UP drafting action plan to cut carbon footprint

Draft plan to be ready by March 31

Uttar Pradesh government is giving final shape to the State Action Plan on Climate Change, which aims at cutting carbon footprint with the formulation of eco-friendly policies.

The Action Plan would encompass 8 missions dedicated to different sectors, such as agriculture, energy, housing etc. It will outline environment issues in UP, impact of climate change, vulnerability assessment and climate change strategy.


“The Draft Action Plan would be ready by March this year,” principal secretary urban development Alok Ranjan told Business Standard on sidelines of a conference on ‘A Better Tomorrow through Green buildings’ organised by PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry here.

“The Action Plan would help the government to formulate eco-friendly and people-friendly policies, which help in controlling emission of greenhouse gases,” he added. The Plan would be later vet by the Centre.

Ranjan noted the state was conscious of the environment issues and was committed to making a greener UP through regulation and awareness among the stakeholders.

In his address, Indian Green Building Council chairperson P C Jain said almost 40 per cent of the energy produced was consumed by buildings and the need of hour was to adopt green building technologies.

Meanwhile, UP environment director and state nodal officer for climate change Yashpal Singh said the Action Plan would encompass 8 missions, including energy, non-renewable energy, water, housing, strategic knowledge, sustaining the Himalayan eco-system and sustainable agriculture.

Each of the missions is being handled by the concerned department principal secretary and core committee.

“The Centre has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with German consultancy firm GTZ, which is helping the respective state governments in drafting the Action Plan,” he added.

The draft Action Plan of the state would later be sent to the Centre, which would gives its views and suggest for any revisions. Thereafter, the high-powered committee led by the state chief secretary would give its final nod to it.

Uttar Pradesh: 3 people have died in skirmishes between the police and farmers protests over the land acquisitions for the Yamuna Expressway in the state of Uttar pradesh over the past week. This is because approximately 40,000 acres of land is being acquired for the construction of an expressway between Agra and Noida. Land around the proposed expressway is also being acquired for the construction of a township and the farmers are not being adequately compensated even after slight increase in compensation from 449 to 570 Rs per sq meter and the farmers remain unsatisfied.

BKU farmers have also joined the already protesting farmers in their struggle against unfair grabbing of agricultural land. Ch Tikait [head of BKU] will be joining farmers in Tappal [in Aligarh] after a protest march from village Sisauli to Tappal. At Tappal, a kisan panchayat [farmers meeting] will be organized to plan the future course of events. BKU spokesman Yudhvir Singh said, “we are not against the construction of a highway but the construction companies are being donated land by the UP government at such a low cost not only on the highway route but also all along the sides of the highway. Farmers will get a mere 570 Rs per square meter but the Jaypee company will colonize that area by developing real  estate like farm houses, malls and condos and then selling the same land for more than 1000 times the price.” We are not talking about a couple of acres here, but more than 21% of the land in India’s largest state U.P. has already been earmarked for such projects.

So the issue is not just adequate compensation, it is as much about how the land is used. The government quietly meting out  extra chunks of fertile land to corporations for commercial construction  will be a very profitable business venture for a few at the cost of the livelihood of thousands and India’s food security itself.

Farm land grabbing is a major problem in India with the wave of land acquisitions for development such as Special Economic Zones [SEZ’z], highways and townships springing up everywhere. In a country where there is rampant hunger and unemployment, cities on the verge of explosion and a huge agricultural population the only sensible and just  thing to do is to support people who work the land and protect its productive capacity. We need to create policies that will appreciate the farmer’s  role in society as the food growers of the nation and provide them a dignified life and a decent income. What will we achieve by wasting fertile land on more malls, condo’s and disney lands?- hunger,  more farmers suicides and even more slums in the cities.

For more information of farm land grabs world wide: http://farmlandgrab.org/
News articles on the current UP Yamuna expressway issue:




Arvind Singh Bisht, TNN 30 August 2009, 04:55am IST

LUCKNOW: It is a catch-22 situation in UP. While there is no reprieve from the severe drought in 58 of the total 70 districts in the state,

floods have now become the bane of over one dozen districts. Incidentally, these flood-affected districts are also included in the list of drought-affected districts.
Uniquely, it is East UP which is under floods, while Western UP reeling under severe droughts, has been spared so far from this. Surprisingly, these floods are not due to excessive rain, but are caused due to excessive flow of water from Nepal into the rivers like Ghagra, Rapti, Gandak and Saryu and Narayani. All these rivers are either flowing above the danger mark or just touching this point.
The threat still looms large, as monsoon is not yet over. If the past experience is any cue, then floods have been most common in UP in the month of September. The government by its own admission puts the estimated flood-affected population at present at over 12 lakh in as many as 38 tehsils of 12 districts of Behraich, Pilibhit, Lakhimpur Kheri, Siddarth Nagar, Deoria, Shravasti, Sitapur, Faizabad, Kushinagar, Gorakhpur, Bahraich, Gonda and Balrampur.
The number might swell, if there is more rain in the catchment areas, particularly in Nepal, which is like a scourge for the state in term of floods.
The worst hit are the farmers, who get peanuts in spite of the political blame game going on between the Mayawati government and the Congress-led government at the Centre over the issue of relief package. The state has demanded a hefty sum of around Rs 8,000 cr for drought relief. The package for the flood relief will be in addition to this.
But for the farmers, getting this relief is far more difficult than to face the ordeal of nature’s vagaries. The norms for the relief are as: Rs 1 lakh in case of a death. For rehabilitation, Rs 20 per day each are given to every adult and Rs 15 per day to minor. For the loss of crop, a compensation of Rs 2,000 per hectare is admissible. Likewise, Rs 25,000 relief is given on the destruction of a `pucca house’ and Rs 2,000 on a `kuchha house.’
However, getting this relief is not possible without running from pillar to post. Most of the time it’s very purpose gets defeated due to inordinate delay in its disbursement. The most defective is the compensation norm set for the loss of crop. This is fixed Rs 2,000 per hectare. But the fact remains that most of the land-holdings in UP are less than one hectare. So, the majority of farmers, who are at the rock-bottom of the society virtually get nothing out of the government’s relief. In fact, this comes as a jackpot for the revenue officials and other concerned, who stand to gain most by this.
Already, the situation has taken a turn for the worst in the state. The adversity of nature has put the farmers, particularly marginal and small farmers in abject poverty. The result is that of suicides by farmers in the state. In one such case reported from Lakhimpur-Kheri only last week, a farmer couple– Dharmpal (35) and his wife Dharma Devi committed suicide due to indebtedness.
Incidentally, UP has the dubious distinction of highest number of indebted farmers — much more than Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh where maximum number of farmers’ suicide take place — and the above incident comes as a wake up call.

Farmer sets himself ablaze in Mulayam's prescence


Akhilesh Kumar Singh
[ 19 Feb, 2007 0237hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]
KANPUR: Striving hard to survive the prevailing political turmoil in Uttar Pradesh, chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav faced yet another setback on Sunday.
Enraged over the district administration’s callous approach, a farmer set himself ablaze in front of the CM while he was addressing a rally at Mahoba.
The condition of the 35-year-old farmer identified as Maniram was critical with above 50% burn injuries.
The incident took place around the time when the CM strongly refuted reports of suicides and hunger deaths of farmers due to consecutive droughts in the region.
“Not a single farmer has committed suicide in UP during my regime and those making such claims are opposition-sponsored agents trying to tarnish the government image,”claimed Yadav at a rally in Mahoba.
“The farmers suicides are taking place only in Congress-ruled states like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh. But the UPA government is concerned more about UP farmers to defame my government,”he added.
The police immediately shifted Maniram to the Jhansi Medical College, where his condition remains serious. A resident of Murori village of Mahoba district, Maniram had declared a fortnight ago that he would immolate himself during the CM’s rally because local officials had ignored his repeated pleas for compensating the death of his horse.
According to locals, Maniram had taken his horse to a recently organised animal fair where it died. Since animals taking part in the fair are insured, he was entitled to a compensation but officials did not pay heed to his pleas.
Maniram was leading a penurious life as he had already sold his land to pay back agricultural loans, his neighbours added.
Confirming the immolation bid, Mahoba district magistrate Sameer Verma said that Maniram was mentally unstable (sirfira) and his act was absolutely unwarranted.
“Maniram himself was responsible for the death of his horse as he used to give it liquor,”said Verma. He defended the local officials and said none of them were at fault.
Mulayam, on his way back to Lucknow from Mahoba, just dropped his party senior colleague Harmohan Singh at the police lines helipad and proceeded without speaking to mediapersons.
Hit by persistent droughts, farmers’ suicides in Bundelkhand have become a routine affair. In the last three years, more than 600 farmers have committed suicides in the four districts of Bundelkhand region but official machinery continues to deny this.

NHRC seeks report from UP Govt on Suicides


New Delhi, Jan 25: National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Thursday asked the Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh to submit a report within four weeks on the media reports over alleged suicides of poor people in Bundelkhand area.

Taking cognizance of a news report which stated that farmers were committing suicide in the area, the commission said, “the contents of the press report, if true, raise serious issue of violation of human rights of the poor people and in particular, the farmers of Bundelkhand area of Uttar Pradesh”.

The news report had highlighted that Bundelkhand area which has been witnessing drought-like conditions for the last four years is reporting suicidal deaths.

The report also said that the area was declared drought-hit only in the year 2004-05 following more than 50 per cent crop loss in the seven districts of Jhansi, Lalitpur, Jalaun, Mahoba, Hamirpur, Banda and Chitrakoot.

Bureau Report