమ భూములను పరిశ్రమలకు ఇచ్చేందుకు వీలుగా ఆకర్షణీయంగా ఒక స్కీమ్‌కు కేంద్ర, రాష్ట్ర ప్రభుత్వాలు రూపకల్పన చేస్తున్నాయి. బహుళజాతి, ప్రైవేటు సంస్థలకు భూములను సులభంగా, సరళతరంగా సేకరించి పెట్టేందుకు వీలుగా రాష్ట్ర స్థాయిలో రెగ్యులేటరీ అథారిటీని నెలకొల్పేందుకు చర్చలు జరుగుతున్నాయి. దానికి అనుబంధంగా భూమి అభివృద్ధి కార్పొరేషన్‌ (ఎల్‌డిసి)ను ఏర్పాటు చేయనున్నారు. వస్తూత్పత్తి రంగం అభివృద్ధికి తరచూ భూసేకరణ సమస్యలు ఎదురవుతున్నందున రాష్ట్రాల స్థాయిలో రెగ్యులేటరీ అథారిటీ, ఎల్‌డిసిలను ఏర్పాటు చేయాలని కేంద్ర ప్రణాళికా సంఘం ప్రతిపాదించింది. ముసాయిదా పత్రంపై త్వరలో జరిగే ముఖ్యమంత్రుల సమావేశంలో కేంద్రం చర్చకు పెట్టి అభిప్రాయాలు సేకరించే అవకాశం ఉంది. ప్రణాళికా సంఘం రూపొందించిన ముసాయిదా పత్రం మన రాష్ట్ర ముఖ్యమంత్రికి ఇప్పటికే అందినట్లు తెలిసింది. సోమవారం జరిగే సిఎంల భేటీలో దీనిపై చర్చిస్తారని సమాచారం. అంతర్గత భద్రతకే ఈ సమావేశం పరిమితమైతే వచ్చే నెలలో మరోసారి జరిగే ముఖ్యమంత్రుల సదస్సులో భూసేకరణ మసాయిదాపై తప్పనిసరిగా చర్చ ఉంటుందని అధికార వర్గాలు తెలియజేశాయి.

ప్రణాళికా సంఘం రూపొందించిన ముసాయిదాలో ఆసక్తికరమైన అంశాలున్నాయి. ప్రైవేటు రంగంలో వస్తూత్పత్తి పరిశ్రమలు ఏర్పాటు చేయడానికి భూమి సమస్య ముందుకొచ్చిందని, దీన్ని ఎలాగొలా పరిష్కరించాల్సి ఉందని ప్రణాళికా సంఘం పేర్కొంది. భూసేకరణ కోసం రాష్ట్ర స్థాయిలో స్వతంత్రంగా పని చేసే నియంత్రణ సంస్థను ఏర్పాటు చేయాలి. ఎవరైనా రైతు తన భూమిని ఇవ్వదలుచుకుంటే ఆ సంస్థకు దరఖాస్తు చేసుకోవాలి. తనకు పరిహారం ఎంత కావాలో దానిలో స్పష్టంగా పేర్కొనాలి. రెగ్యులేటరీ అథారిటీ అలాంటి దరఖాస్తులను పరిశీలించి ధర నిర్ణయించి రైతు నుండి భూమి తీసుకుంటుంది. రెగ్యులేటరీ అథారిటీ నిర్ణయించే ధరకు రైతు తన భూమిని ఇవ్వొచ్చు లేదా తాను కోరుకునే పరిహారం కోసం చర్చలు జరిపి దాన్ని సాధించుకోవచ్చు. భూమి విలువను నిర్ధారించేందుకు ల్యాండ్‌ డెవలప్‌మెంట్‌ కార్పొరేషన్‌ను ఏర్పాటు చేస్తారు. ఆ భూమికి సంబంధించిన లావాదేవీల చరిత్ర, దానికి బహిరంగ మార్కెట్‌లో ఉన్న డిమాండ్‌ తదితర అంశా లను ఎల్‌డిసి అధ్యయనం చేసి డేటాను తయారు చేస్తుం ది. అది ఇచ్చే సమాచారాన్ని బట్టి రెగ్యులేటరీ అథారిటీ భూమి ధరను ప్రాథమికంగా నిర్ణయిస్తుంది. భూముల సర్వే, మ్యాపింగ్‌, డేటా సేకరణ తదితరాల కోసం ప్రణాళికా సంఘం రాష్ట్రాలకు నిధులు సమకూరుస్తుంది. భూసేకరణ సమయంలో ప్రభుత్వం, పరిశ్రమలు, భూమి యజమానుల మధ్య పరస్పర అవగాహన కోసమే రెగ్యులేటరీ అథారిటీలని ప్రణాళికా సంఘం చెబుతున్నప్పటికీ దీని వెనుక పెద్ద కుట్ర దాగుందని తెలుస్తోంది. బహుళజాతి, ప్రైవేటు సంస్థలకు భూములను ధారాదత్తం చేసేందుకేనని ఆరోపణలొస్తున్నాయి.

పలు రాష్ట్రాల్లో తమ జీవనాధారమైన భూమిని ఇచ్చేందుకు రైతులు తిరస్కరిస్తున్నారు. వీరోచిత పోరాటాలు చేస్తున్నారు. కారుచౌకగా భూములు కొట్టేసే ప్రభుత్వ చర్యలను గర్హిస్తున్నారు. మన రాష్ట్రంలో థర్మల్‌, అణు ప్రాజెక్టుల పట్ల నిర్వాసితుల నుండి తీవ్ర నిరసనలు వ్యక్తమైన సంగతి తెలిసిందే. వైఎస్‌ హయాంలో దాదాపు లక్ష ఎకరాలను సెజ్‌లు తదితరాలకు పందేరం చేశారని కాగ్‌ సైతం ఎత్తి చూపింది. ప్రభుత్వ సహాయ నిరాకరణ, విధానాల వల్ల వ్యవసాయం సంక్షోభంలో కూరుకుపోయింది. రైతులు ఆత్మహత్యలు చేసుకుంటున్నారు. వ్యవసాయాన్ని వదిలేస్తున్నారు. ఈ పరిస్థితిని ప్రభుత్వం ప్రైవేటుకు అనుకూలంగా మార్చేందుకు, రైతులను భూములు విడిచి పెట్టి వెళ్లేందుకు ప్రభుత్వం కుట్ర పన్నినట్లు విమర్శలొస్తున్నాయి. నిర్బంధంగా భూమిని సేకరించేందుకు అమల్లో ఉన్న బ్రిటిష్‌ కాలంనాటి ‘1894’ చట్టాన్ని తొలగించాలని వామపక్షాలు, ఇతర ప్రతిపక్షాలు డిమాండ్‌ చేస్తున్నాయి. రాష్ట్రంలో ప్రైవేటు కంపెనీలకు భూములు సేకరించేందుకే ఎపిఐఐసి ఉందని ఎమ్మార్‌ వంటి అనుభవాలు తెలియజేస్తున్నాయి. ప్రభుత్వం భూములు సేకరించదని, పరిశ్రమ ఎవరైతే పెడతారో వారే భూములను సేకరించుకోవడం మంచిదని ఇటీవల రాష్ట్ర సర్కార్‌ ఒక విధానాన్ని రూపొందించింది. ఈలోపే ప్రణాళికా సంఘం రెగ్యులేటరీ సంస్థను ఏర్పాటు చేయాలని సూచించడంతో దీనిపై రాష్ట్ర ప్రభుత్వం ఏం చెప్పాలనేదానిపై అధికారుల స్థాయిలో చర్చలు జరుగుతున్నాయని తెలిసింది. కాగా ప్రణాళికా సంఘం వాదన ఇలా ఉంది…ప్రపంచ ఆర్థిక మాంద్యం నేపథ్యంలో వస్తూత్పత్తి రంగం అభివృద్ధి చెందాల్సి ఉంది. పొరుగునున్న చైనా, థాయిలాండ్‌ ఈ రంగంపై ఎప్పటి నుండో దృష్టిపెట్టి విజయవంతమయ్యాయి. గత 30 సంవత్సరాల్లో దేశ జిడిపిలో వస్తూత్పత్తి రంగం వాటా 15 శాతానికి మించలేదు. పదకొండవ పంచవర్ష ప్రణాళికా కాలంలో ఈ రంగం వృద్ధిరేటు 10-11 శాతం సాధించాలని లక్ష్యంగా పెట్టుకున్నప్పటికీ 7.7 శాతం వద్ద ఊగిసలాడుతోంది. వచ్చే 12వ ప్రణాళికా కాలంలో జిడిపిలో వస్తూత్పత్తి రంగం వాటా 25 శాతం సాధించాల్సి ఉంది. ప్రస్తుతం పారిశ్రామిక అవసరాల కోసం 2-4 శాతం భూమి మాత్రమే అందుబాటులో ఉంది. ఈ నేపథ్యంలో పరిశ్రమల స్థాపనకు సమస్యగా ఉన్న భూసేకరణ సజావుగా జరగాలంటే రాష్ట్రాల స్థాయిలో రెగ్యులేటరీ అథారిటీ అవసరమని ప్రణాళికా సంఘం చెబుతోంది.

one day workshop on Strengthening Local Economies in Times of Global Economic Crisis’ by NAPM

NAPM -AP Chapter is organising a one day workshop on – 

“Strengthening Local Economies in Times of Global Economic Crisis”

Date – 05-May-2012          Time – 10am to 5.30pm

Venue – Cellar 1, Sundarayya Vigyana Kendram, Baghlingampally, Hyderabad


Background –

In the context of the current Global Economic Crisis we are faced with new challenges. The mainstream economists continue to harp on free markets, integrated globalised economic models as the answer and seek more liberalization, reforms and access to markets; which are in reality leading to increased price inflation, increased volatility and vulnerability of local markets due to global / external events. This is also leading to the impoverishment of people in sectors like small trade, agriculture, handloom and all other people employed in various traditional, rural livelihoods.

The thrust of the free market enterprise was to strengthen the hands of large investors, while weakening the support systems to the small scale sectors and agriculture, which is leading to wealth accumulation in the hands of a few corporations.

The Current Global Economic Crisis has demonstrated that this model is a failed model and there is a need to rethink on the way forward. Gandhiji had time and again stressed on the democratic nature of Indian Economic model which was basically a localized economic model where in the production was oriented towards local markets. Even to this day, the strength of the Indian Economy lies in the strong local market which however, has been weakened over the last 20 years to become dependant on external markets in the name of liberalization. While all this was being done in the name of increasing foreign exchange via access to export markets, in reality this integration has led to increased influx of foreign goods into the country leading to a ballooning trade deficit and the devaluation of the rupee.

The fall of the rupee is translating into higher petroleum costs, higher transportation costs, and higher agricultural input costs and thus having a cascading effect on the entire economy and making the cost of sustenance of the common people sky rocket. 


There fore, it is important to look at alternatives from the Mainstream that will protect the Rural Livelihoods and promote Sustainability. In the context of the Current Energy Crisis and the Inflated demand for More and more Energy, in this “Energy Centered Developmental Model” too it is imperative to look at alternative systems.

The One day Workshop will throw some light on the situation of the Current Global Economic Crisis and How Localised Economies can actually be a boon to the majority of the people of the country, while also moving us towards a low energy system of economy. 

Schedule of the Programme – 

10 am – Registration / Introduction of the Participants and the Workshop. 

10.30 am – Limitations of the Current Economic Model and the Need for Alternative Vision.

(Speakers – Dr. Aravind Susarla, Center for Regional Studies, Hyderabad Central University)

10.45am – 11.15am – Discussion on the above subject.

11.15am – Ecological, local input based agriculture and impact on rural Life and economy

(Speakers – Farmers from – Punnami Organic Farmers’ Co-operative Society – Vempalle, Kadapa)

11.30am – 12pm – Discussion

12 pm – Local input, Ecological Construction practices – impact on rural livelihoods, ecology and energy consumption

(Speaker – Er. B.N. Mani. Project Engineer, Rural Technology Park, NIRD, Hyderabad)

12.30 – 1pm – Discussion

1pm-2pm – Lunch Break

2pm –Efficient Energy Use and Water Management – Impacts for agricultural / rural economy

(Speaker –  Parcha Kishan Rao, Certified Solar Engineer, Farmer, SRI Trainer, Khammam)

2.15 – 2.45 – Discussion

2.45 – Localising Waste Management – Impact on economy, ecology, health and energy consumption.

(Speaker – Major, Shiv Kiran, Sukuki Exnora

3PM-3.30PM – Discussion

3.30pm –  Localising cloth production (Handloom and Khadi) – prospects for Employment generation and energy conservation

( Mrs. Nirmala, Cheneta Colour Weaves, Hyderabad)

3.45 – 4.15 – Discussion.

4.15 – Localising Health Needs

(Dr. K. Satyalakshmi, Research Professor, Gandhi Nature Cure College, Hyderabad)

4.30 – 5.15pm = Discussion

5.15pm – Vote of Thanks.

Fact finding report on farmers suicides in Mahaboobnagar by HRF

S No Cr PC & PS Deceased Details Family Details Date of death Land and Debt Details Details mentioned in FIR Our report Contact numbers
Jadcherla
3 41/11 A Ramakrishna, s/o Ramachandraiah, 32 yrs, C/Golla, Occ: Agril, r/o Nekkonda Village of Jadcherla mandal 20.01.2011 3 acres own land, 3 acres lease, Rs 164000 amount expended on cotton crops He was suffering from financila crisis due to debts and attempted suicide by consuming insecticide poison on 14.1.2011 at 1000 hrs at his home and He died at OGH, Hyd. Informant: wife, mother and others; Wife: Mamata; 2 girl children (4 yrs; 13 months); took 15 acres on lease; no irrigation facility; cultivated cotton; lost crop for 2 yrs; debts 180000;  struggled for life for 8 days in Osmania hospital; incurred exp for hospitalisation Rs.40000; MRO visited after 10 days and spoke to all moneylenders; family got Rs.5000/- under NFBS but has not received any support under 421 GO; Mr. Satyam – brother of Ramakrishna: 9505528019
4 366/2011 Smt Gorla Laxmamma, w/o Late Narayana, 48 yrs, C/Telugu, Occ: Agril, r/o Kurvagadda village of jadcherla Mandal, One son 20.10.2011 3 acres land on lease basis from Panthulu, 45000 Rs borrowing She was facing financial crises and incurred debts too, n thi way the deceased consumed poison and died while undergoing treatment on  at 1210 hrs, at Govt Hqrs Hospital, M’nagar Informants: son; 2 acres of own land; 4 acres on lease for Rs.10000/-; dug 2 borewells; 2 failed; Son bought tractor with 3.5 lakhs from Sriram Finance; loans to the tune of Rs.3.5 lakhs; MRO has not visited so far; Got Rs.4000/- under NFBS (Rs.1000 bribe) Mr. Anjaneyulu – son of Laxmamma; 9640905145
5  421/11 Kothani Chinna Jangaiah, s/o Jangilaiah, 55 yrs, C/Kurva, Occ: Agril, r/o Nekkonda village of Jadcherla Mandal. Has one wife and 2 children 26.11.2011 2 acres own land, Rs 60000 borrowings for borewell in his own land  He was cultivating cotton seeds and incurred loss and not capable to clear the debts amount. due to which the deceased frustrated over on life and committed suicide by hanging Informant: Son, wife and others; 5 acres on lease; 2 borewells – 200 feet – failed; Spent Rs.44000 on borewells and 90000 on cultivation and 10000 for lease – total 1.44 lakhs; out of this only 20000 is from Grameen Vikas Bank; his son Mr. Nagarju is not into cultivation but surviving as auto driver; daughter got married; MRO  has not visited so far; No MLVC so far; Mr. Nagaraju – son: 8497914269;
6 459/2011 Golkond Chinna Jangaiah, 40 yrs, Occ: Agril, C/Golla, r/o Gangapur village of Jadcherla mandal. Has one wife, 2 children 27.12.2011 The case is under investigation He was facing financial crisis and committed suicide by hanging Family members are not available and we spoke to his brother and neighbour. As per brother’s information – 3 acres of own land; cultivated cotton and tried 6 bore wells and all failed; last borewell was dug upto 390 feet; loans to the tune of Rs.6 lakhs; out of this 30000/- is bank loan; 3 children; wife: Suvarna; There is suspicion about the death. As per Sarpanch information post mortem report confirmed it as murder.
Peddamandadi PS
7 .07/2011 Sinsetti Chiranjeevi, s/o Balramsagar, Age:22 yrs, C/ Uppara occ: Agril, r/o Manigilla village of Peddamandadi. one brother and one sister Own land Loss in agriculture and Heavy debts House is locked; Nobody is available at home; Relatives informed that Chiranjeevi who used to live in Hyderabad for studies came to village and committeed suicide; this does not appear to be a farmer suicide. No contact number
8 .10/2011 Boini Buddaiah, S/o Kondanna, 36 yrs, C/Golla, Occ: Agril, r/o Veeraipally (V), of Peddamandadi. wife and sons 5 acres of agri land Two borewells failed in 2 years. Due to shortage of borewell water, His groundnut crop damaged. An amount of Rs 250000  debts Informants: wife and cousins; Wife: Nagamma; two sons (8 yrs; 7 yrs); 2 acres of own land; 5 acres on lease; lease amount is Rs.2500/- per acre; 2 borewells in 2010 and incurred exp 1,50,000/-; cultivated ground nut, paddy and mustard; and loans for cultivation: 1 lakh; total loans: 2,50,000/-; MRO has not visited and no MLVC. Rs.5000 under NFBS; Mr. Raju – cousin; 9652964845;
9 33/2011 Angothu Balya Naik, S/o late Chinali, 38 yrs, C/ST Lambada, Occ: Coolie, r/o Cheruvukommu thanda, h/o Ammapally (v), Peddamandadi (M) 3 daughters and 3 sons two acres of agri land He digged two bore wells,  One succes, second failure. Unbearable debts of Rs 130000 Informant: Mr. Ramulu Naik – cousin; wife and children not available; they are on migration; Wife: Santamma; 3 daughters (6, 5, 3 yrs); 2 acres of own land and 3 acres on lease; migration to Karnataka reported; cultivated cotton, paddy, and groundnut; incurred losses on crop; comitted suicide by hanging; MRO has not visited; no idea about NFBS; Mr. Ramulu Naik; 9676146265
10 74/2011 Vakiti Satyanarayana, s/o Late Manyam, Age: 40 yrs, C/Telugu, Occ: Agril, r/o Mojerla Village of Peddamandadi (m). wife, a son, a daughter deceased has A 3.22 agriculture in Sy No: 469 3 borewells failed + Crops failed.  Huge debts of Rs 319000. They struggled due to Starvation Informant: wife; Wife – Lakshmi; Son (9 yrs) daughter (8 yrs); 5 acres owned by 3 borhters; 2 brothers are residing in Hyderabad; Satyanarayana used to take care of cultivation; cultivated cotton and mustard; 3 borewells failed; crops failed; bought auto; total loan 3 lakhs; no bank loan and all from moneylenders and relatives;  VRO and RI visited the family. Lakshmi (wife); 9505305824;
11 76/2011 Velgonda Padmamma, w/o Parvathalu, Age: 25 yrs, C/Yadava/Golla, Occ: Farmer, R/o Gatlakhanapur (V), Peddamandadi (M) Own land Committed suicide by pesticide poison due to debts and borewells failure. Also depressed due to not having children Informants: Father, co sister and neighbours; 7 acres of land for 3 sons; father Mr. Ramulu was cultivating 2 acres for Parvathalu’s family; Parvathalu and his wife (Padmamma) used to migrate for work by taking advance amounts to the tune of Rs.50000/-. Cotton crop failed; again took advance Rs.20000/- for migrantion but did not go to work; father and co sister did not mention ‘no children’ as reason.  Consumed pesticide. Mr. Ramu (neighbour) 9908822692
Jadcherla Rural
22 Bhoothpur, 20/2011 u/s 174 Cr PC Smt Lotti Shanthamma, w/o Chinna Nagaiah, 60 yrs, Occ: Agril, C/SC Madiga, r/o Kothamolgara (V), Bhoothpur (M) 31.01.2011 own Land Debts for borewell, Poor crop yield, consumed poison Informants: husband and 2 sons; belongs SC; 1 acres of own land; 1 acre on lease; lease amount Rs.10000/- (with borewell) cultivated cotton; spent on failed bore well Rs.30000/-; lost crop; loss incurred 160000/-; sold buffaloes and paid some loan 22500/- (15000 principal and rest is interest in one year). lot of pressure from moneylenders and son ran away from village and has come back just recently; No NFBS: MRO has not visited; Mr. Muttayya (son); 9640802794;
23 Bhoothpur, 129/2011 u/s 174 Cr PC Godugu Venkataiah, s/o Kashanna, 35 yrs, Occ Agril, C/Telugu, r/o Bhoothpur (V &M) 03-08-2011 own land 3 acres Debts, Poor crop yield, Hanging to ceiling fan Informants: mother and relative; 3 acres of own land; borewell dug but failed; cultivated cotton and maize – failed; total loan Rs.70000/-; of this 16000/- from bank and rest from moneylenders and relatives; 3 children (8, 3, 1 yrs); Rs.5000 under NFBS; No MRO visit so far; Narayana (relative); 9849387963
24 Bhoothpur, 202/2011 u/s 174 Cr PC Nandiminti Ramulu, s/o Ramulu, 30 yrs, Occ: Agril, C/Madiga, r/o Kothamolgara (V), Bhoothpur Mandal 30-12-2011 Own land 2 acres Took loans for Borewell and to repair electric motor. Borewell failed. The paddy crop loss due to no water. Informants: Mother and Father; wife is not available – went to work; Belong to SC; 0.5 acres of own land; spent Rs.60000/- on borwell; got this amount by selling 10 oxen borrowed from his sister; cultivated paddy; but harvest was taken by the moneylender/ patel. Now wife Sasirekha is working in Mandal office; got NFBS: MRO not visited; no ration card;

Can Economy prevail over Ecology?


http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/opinion/columns/ashoak-upadhyay/article3324671.ece

April 17, 2012:

There are times when the government needlessly brings upon itself the embarrassment of a reminder from one of its own agencies, of a responsibility it has forgotten or ignored.

Set against its context, that reminder constitutes censure of neglect and, indirectly but no less potently, of an opportunity lost to retain the moral ground that has been rapidly slipping from under its feet.

Recently, a media report stated that in response to an appeal by a resident of Kerala, the Chief Information Commissioner, Mr Shailesh Gandhi, has directed the Ministry of Environment and Forestry to make public the report on the Western Ghats submitted last August, which the MoEF has kept under wraps.

The silence on, and suppression of, the report of the “Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel” chaired by eminent environment scientist Prof Madhav Gadgil is baffling at first sight. There is nothing in it that can be termed “classified” or inimical to national “security”.

In fact, the report remains true to its mandate. It’s job, described in the Ministry’s annual report on the environment for 2009-10, was to “assess the state of the ecology of the Western Ghats, demarcate areas which need to be notified as ecologically sensitive zones, recommend the modalities for the establishment of the Western Ghats Ecological Authority under the Environment Protection Act, 1986” a professional regulatory body no less, “…and to ensure sustainable development with the support of all concerned States.”

The WGEEP report was submitted last August some twelve months after the panel’s appointment; it is significant that the report came exactly a year after a panel headed by Mr N C Saxena had submitted his report on the Orissa Mining Company’s proposal for bauxite mining.

That report seems like a curtain raiser, a prelude to the larger exercise for the Western Ghats running down and affecting the eco-systems and economies of four States — Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala.

So why should the Madhav Gadgil report not get the attention, the sharp light of public scrutiny it richly deserves?

Challenging the order

Perhaps it is precisely because of its vastness, its breadth and depth of reforms for a more sustaining environment that has scared away policymakers from offering it to the public.

What the panel has done basically is to question two central props of current ‘top-down’ political and economic policy and practice: the ‘growth’ model and its administrative-bureaucratic apparatus. Its specific solutions and measures — from bans to promotions for “thoughtful” conservation — are clues to a model that can sustain growth because it conserves natural assets, and achieves both through an administrative machinery based on local validation, initiatives and participative governance.

What the panel, therefore, offers is a challenge to the existing order of growth as we have known it, with all its waste and spoliation wilfully or conveniently ignored.

The central dilemma

The starting point for the WGEEP, unstated but interstitially evident, is a central dilemma inherent in Niyamgarh and in the WG. The region is considered one of the world’s eight “hottest hot spots” of biodiversity but it is also rich in iron, manganese and bauxite ores.

This is a double-edged gift and has defined man’s uneasy relationship with nature. Since the last century but “particularly in recent decades” this “hotspot” of biodiversity has been in “continual decline” with “many biological communities and types” becoming extinct; mining, often “in violation of all laws” have wrecked “environmental damage and social disruption.”

The central dilemma of resource-rich hills leads to an inversion, a disequilibrium that is a consequence of industrialisation so far. As the WGEEP puts it, “By and large, the Western Ghats have been subjected to a rapid erosion of natural capital with the building up of man-made capital.”

With this indictment the panel strikes at the root of current development practice, its principal weakness. If development leads to depletion of the “stock” of natural capital, how sustainable can progress be?

Eco-Sensitive Zones

The WGEEP classifies the entire WG into three Ecologically Sensitive Zones (ESZs) and suggests measures that are breathtaking in their sweep; some for all, others specific to each zone, depending on the level of environmental degradation.

There are three categories of measures which the detailed list of do’s and dont’s for the ESZs contain. The most radical because they are challenge some key “drivers” of current growth are the Interdictions “across the Western Ghats’: So no to Genetically Modified Crops: Special Economic Zones: New Hill Stations, Conversion of public lands to private ownership. In the case of ESZ-I and ESZ-II graded in order of their fragility the panel advocates a moratorium on new mining leases, on the use of hazardous or toxic waste processing units among others.

The second set of measures could be put under the rubric of Regulation. Again, across the Western Ghats the WGEEP suggests the use of “Building Codes consisting of green technology and green building materials, the implementation of the of Forest Rights Act “in its true spirit.”

The third perhaps the most innovative consist of Promotion: sustainable actions with incentives thrown in. The panel suggests payments such as “conservation service charges” to encourage indigenous stock of fish and the redeployment of chemical fertiliser subsidies towards usage of organic manure production of biogas and organic farming, the maintenance of “sacred groves.”

Bottom-up governance

The panel challenges finally the way governments have worked (or do not). Its critique of existing bureaucratic forms of environment protection is countered by an emphasis on conservation, from the identification of resources to the their conservation, by local bodies from fishermen’s cooperatives to gram panchayats.

While proposing the Western Ghats Ecology Authority at three tiers of government down to the district-level, the panel considers local voluntary bodies to play an important role. It points out at one stage that environmental protection is not just a matter of scientific inquiry (or bureaucratic rules) but a “human concern.”

And that should be good enough reason for the report to be made public.

Mahyco’s clarification on the story ‘A Decade of Bt Hype’ carried on Agrarian Crisis

 

April 18, 2012

To,

The Editor,

Indian Agrarian Crisis

Secunderabad.

This is with reference to your story titled ‘A decade of Bt hype’ that published in your site http://agrariancrisis.in  on April 17, 2012.

We would like to bring to your notice that the first paragraph of your story mentions that Mahyco is an Indian subsidiary of Monsanto which is factually incorrect. Mahyco is not an Indian subsidiary of Monsanto. Monsanto only has a minority stake of 26% in Mahyco. We feel that an error of this nature are detrimental to Mahyco’s business as it is a reputed Indian company.

I am sure you will appreciate the sensitivity involved and publish the correction at the earliest.

Thanks and regards,

Suryakant Mishra

Head – PR,

Maharashtra Hybrid Seeds Company Limited (Mahyco)

Dear Dr. G. V. Ramanjaneyulu,

Please find below the response from Mahyco for your story on ‘A decade of Bt hype’ published in your site.

Hope you will be able to carry the same at the earliest.

Thanks and regards,

Farooque

The PRactice

+91-9323671307

——————-

 

Farooque Shaikh 

T : +91 22 30008371-99 M: +91-9323671307   www.the-practice.net