NHSRCL misses several deadlines in land acquisition for Bullet Train Project

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), ruling party in center, is promising a High-Speed Bullet Train corridor between Kanyakumari and Chennai through its general poll manifesto and raising hopes of better connectivity for the people but the National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) which is executing India’s first bullet train project between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, is missing several deadlines in land acquisitions for the bullet train project. The Government has set a deadline for December 2018 to clear the land acquisition roadblock.

Around 140 km north of the Mumbai, in Dehane village of Dahanu block of the district, around 40 people of the Warli tribe gather to articulate their resistance to the project. Rupesh Rawte, a 42-year-old farmer who has 1.5 acres, asks why they should give up their land for a train that is not for them. He said that we will only be looking at it as it passes by. It is not going to stop for us and we can’t afford it. Read more

Lok Sabha polls: Gujarat tribes unhappy with govt ‘interference’ in their culture, may tilt balance in state

First Post | Bishan Kumar | April 07, 2019

Hundreds of nondescript villages in the tribal lands of south Gujarat seem lost in time. Anyone coming from the glittering cities of Ahmedabad, Vadodara and the likes, are immediately transported into a different world of Bhils, Pagris, Dhodia, Dhanka and their ilk. Living in their serene environment, largely untouched by the winds of development, the tribals are now encountering interference from the outside world, causing a threat to their culture, beliefs and unity. And this defines their current psychological state.

Till a few years back, there was hardly any temple in the areas of Dangs, Bharuch and Valsad but now, many small temples dot the small hills. Ask any local and he denies any knowledge of how and by whom these temples were built. Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) leader and seven-time MLA from Jhagadiya constituency is seriously upset by these intrusions. He accuses saffron outfits of trying to create dissension and confusion among nature worshippers. Read more

Aliens in their own lands: When Chhattisgarh’s tribals were turned into encroachers

The Hindu || Jacob Koshy || April 6, 2019

In Chhattisgarh, the Forest Rights Act potentially allows 7.4 million tribal and other traditional forest dwellers to claim land rights. However, half these claims have been rejected and the land siphoned off, often arbitrarily. Jacob Koshy reports on the difficulties in implementing the Act and the plight of the Adivasis

Three years ago, Sunder Singh Kumeti, a Gond tribal, lost access to a parcel of land in the forest that he and his family had foraged for two generations. Before that, Kumeti recalls his work routine as being more or less the same everyday from boyhood. He would walk, along with his fellow villagers, several kilometres into the forest abutting his village looking for flowers from the mahua tree, or wood from the stout sal tree. His village, Patkalbeda, located in Antagarh panchayat of Kanker district in Chhattisgarh,is mostly forest area, though not classified as a reserve forest or a protected area. Read more

Seven decades after Independence, many in Odisha’s villages still drink contaminated water from pits

First Post || Manish Kumar || Mar 27, 2019

A large section of the rural populace of Keonjhar district in Odisha is struggling for access to a basic survival need.

A network of 60 reporters set off across India to test the idea of development as it is experienced on the ground. Their brief: Use your mobile phone to record the impact of 120 key policy decisions on everyday justify; what works, what doesn’t and why; what can be done better and what should be done differently. Their findings — straight and raw from the ground — will be combined in this series, Elections on the Go, over a course of 100 days.

Keonjhar: Seven decades of Independence and other progress notwithstanding, a large section of the rural populace of Keonjhar district in Odisha is struggling for access to a basic survival need — safe drinking water. To make matters worse, this Lok Sabha constituency, which has the maximum operational mines in the state, is also being ravaged by miners, who are minting money at the cost of natural resources. Read more

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