Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Compiled by Mr.Amit Yadav

In the contemporary world defining development has been a quagmire, which requires familiarity not only with the colloquialisms but also with the inconsistencies, ambiguities and paradoxes attached to the notion of development. This paper is an effort to understand the dilemma of development-induced displacement, the question of rehabilitation, resettlement, and reparation, in the process, trying to draw useful and legitimate distinctions between the `mainstream development' and the `alternative approach to development'.

The study is focused on the larger issues involved in development projects, making a comparative cost benefit analysis of the development on the social and individual welfare and the long term impact thereon. The paper envisages an insight to the development induced displacement concentrating specifically on the physical forms of development, i.e. projects which require land expropriation and call for displacement by decree.

noticeably, such catastrophic development projects cause upheaval and displacement of communities, the paper scrutinizes such projects, including Dams, Industrialization, Mining (natural resource extraction), Distributive policies, and other Mega infrastructural projects, besides the lop-sided Disaster Management and reconstruction programs that cause misery to the masses in case of Natural disaster, looking on to the greater policy issues related to displacement, rehabilitation and the consequences thereof, especially on the vulnerable groups.

Contents :
Modern Mega Infrastructures
The Notion of Development: An Epistemological Clash
The consequences of Growth-led paradigm of Development
Development policy: on paper and praxis the Indian Experience

Cost-benefit analysis of development (the human and the environmental cost)
Vulnerable groups and displacement
Avtars of Development
Rehabilitation and Resettlement
Dams: What they are and what they do?
Resistance to Dams: The Narmada Bachao Aandolan
Larger social, economic and environmental threats
Industrialization and urbanization
Development Disasters and people’s participation
Forest conservation
Bibliography and References
Natural disasters


The popular paradigm of development has ruled the whole post War discourse irrespective of the cultural social and political ideologies of the nations, each one aspired to run past this race of development, unfortunately, six decades later, we are as near to the goal as to a mirage. In the process every effort and every sacrifice is justified unless the horizon of development stops receding. Not only this, today the goal itself is showing cracks, is crumbling and stands like a ruin in the intellectual landscape. The delusion and disappointment around the much hyped notions of development, in the long run, only echoed: it did not work. The conditions which catapulted the idea have vanished; the hopes and desires are exhausted, rendering it obsolete and outdated. However the miscellany of the idea still dominates the social economic and political discourses equally in official declarations and the grassroots. 1 Through this paper an attempt is made to question this very structure of the dominant paradigm.

The established perception of development has been nothing more than a myth, a misconceived enterprise or a fantasy devoid of any reasonable conclusions, what is required is to come out of these imaginary credos and take on the real challenges faced by humanity, because adherence to an outmoded approach, (based on the concept that whatever is big, capital-intensive, modern and industrial is best) can lead to incalculable and irreparable loss to humanity. The notion of increased production and creation of growth, against a background of national (Government) interest and security, with intention to develop the society as a whole focus primarily on those having land, collateral and resources to invest, and all this at the cost of disadvantaged and poor in the society. The resources are extracted by the elites of the society and those who are "resource poor" have no involvement in this process and the so called "development" have not impinged much on their lives than being harmful and taking away the little they had, and in the process reducing them to "objects" of development.2 They are lamented as "what one might call `people in the way of progress' having to move to make way for, and suffer for, the kind of infrastructural development that is, for many people, the hallmark of progress. It is seen as unfortunate, but nevertheless as expedient, `for the shake of nation', that some should suffer".3 In my endeavour I try to enquire this notion of `Progress' and `national interest', i.e. whose progress, in whose nation?

Historically, the idea of "Development" have been mostly materialistic and objective and with all the responsible instruments combined together to bring about development the mankind is still groping in the dark for the ideal set up for the same. The mankind, unable to withstand the onslaught of the fast-paced, factory-loving industrial civilization which exploited and tried to enslave nature and men alike, in the emerging paradigm shift, favour, well meaning individuals and communities, patriotic and global identities and relations, helping to live in harmony with nature and to live without impoverishing or endangering future generations, what has come to be known as sustainable development. This is the beginning of the larger debate of whether the dominant perception is put to rest? Has the new turn percolated to popular perception? Does peoples participation (as in case of Narmada Bachao Andolan) has brought any change in the dominant paradigm?

This paper tries to understand that whether the paradigm shift has actually exposed the inability of the established notions of development to answer the larger economic, social, political and ethical questions? Or there is need of a holistic approach to the whole discourse of development;4 moreover, examines why the policy ideals could never be actualized in letter or spirit, rather created a gulf between policy on paper and in practice, besides alienating the poor from the developmental process? Moreover, the role of democracy as a political system has been neglected and missed the attention of the social scientists, anthropologist and the activists alike in this whole debate. To what extent do democratic processes, decentralization of power and Local Self Governance, reach to the vulnerable and marginalized section of the society becomes imperative to dwell irrespective of the political ideologies. The answer to which could help in countering the blind run to "materialistic development", (wherein, virtually, every development project has dispelled people from their living for the advantage of only some compartments (usually the resourceful) of the society) and to understand the phenomenon in its totality.

The paper does not confine and nor is limited to the raging impact of an awful project like Sardar Sarovar Dam (it none the less is one) or the despair and despondency caused by the displacement or the failure to address the issues of resettlement, rehabilitation and reparation of the displaced. The irony is that there are numerous clones of Sardar Sarovar, (nearly 4500 big and small) besides the multifaceted and multidimensional predicaments of development.

As any evasion of a problem would lead, problems that development has created have also multiplied faces and dimensions over time. Today the problem is not confined to construction of Dams or industries per se; rather different genres altogether are in vogue. To illustrate a few, the distributive policies, increase in heights of Dams, careless mining induced by industrialization, unplanned urban settlements vis-à-vis natural disasters, mega infrastructural projects like the national road quadrangle and the river interlinking, besides, globalization and privatization as contemporary manifestations of mainstream development are put under the scanner in this paper.

Development, or a version of it, is creating disadvantaged people. Even as it creates wealth for a few, it leaves the others with an irreparable sense of loss and impoverishment. And when these people make an attempt at resistance, they inevitably come into conflict with the law. Already marginalized, they are further faced with the daunting task of facing up to state power, reinforced by `wealth out to create more of it' and lastly by a politically articulate community comprising mostly of an educated, urbanite middle class impregnated with the rhetoric; whereof `development', synonymous with `progress' and `modernization' is the panacea for all the ills of the third world.

In this paper I attempt to view the development debate from the angle of `real people' â€" the ones' who actually bear its `real costs' till long after the matter has settled for the rest â€" and also touch upon its legal, social and environmental ramifications. For most part, the problem is studied through the eyeglass of a few big projects and the violence wrought in their wake. The paper also briefly looks at the larger canvas, of which the abovementioned is but a small part, namely the processes of development in their entirety.

The feasibility of the seminally western paradigm of development that has inexorably affected the entire third world, has been question marked since the last couple of decades. But the contagion, it seems, has deep roots, and in spite of its very fundamentals under attack and the west having realized its inherent negativity and having put in place proscriptions of development, the developing world is almost fatalistically falling into the very same trap. About a decade ago, the world community came up with alternatives to the prevalent model, suggesting designs that shifted the emphasis away from the `economic' dimension of development. The alternative visions; `sustainable' and `social development' effectively challenged (still to do that in praxis) the supremacy of the economic growth model. Ironically the developed west was more than welcoming of the idea, whereas the third world, though instrumental in its very first propositions, is still bereft of any examples of its effective application. One of the many reasons could be a cynical, yet reasonable apprehension on the part of the developing world that the rich apparently relieved of the threat from the poor have now very conveniently realized the extent of environmental depredation and very much aware of the consequent threat to their own well being would be tempted to resolve it at the poor's expense. 5

Post World War II the debate has assumed colossal proportions and I, in this very inchoate study make no pretense of mapping any significant part of it. Also, before I proceed any further, I believe a justification of my having taken a stand right at the inception of this piece would be in order. `A Development study is â€" contrary to the hegemonic position â€" an explicitly normative field. And the `normativity' requires a transformation into an approach wherein `people matter'. The production of knowledge should take people as the point of departure and as active participants.

The production of knowledge is inherently associated with the current power relations and on account of the epistemological bias of western science and its global impact, knowledge has come to serve the interests of control, better than the needs of emancipation. As such knowledge itself has become a repressive social force. Intellectuals cannot stay aloof and disclaim responsibility. There are no neutral grounds in the development arena and therefore choices are essential.' 6 To quote Elie Wiesel, "I swore never to be silent whenever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."7

It was only when intellectuals of the third world, on account of their negative experiences offered strident critiques of what was hitherto the only conceptualization of development, did there come into existence a debate on the same, shattering the myth of a relatively consensual world view. In my opinion this knowledge base that sought to question the very fundamentals of the dominant paradigm was not exactly the outcome of a conscious decision to reorient the subject by virtue of an abstract realization that dawned upon the intelligentsia, but was a product of the real economic, social and cultural consequences compelled by the application of the dominant model. I believe that the turn that came about within the discourse was ineluctable for it is but natural that if the dominant position within a discourse does become a `socially repressive force' it would also create its own counterview; which is what has happened. But unlike the dominant position, the turn has yet to percolate into popular perception and real application (especially so in the case of India); which is why I believe stands have to be taken consciously, if not, they will be compelled by practical exigencies.

The Notion of Development: An Epistemological Clash

"Ever tried making an omelette without breaking the egg?"

"…next to killing a man, the worst you can do is to displace him."

These two quotations from the Times of India8 and by Thayer Scudder9 respectively summarize the perfect dilemma of the dominant developmental paradigm.

`Development' refers to economic, socioâ€"political processes and cultural processes of change in human societies. Their happening is unavoidable and also necessary but the questions that they bring in their wake too need answers. Questions such as, what exactly is development? The answer I am afraid is far from simple, for one cannot take a monolithic viewpoint in conceptualizing or defining development; but there's a relative consensus with regards it's object: It primarily seeks to satisfy the spiritual and material needs of man. It is for the benefit of the human beings in all of their aspects, tangible and intangible.

Development from the foregoing conclusion would then amount to a realization of human potential. And furthermore the juxtaposition of human rights with development implies that it is something that can be identified, measured and implemented. How then do we measure development? Antony N. Allot invented the `General Felicity Index (GFI)', according to which the measure of development is directly proportional to the measure of felicity of the individual. One measures `not just the increase in the number of factories or expansion of services, but whether life is happier and more fruitful and enjoyable for the individual. In doing so one has to balance one factor against another."10

Underdevelopment on the other hand is a series of complex interacting phenomena, resulting in flagrant inequalities of wealth and poverty, stagnation, a relative backwardness when compared with other countries, production facilities which fail to progress to the required standards, economic, cultural, political and technological dependence.11 Further questions: Does development always mean the same thing to all parties? And most important and fundamental, the question of whether or not the consequences of the processes set off by the dominant paradigm could be acceptable as `progression' towards the aforementioned object for its subjects. The questions are many, the answers not too forthcoming; but one aspect is more or less resolved: the need for a change in the dominant paradigm. And modalities for the same are underway; yet there remain serious and longstanding conflicts posited by the old paradigm, if I may wishfully call it so. These crises's, it is now firmly believed, spawned, not out of a misguided application; but their causes lie rooted in the political, economic and as a corollary, the epistemological underpinnings of the dominant paradigm.

The dominant paradigm of `development', a direct continuation of the 500 years of colonial history, is predicated on a belief in the superiority of the West, of western knowledge, and western technology and of western civilization as a whole.12

After the Second World War and the decolonization process, the direct financial responsibility of maintaining colonial administrations was replaced by minuscule aid programmes, managed by new administrative organizations. Both economic and political interests were at stake, which is why development aid was deployed as a means in the struggle for world hegemony by the western powers. This important aspect of the power struggle between the `first' and `second' world; one that generated `violence' in the `third' world was largely hidden from the view of western citizens who lent their support to post-war development projects through their taxes and gifts. Ironically, the so called `cold war' became the basis for the maintenance of peace and welfare on that side of the earth, while the competition for development clients in the `third world' led to a series of `hot wars' here. This struggle for world hegemony was euphemistically referred to as development cooperation.13

The abovementioned proposition could also be used for an exposition of the conceptualizations supplied by the two major paradigms that have dominated the field; namely the `dependency theory' and the `modernization theory'. The first argues that the sources of underdevelopment are to be found in the history and structure of the global capitalist system. This theory premises underdevelopment as a product of historical forces and a direct result of the interaction between the hitherto underdeveloped social formations and the forces of western imperialism.14 The other theory holds that development is an inevitable evolutionary process of increasing societal differentiation that would ultimately produce economic, social and political institutions like those in the west. The outcome, it is claimed would be the creation of a free market system, liberal democratic political institutions, and the `rule of law'.15 It is mostly believed that the two theories articulate dichotomous paradigms in the field.16 I, however, beg to differ; for in my opinion the former is an expression of `why' the developing world came to accept the latter in theory and praxis. The former also puts the latter in perspective: In hindsight, the underdeveloped condition of the third world is best explained by the `dependence theory' and the consequent development paradigm, predicated on the `modernization theory' is simply its logical fallout.

But the outcome predicted by the `modernization theory' is only halfway through and with the realization of its eventual consequences; it seems that the world view is moving towards an alternate vision. Furthermore, if one was to accept the proposition that development rhetoric was used as a mere tool in the heady competition for global hegemony (the historicity of which I believe is more or less undeniable), the `dependence theory' would in fact substantiate the hitherto acceptance and application of the `modernization theory'.

Development rhetoric divides the post war period into decades, wherein the fifties and sixties constitute the period of the economic and political recovery. Large amounts of capital were injected into third world countries to strengthen their infrastructural sectors so as facilitate the development of their (multinational) trade and industry. This period was marked by an emphasis in the linear, evolutionary model of modernization in theory as well as in praxis.17 By the late sixties and early seventies the optimism of the western `modernization theory' of development began to fade in the light of experience gained in the third world. One thing became very clear â€" the development theories based on the western model of economic growth were profoundly inadequate.18 The experience in the developing countries showed a polarization between the poor and self enriching top layer. And therefore focus shifted to the `poor people' of the third world.19 But the real consequences of the ostensible shift in policy remained the same as before. Like before, the oligarchies that had captured organs of state continued to enrich and empower themselves as a class relative to the wider society, to whom "development plans" one after the other were offered at a national and subsequently at the global level, as a hope for a `chimera' like prosperity.20The result: the economic benefits of such supposed development have not even trickled down to the vast majorities in the countries that are euphemistically referred to as `developing'. But the most fundamental loss has been the obstruction of the evolution of the indigenous alternatives for societal self â€" expression and authentic progress.21 The dominant model was inherently myopic; its emphasis was on industrialization, science and technology, ruthless exploitation of natural resources and letting loose of market forces, completely ignoring the cultural and social sensibilities of its subjects. The social aspects of the development debate were highlighted in the early eighties and their importance was underscored at the World Summit on Social Development held in March 1995 at Copenhagen. From the documents arising out of the Summit, it can be inferred that social development by then, had acquired a new and expansive meaning. It was apparently more comprehensive than mere economic development; it subsumed the latter; but it specifically aimed at the attainment of much wider social objectives.22 Social development in the UN quarters broadly refers to improvements in human well being, brought about by a modification in societal conditions. Development thinking during this period had come to accept people or human centeredness as its fulcrum. Social transformation (not to be equated with social differentiation) conducive to eradication of poverty, promotion of productive employment and acceleration of social integration was the key to social development. Policies were to be aimed at reducing and eliminating polarization of societies, social exclusion, unemployment and poverty and to provide opportunities or the disadvantaged groups to improve their living conditions (UNESCO 1994:10).23

Another very important issue that has almost always been relegated to the background in this whole development discourse since the beginning is its impact on culture and vice versa. The search for a homogenous process of development has been accompanied by a deepening erosion of cultural identities. The western paradigms have adversely affected the cultural distinctiveness of the developing countries and the `modernized' version of development has succeeded in establishing the hegemony of essentially occidental cultural constructs;24 which in a cynical vein, is simply a covert and more sophisticated form of imperialism than the prior model; the object of then though still stands; that it is the destiny of the West to civilize and convert the backward peoples of the earth to the truths vouchsafed to the West alone.25 The issue of obdurate traditions and cultural constructs that resist change are sometimes cited as reasons for the failure of development strategies premised on economic growth. It must however be remembered that not everything in tradition is negative and therefore it would imprudent to reject tradition as a whole in order to facilitate an alien culture that promotes gross materialism and personal consumption at the cost of social justice.26 Which by no means is an assertion of the "everything's great about our culture" syndrome but an acceptance of the fact that culture per se has critical functions that development does not offer adequate replacement for, and therefore it cannot be dispensed with to promote growth. In fact any worthwhile growth would by necessary implication have to take into account relevant cultural factors and coexist with them. A convergence of tradition and modernity is not impossible: but would from my perspective be paradoxical, and therefore perfectly in line with the true nature of all things. It is what must be, and what is finally being attempted now.

In connection with social development two allied concept have found mention in the current debate; that of `human development' and `sustainable development'. The concept of human development implies people-centered development; a development where people are empowered to make their own choices. It emphasizes the relevance of local knowledge and values as guidelines and tools for making these choices thereby equipping people with the requisite knowledge and resources to take charge of their own destinies. Sustainable development on the other hand is its extrapolation into a broader idea as is very aptly and ideally elucidated by the UNDP Report (1994; 4):

"Sustainable development is development that not only regenerates economic growth but distributes its benefits equitably; that regenerates the environment rather than destroy it; that empowers people rather than marginalizing them. It gives priority to the poor, enlarging their choices and opportunities and, providing their participation in decisions affecting them. It is development that is pro-poor, pro-nature, pro-jobs and pro-women and pro-children."27

A major step in the direction of human development was the articulation and adoption of the Millennium Development Goals by the UN General Assembly in 2000, at a special meeting attended by the 147 heads of state or government.28

In theory the MDGs are the most prominent initiative on the global development agenda and have a great deal in common with human rights commitments. But neither the human rights nor development communities has embraced this linkage with enthusiasm or conviction.
29 In brief, the eight MDGs aim to: (1) eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; (2) achieve universal primary education; (3) promote gender equality and empower women; (4) reduce child mortality; (5) improve maternal health; (6) combat HIV/Aids and other diseases such as malaria; (7) ensure environmental sustainability; and (8) develop a global partnership for development. These goals have sought to reorder priorities across the development spectrum. If human rights are not seen to be part of that agenda, the rhetoric of the past couple of decades about the integration or mainstreaming of human rights into development efforts will have come to naught. 30

Attempts to link the human rights approach to development issues, at least within the UN context go back as far as the mid-seventies to the report of Manoucher Ganji on economic, social and cultural rights. The next step was the proclamation of the UN Commission on Human Rights in 1977 of the existence of a right to development. Initially there were hopes that this concept would provide a context in which efforts could be made to investigate the complex links between the two sets of concerns. But the subsequent quarter of century of debates has not produced any tangible results in the quest to link human rights and development. What we have is innumerable speeches, major diplomatic battles over the wording of resolutions and the creation of a UN expert committee followed by a UN governmental working group, followed by an independent expert, followed by a new UN working group. One thing is clear that something is definitely not working.31

Within the UN system the spirit of rights based approaches is encapsulated in the "Common Understanding on the Human Rights Based Approach to Development Cooperation," adopted in 2003 at a meeting involving some ten UN agencies and a wide range of other development agencies, which gave an imprimatur of sorts to such analyses. The three main elements of the "Common Understanding" were:

1. All programmes of development cooperation, policies and technical assistance should further realization of human rights as laid down in the Universal Declaration and other human rights instruments.

2. Human rights standards contained in, and principles derived from, the universal declaration and other international instruments guide all development cooperation and programming in all sectors and in all phases of the programming process.

3. Development cooperation contributes to the development of the capacities of "duty bearers" to meet their obligations and/or of "right holders" to claim their rights.32

These formulations do little more than restate the fundamental dilemma and do not actually offer a lot of guidance on a resolution. They are mostly expressed at a level of abstraction (which though not uncharacteristic of the human rights discourse) would come across as abstract, untargeted and untested to the development economists. Despite all their sophistication they offer little in respect of applicability in concrete situations and appear to simply gloss over real life complexities which inevitably require hard decision making and trade-offs.33

The politics of human rights seems to have inhibited the development of enforcement mechanisms at the international level, although there have been egregious achievements in formulating norms and standards over five decades.

Development policy: on paper and praxis the Indian Experience

Indian development paradigm, post independence, has been no different to any developed or developing country, which continues to haunt the marginalized and vulnerable section of the society even today, especially the indigenous and tribal population. From the First Five Year Plan `Nehruvian socialism' virtually followed the Capitalist path for economic progress using the mahalanobis model and concentrated on capital goods industry to attain self-sufficiency in a short time. Construction of big dams, with a conviction of "development", for irrigation to increase agricultural production and power for the industry led Nehru to comment that dams were the `temples of modern India'( in a speech that he grew to regret in his own lifetime). And we in modern India true to our love for temples took Mr. Nehru literally and threw ourselves into the spree of dam building with unnatural fervour and became world's third largest dam builder. The development policy which seemed to have been "grow fast and the trickle down will bring distributive justice", backtracked, with limited growth that hardly trickled down.

The urge for development after independence led to an initial amnesia, claiming its glory in imitating the west, of building Big Dams and justifying there need to fulfill the power and irrigation demands of the industries and agriculture respectively, for the so called "self sufficiency", riding on the emotional trump card that labeled them as things of national pride and branded the sufferings as "sacrifices in the nation building". But unfortunately the bender continues unabatedly till date.

The state power of "eminent domain" â€" the power of a state to take private property for public use â€" to acquire land and/or appropriate natural resources has been deployed ostensibly for public good, with compulsory acquisitions for the projects meant to promote public purposes i.e. `developmental projects', which invariably necessitates involuntary resettlement of people or in other words the displacement. These persons are called displaced persons (DPs) or the project affected persons or families (PAPs PAFs), the number whereof is largest among all kinds of displacements.

Displacement linked to development, according to Alfe Morten Jerve, could be caused either by:
  1. government decision to acquire land for implementation of public project; or
  2. state decision to change the use of land owned or claimed by itself; or
  3. changes in the use of the land owned by state agencies; or
  4. not complete change of ownership but introduction of new restrictions on current use of land; or
  5. indirect impact of the project on the land use in the impact area like pollution, erosion, etc.

However, displacement is not confined to physical removal of one from his house it can be a deprivation of productive land, or other income generating assets, the displacement of collectivities causes an economic crisis for all or most of those affected with sudden disarticulation and sometimes also triggers a political crisis as well.35 It is a complex phenomenon, as Upendra Baxi has put it, which is not a one-time event but a series of happenings affecting human lives in myriad ways.36

The notion of development, it seems, has not changed since independence, the policy framework is grounded on the theory of "public interest" or "public purpose", and it is the government or more specifically some bureaucrats exercising the executive power finalize the policy which has ineluctable ramifications on the lives of lakhs of peoples affected by such projects. The subsistence of any such project primarily depends on availability of dispensable land for the purpose and in the second most populous country it is difficult to get large area of land. In such situation the doctrine of "eminent domain" is invoked by the state and for the "greater common good", private and community land is acquired from the people compulsorily to facilitate the projects. The following news article from The Hindu dated 31-05-2001 gives a glimpse of the process of land acquisition for the `public purposes'.

The Constitution under Article 39 (b) and (c) provides for a more broad provision wherein The State is referred to as a community of people, whose ownership and control over material resources are to be so distributed as to subserve common good and not to their detriment. However, the law which has been consistently invoked for land acquisition is a pre-constitutional law dated as late as 1894, which was amended in 1984 to allow acquisition not only for the public purpose but for establishing company and private corporations. With `compensation' as the only remedy for the persons affected by such acquisitions, having celebrated a century of its existence, this law of colonial vintage facilitates the State to acquire land for "any public purpose" or "for a company". The inclusive definition of "public purpose" under the Act refers to acquisition for:

  1. planned development of town and country-side
  2. State corporations
  3. residential purposes of poor and landless
  4. carrying out any educational, housing, health or slum clearance schemes of state
  5. planned development by the state and its disposal to secure further development and any other scheme of development by the state

Only three states in India have enacted statutes, post independence, for resettlement, a step ahead from `mere compensation', of the project affected people. Maharashtra, was the first to enact a law in 1976. After a legal challenge of some of its provisions in courts of law, it was recast in 1986 receiving Presidential assent in 198937. Madhya Pradesh followed suit with a law specially designed to apply for irrigation projects, extendable to other developmental activities at the discretion of the state government38. The Karnataka Government passed its law in 1987, but obtained the Presidential assent seven years hence, in 199439. Other state are today under severe pressure from the Courts, financial threats from the lenders, compulsions under international obligations and under a fear of agitation by the NGOs, to come up with rehabilitation and resettlement policy before they finalize any developmental project. The similar policies by Orissa and Andhra Pradesh in the recent times are illustration to the same.

Displacement, unfortunately, is often regarded as one time phenomenon despite being a process rather than an event which starts much before the actual displacement and continues for a long time after the uprootment has taken place, as the projects take years and decades before completion and during this period the status of the project affected people remains in limbo. Even the constitutional protection envisaged to the scheduled areas are allowed to disappear by the state in name of, usually unspecified, `public purpose'. Despite there being legislative protections under the Panchayat Act in favour of self rule the principle of eminent domain has always preceded all other legal provisions and protective measures. Ironically, in taking such decisions no attention was ever paid to the victims of development, i.e. the oustees or the displaced persons, nor any plan or policy framework followed to rehabilitate and resettle them, except for certain temporary arrangements culled out from the policy prepared by National Working group on Displacement.40 There is virtually no uniform Law for rehabilitation and resettlement in India till date.

Amrita Patwardhan in her paper41 points this fact in a succinct way: "Lack of proper national policy and lacunas in the existing policy documents is a major problem. Apart from that, there are serious problems at the level of implementation as well. In most cases, there is a wide gap between the framed policy on paper and what gets translated in reality. For example, the policy at times has a provision for a choice between cash or land for land compensation. But Project Affected Persons (PAPs) as in case of Narmada Sagar, Maheshwar in Madhya Pradesh are not informed about provisions, thus forcing the people to take whatever is offered, under the threat of impending submergence. The state policy in Madhya Pradesh has a provision for the affected people to get land in the command area, but, there is not a single case where this clause has been invoked for, rehabilitating people in the command area of the project.

Most state level policies or the National policy in the making, have provisions for land for land compensation, but due to several loopholes affected people, in many cases are just given arbitrary cash compensation. Despite the provisions in the Madhya Pradesh Act, in two major projects, Hasdev Bango and Bargi, where displacement occurred after the enactment of the Act, people were given some scanty compensation sum, and no land (Banerjee, 1997).

Rehabilitation of people displaced by dams like Hirakud, built way back in 1950s is not yet complete. Compensation amounting to Rs. 154,146994 was not paid after years (Mahapatra, 1990). When the compensation was paid to some people, cash was distributed to PAPs in their original village and signature / thumb prints were taken. Some money from this was pocketed by the official. People remembered this sense of humiliation 30 years after, when they were struggling for survival (Viegas, 1994). In Sardar Sarovar, Gujarat has one of the most progressive rehabilitation packages, but resettling 25 % of the families displaced by the reservoir has taken 15 years and there is a wide gap between the tall promises and the ground reality (Bhatia, 1997; TISS, 1993, Dhawan, 1999). Once people are shifted from the submergence villages, officials do not bother about their complaints and the oustees are often left to fend for themselves."

The on paper projected costs of any large project at the inception multiply manifold by the time it is started and further escalate during the execution and by the time of completion it turns up to something which one would have not imagined while it was initiated, or in other words, not have even been initiated. Added to it is the interest to be paid on the loan incurred, thus, by the time the loan is paid off the total cost of the project at that point of time (the actual cost of the project) becomes unimaginably exorbitant. And this fact and statistics is never brought to the notice of the tax-payers. (See infra the polavaram debt analysis).

Ultimately development has induced people (displaced) to accept enormous sacrifices in the name of national interest, but its stated fruitsâ€""progress, prosperity, modernity and emancipation"â€"are yet to reach the displaced. The result: the displaced and the dispossessed, to development projects, question the legitimacy of the developmental process. They reiterate that "planning for the people", "people's participation", "people's needs", "humanisation of development"â€" are but mere rhetorics.42

Cost-benefit analysis of development (the human and the environmental cost)

This brings us to certain unanswered, rather ignored, questions, that is, what benefit, in fact, do the developmental projects deliver? Who are the real beneficiaries of this process? Given the number of displacements and the plight suffered by the displaced, one might wonder whose nation is it? Whose good is being served? Who is the "public" in the so called `public purpose' of these projects? Does, in fact, in the long run these projects cost effective, especially with respect to human and environmental costs?

One of the appalling facts about these projects in India is the absence of reliable database on the performance and their impacts on the economy of the nation, the lives of the people and the environment at large, in absence of any systematic evaluation to ascertain if the enormous investments in large projects were justified one is in dark as to what they have delivered or has they delivered as promised? This shows nothing but the lack of concern of the state towards the human and environmental costs involved in large projects.

Take this example. A report from Singrauli (1994) stated that the displaced settlements, right in the neighbourhood of the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) plant, remain enveloped in darkness. The same we hear in Korba, Madhya Pradesh (MP), "look at their colonies...," as one oustee stated, "they have light, proper drinking water, all basic amenities... development is for them Is it not so?" Who is being developed if the bearer of the cost is not the ultimate (or even one of its) beneficiary?43

Historically all projects have caused displacement and displacement has been a saga of marginalization, yet, given the growing needs of modern society, all projects cannot be stopped. What is required is to consider the larger implications of displacement while assessing the viability, social, environment and economic, of a project as a pre-emptive measure to tackle the problems. Though cost-benefit analysis is undertaken presently too, but the credibility of the methods adopted is questionable as the authorities fail to evaluate the social and environmental costs. Even the statutory requirements of seeking clearances from department of environment or forest is also not followed, further the actual stakeholders i.e. the "public" is never consulted before finalizing the projects and the oft-mentioned formula of `people's participation', which has become part of almost every project document, has become a travesty of people's lives. The condition of all projects, completed or those in pipeline, have been same from Bahakra Nangal on Sutluj to Indira Sagar on Godavari. Years later, a Central Minister visited Bhakra Dam, which was commissioned in 1963, and wrote about this visit (Rao, 1978:79-80) as follows:

"The Bhakra Project was completed in all respects and the Prime Minister dedicated it to the nation on 22 October 1963. There was a large gathering and everybody felt happy that the damwould confer immense benefits for all industrialists and agriculturists. It is curious to observe how we handle our projects without sparing a thought for the affected people. When the Bhakra dam was built, the village of Bhakra, situated on the banks of the Sutlej, was submerged and the people built their houses on the adjacent hills. The project resulted in great suffering to the people of the village, but nobody took note of the peoples' representations. It was many years later, during one of my visits to the dam site, that I found that the new village of Bhakra had neither drinking water nor electricity, though surrounded by blazing brilliant lights. This was indeed unfair and I asked the Bhakra Management Board to supply both power and water to the village. Even then, there were objections. The Management Board thought that this was not a proper charge on the Project. This indeed was an absurd approach which I overruled. I hope that in future proper amenities are made available in the rehabilitated villages."

These and other such projects also have radical impact on the surrounding environment and the ecology. In achieving the so called "greater common good" or "the national interest" the long run adverse impacts on the natural resources are ignored. Each river has its own ecology, each forest or land area has its unique habitat, but the manner in which the dams are built, mining is done or industries are set up have disturbed the ecological balance and destroyed the natural habitats. Urbanization, mega infrastructure building like Airports, Railways and Highways or Neuclear Reactors, or even the Special Economic Zones have besides displacement done nothing but produced another class of vulnerable group called urban poors. People dependent upon the land, forest and other natural resources for their livelihood have not only been deprived of their vital subsistence resources, their long term sustainability is also jeopardized through land acquisition and displacement.

Even the economic costs of these projects is alarmingly huge, which escalates awfully during the construction period and ultimately when we take into account the difference between estimated cost and the actual cost incurred over the time and the interest to be paid on that amount thereon, no way that one would find any real economic benefit in the process. The tentative economic burden of Polavaram44 is one such illustration, other projects being no exceptions.

No one has cared to look into the actual cost-benefits of these Avtars. Neither there is nor been any post-facto analysis of such large dam (or for that matter any other) projects undertaken since 1960s. What is and how much had been the actual benefit and to whom it all went? The question remains unanswered.

Avtars of Development:

Mega Dams

Massive dams are much more than simply machines to generate electricity and store water. They are concrete, rock and earth expressions of the dominant ideology of the technological age; icons of economic development and scientific progress to match nuclear bombs and motor cars. The builders of Hoover (a colossal dam on the river Colorado in the U.S.A) were advised by an architect to strip the dam of planned ornamentation in order to accentuate the visual power of its colossal concrete face. Theodore Steinberg a historian at the University of Michigan says that Hoover Dam `was supposed to signify greatness, power and domination. It was planned that way.'45

The industry defines a `major dam' on the basis of its height (at least 150m), volume (at least 15 million cubic metres â€" six times the Great Pyramid of Cheops), reservoir storage (at least 25 cubic kilometres â€" enough water to flood the country of Luxemburg to depth of 1 metre) or electrical generation capacity (at least 1000 mega watts â€" sufficient to power a European city of a million inhabitants). In 1950, 10 behemoths met this criterion; by 1995 the number had soared to 305. The leading builder of major dams is the US, followed by the ex- USSR, Canada, Brazil and Japan.46

Most of the world's major river basins are now girdled with dams; many great rivers are now little staircases of reservoirs.47

Worldwide, reservoirs have a combined capacity of some 6000 cubic kilometres, equivalent to over three times the volume of water in all the rivers in the world. The weight of the reservoirs is so great that it can trigger earthquakes â€" scores of samples of so called reservoir â€" induced seismicity have been recorded. Geophysicists even estimate that the redistribution of the weight of the earth's crust due to reservoirs may have a very slight but measurable impact on the speed at which the earth rotates, the tilt of its axis and the shape of its gravitational field. 48 The floodplains soils which reservoirs inundate provide the world's most fertile farmlands; their marshes and forests the most diverse wildlife habitats. A dam tears at all the interconnected webs of river valley life. The most extreme illustration of the downstream impacts of water diversion would be the Aral Sea (once the largest freshwater body outside of the USA) in Central Asia. The sea has shrunk into less than half of its previous area and separated into three hyper saline lakes.

Dams are the main reason why one fifth of the world's freshwater fish have become endangered or extinct. Amphibians, molluscs, insects, water fowls and other riverine and wetland life forms are similarly affected.

The human consequences of the `damming' of the world have been as dramatic as its ecological ones. Although the dam builders have not bothered to keep count, the number of people flooded off their lands is most certainly in millions if not in billions. And these would be conservative estimates; I'll show you how: According to a detailed study of 54 large dams done by the Indian Institute of Public Administration, the average Indian dam displaces about 44,182 people. Admittedly 54 out 3300 (India has built these many big dams since independence) is not a good enough sample but since it's all we've got, let's do some rough arithmetic. To err on the side of caution lets reduce the number of people displaced per dam to 10,000. It works out to 33 million displaced by large dams alone.49 This is the estimate with regards to India alone; one wonders about the global magnitude of human displacement that damming would be responsible for.

Large dams in India

Source: Central Water Commission 1994

Out of these 4291 dams 3159 are located in three states only i.e. 1529 in Maharashtra, 537 in Gujarat and 1093 in Madhya Pradesh.

Available evidence suggests that that very few of these people ever recovered from the ordeal, either economically or psychologically. Many more have suffered the loss of irrigation provided by seasonal floods, loss of fisheries and wood, game and other benefits of now sub-merged forests. Just as valley bottoms flooded by the dams are most favourable to human settlement in the present, so they were in the past, and thus reservoirs have inundated countless important archaeological and cultural sites. 50

Dams can be lethal too; because they break. More than 13,500 people have been swept to their deaths by the roughly 200 dams outside China which have collapsed or have been overtopped during the twentieth century. A calamitous series of dam bursts in the Chinese province of Henan left approximately 230,000 dead in August 1975.51

* This percentage is out of total tribal persons displaced.

Dams: What they are and what they do?

Dams have two main functions. The first is to store water; the second is to raise the level of the water upstream to enable water to be diverted into a canal or to increase `hydraulic head' â€" the difference in height between the surface of the water in the reservoir and the river downstream. The creation of storage and head allows dams to generate electricity; to supply water for agriculture, industries and households; to control flooding; and to assist in river navigation by providing regular flows and drowning rapids.52

A growing number of academic and activist researchers, however, have been building up an impressive corpus of data showing the extensive damage that dams and their associated irrigation schemes cause to watersheds, cultures and national economies. Furthermore, the evidence seems to show that dams have not fulfilled the promises made for them. Dams cost many times more than claimed, diverting investments from more beneficial uses. Reservoirs tend to fill up with silt long before predicted; they supply much less electricity than expected. Irrigation schemes are badly managed, destroy soils, bankrupt small farmers and turn lands used to feed local people over to the production of crops for exports. Dams assist the powerful to enclose the lands of the politically weak. By misleading people into believing that they can control floods, dams encourage settlement on floodplains, turning damaging floods into devastating ones.53

In the name of development, national elites, through the institutions of the state and market, and often in collaboration with foreign capital, have appropriated natural resources â€" land, water, minerals and forests â€" for conversion into commodities. The circulation goods which this has brought forth, has taken place primarily among the elite. The elite have therefore; through such pseudo developmental activities impoverished the earth of its natural resources.

The earth's impoverishment has meant that communities who depend upon the natural base for sustenance have been deprived of their resources. This alienation cannot be described in terms of loss of material livelihood only; it is most profoundly the loss of culture autonomy, knowledge and power.54 Thus no amount compensation or rehabilitation can make good the same. People have been pushed off their lands, forests and riverbanks and their water taken away by the state for the supposed good of the state. The only people that benefit are the
aforementioned elite.

Further more the credibility of big dam projects is undermined by the fact that genuine needs of the people can be met in other ways. Water can be provided for draught prone areas, much more quickly and cheaply and equitably with the use of small scale schemes, some using traditional techniques, some using new methods and some using a combination of both. Increasing the efficiency, supply and use of water can hugely expand the availability of water without the need for new dams. Similarly, all countries have a massive potential to reduce their energy use through conservation and efficiency â€" to generate `negawatts' rather than megawatts. The costs of renewable generating sources (wind and solar power) are now falling rapidly and are already cheaper than hydropower for many areas and uses. 55

Sometimes people cite small dams as alternatives to large dams without realizing that this is a very tricky proposition; on account of lack of a logical and fixed criterion for making the aforementioned distinction. Usually the distinction is made with regards to height, which is not a very reliable guide to the impact of a dam. A 15 metre barrage on a densely populated floodplain could have much more devastating impact than a 100 metre dam in a deep valley. An example could be India's Farakka Barrage (less than 15metres in height), which has had a devastating impact on the ecology and economy of downstream Bangladesh. There are a number of different factors that have a bearing upon the impact of a dam and therefore it seems almost impossible that a standard could be laid down for the same. Thus the alternative of small dams is fraught with intrinsic flaws and therefore advocates of river restoration are now going beyond mitigation to campaigning for dams to be pulled down and letting rivers flow unhindered again. 56

Resistance to Dams: The Narmada Bachao Aandolan.

In India, among the many struggles against national `development', one has received increasing scholarly attention in the last fifteen years â€" resistance in the form of social movements. The ongoing struggle of the adivasis in the Narmada valley in central India seems to be a real example of the resistance of indigenous cultural communities to development. In India the struggle over nature has an inherent class dimension because nature provides the resources which are the bases of production. Unlike elsewhere, In India conflicts over nature tend to follow the battle lines between those who produce and those who own the means of production. The Narmada Bachao Andolan as the movement is called; is a resistance by the adivasis against the dam that the Indian government proposes to build on the river Narmada, harnessing its waters for irrigation. The reservoir of the proposed dam will submerge an area of forested hills, displacing the adivasis who subsist upon this environment. While the dam was both, a part and a symbol of development, the movement against the dam seems to embody the cultural resistance and alternative development. This alternative extended to the very mode of political action in which the adivasis engaged â€" decetralisation, grassroots mobilization, which by itself, challenged the authority of the state to act on behalf of the people.57

The movement brought to the fore fundamental questions, such as: Are big dams really in the public interest? And it answered them also; if yes, then we would be required to expound `public interest' differently, for public interest would then surely run contrary to the interest of the environment and the interest of the poor. It changed the long held common perception that dams were good for everyone in the long run and therefore the short term suffering of the displaced was justified in the interest of the country. The issues concerning resettlement and rehabilitation of displaced persons in the Indian context were brought into the public domain mainly on account of this movement.

The movement also led to an awakening, which shattered the myth of dam `goodness' which was propagated with such complete conviction since independence, that it led Prime Minister Nehru to once comment that dams were the `temples of modern India'( in a speech that he grew to regret in his own lifetime). And we in modern India true to our love for temples took Mr. Nehru literally and threw ourselves into the task of dam building with unnatural fervour. As a result of these exertions, India now boasts of being the world's third largest dam builder. According to the Central Water Commission, we have three thousand six hundred dams that qualify as big dams, three thousand three hundred of them built after independence. One thousand more are under construction. And yet one fifth of our population lacks drinking water while another two thirds is deprived of basic sanitation.58 It was through the NBA'S efforts that people began to see the latent cons of the big dams more clearly and this in turn led to a widening of the movement's support base with people from different walks of life coming together to show their solidarity against such pseudo-developmental projects.

Another very important aspect that was highlighted by the NBA was the plight of the displaced persons. For the first time since so many projects, people and more importantly the government was forced to take serious note of the sheer magnitude of the problem.

While a scheme and machinery for rehabilitation of the displaced ones as a result of partition did exist transitorily, it must be asserted here that neither during British rule nor in independent India till date, can one find a comprehensive national policy or law to relieve the trauma of displacement, especially of the involuntary kind. 59 All that exists today in terms of law and policy is the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 that lays down that the government is not bound to provide a displaced person anything but cash compensation. And this too if the person can show a legal title to the land, which unfortunately most tribals (highest percentage of people displaced are tribals) don't have and therefore are ineligible to claim compensation. Issues like these were for the first time taken up and brought out in the public domain and as a result legislations are now in place in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. Also a few other states have evolved a cluster of policy guidelines or have administrative guidelines or have orders issued from time to time, that concern displacement and rehabilitation. The aforementioned legislations though a step in the right direction are full of inconsistencies and loopholes, but then again there's consolation in the fact of a beginning.

Apart from this there is another first that the Andolan can take credit for: The pressure mounted by the NBA led the World Bank to institute an independent inquiry in 1991 â€" a move unprecedented in the Bank's behavioral history. The move fooled nobody, yet it was a victory of sorts for the protesting villagers. The committee known as the Morse Committee submitted its report in June 1992 after an intense ten month study. The report concluded that "the distribution of the costs and benefits of he dam seem to accentuate socio-economic inequities."60

To further quote from the report, "Important assumptions upon which the projects are based are now questionable or are known to be unfounded. Environmental and social trade-offs have been made, and continue to be made, without a full understanding of the consequences. As a result benefits tend to be overstated, while social and environmental costs are frequently understated. Assertions have substituted for analysis."

"We think that the Sardar Sarovar Projects as they stand are flawed, that resettlement and rehabilitation of all those displaced by the projects is not possible under the prevailing circumstances, and the environmental impacts of the projects have not been properly considered or adequately addressed."

"The history of environment aspects of Sardar Sarovar is a history of non-compliance. There is no comprehensive impact statement. The nature and magnitude of the environmental problems and solutions remain elusive."

"It is clear that the engineering and economic imperatives have driven the projects to the exclusion of human and environmental concerns. Social and environmental trade offs have been made that seem insupportable today."61

The report in its recommendations also highlighted the issue of `encroachers' (adivasis who have no formal title to the lands they've been cultivating) rights which was till then a fact very conveniently overlooked by the Indian government. It also, at the very beginning of its recommendations, pointed out that the failure to consult the potentially affected people has resulted in opposition to the projects. On the whole the recommendations expressed complete dissatisfaction with the resettlement and rehabilitation policies that existed and went to the extent of declaring the same almost impossible under the prevailing circumstances.

With respect to the environmental recommendations this is what the committee had to say, "There has been no comprehensive environmental assessment of the canal and water delivery system in the command area. Information we have gathered leads us to believe that there will serious problems with water logging and salinity. We also found that many of the assumptions used in project design and for the development of mitigating measures are suspect."62

The above cited environmental hazards interestingly are one of the major reasons that have led to de-commissioning of big dam projects in the developed world.

With regards to the projects as a whole this is what the committee had to say, "It would be prudent if the necessary studies were done and the data made available for informed decision-making before further construction takes place. Implementation requires that the bank take a step back. Otherwise, the possibility of making sound decisions will be further compromised."

"Little can be achieved while construction still continues."63

What the Morse Report reveals in temperate terms vindicates the stand of the NBA (contrary to expectations) and further, indicts the Indian government and the World Bank for what could be called a developmental crime, which in its consequences equals the magnitude of devastation caused by major natural catastrophes and wars.64 In spite of all this the Bank was still not prepared to give up. It continued to fund the project. Two months after the Independent Review, the Bank through one of its bogus committees suggested a patchwork remedy to salvage the projects. The Indian government was only too happy oblige.

It didn't however stop at that, for in the year 2000, the Supreme Court of India with regards the petition of the NBA against the Government decreed that large dams do not cause environmental damage (wonder how they reasoned that one) but in fact bring about improvement in the conditions of the ousted and are essential for the economic prosperity of the country. Their reason for the above decision seemed to be the fact that the country has built so many such dams in the past and the adverse consequences as claimed by the NBA have not followed in those cases; therefore the fears of the NBA seem unfounded. The court obviously refuses to see beyond what is obvious lest the diabolical machinations of its political bosses are made manifest. The recent judgment of the Supreme Court based on the Sunglu Committee Report is also debatable.

The crisis is not confined to Narmada, the Tihri Dam Project is completed, even after lots of hue and cry and submerging one of the oldest township of social cultural and archeological importance, and now is finally ready to be commissioned in it full capacity. After an exhaustive evaluation of the project, the Environment Appraisal Committee clearly recommended against continuing with the Tihri Dam Project. Bharat Dogra then reasoned reasoned "If our engineers are clearly told to go by the maxim 'development without destruction,' i.e. projects which minimise ecological risks, they will no doubt prepare such projects. It is time for policy-makers to give them a clear direction so that controversial projects like Tihri Dam Project can be avoided."65

The hegemony of the Development Theology had been such in this country that nobody cared to look for the nearly 75000 people who had virtually vanished that fateful night when the Rihand dam was filled without any notice, in 1961. Even those who settled at the brim of the dam were subject of multiple displacements. The same was the fate of oustees of Nagarjunsagar dam who were ousted forcibly by the police in face of impending submergence. The oustees of Koyana, Bhakra dams, Ukai, Mahi-Kadana in Gujarat, Pong in Himmachal Pradesh are in no better condition than of a destitute.


The problem of mining-induced displacement and resettlement (MIDR) poses major risks to societal sustainability. Unfortunately, no global survey has assessed the scale of MIDR. Available evidence suggests that the problem is significant. Mining displaced 2.55 million people in India between 1950 and 1990. The likelihood that MIDR will be a significant issue increases as rich mineral deposits are found in areas with relatively low land acquisition costs (in the global market) that are being exploited with open-cast mining and are located in regions of high population density, especially on fertile and urban landsâ€"with poor definitions of land tenure and politically weak and powerless populations, especially indigenous peoples.66

MIDR is accompanied by what displacement specialists call the resettlement effect, defined as the loss of physical and non-physical assets, including homes, communities, productive land, income-earning assets and sources, subsistence, resources, cultural sites, social structures, networks and ties, cultural identity and mutual help mechanisms. The effect introduces well-documented risks over and above the loss of land. The loss of land may address only 10-20% of the impoverishment risks known to be associated with involuntary displacement. Investigations into displacement have found nine other potential risks that deeply threaten sustainability; these include joblessness, homelessness, marginalization, food insecurity, loss of common lands and resources, increased health risks, social disarticulation, the disruption of formal educational activities, and the loss of civil and human rights. Failure to mitigate or avoid these risks may generate "new poverty," as opposed to the "old poverty" that peoples suffered before displacement. Certain groupsâ€"especially indigenous peoples, the elderly and womenâ€"have been found to be more vulnerable to displacement-induced impoverishment risks.67

The Rich mining belts of Orissa, Bihar, Uttranchal, Rajasthan, jharkhand face the assault of the economic-growth driven development even at the cost of humankind and environment. Unfortunately those involved in this spree consider displacement as something incidental to their projects. The two big companies (Utkal Aluminium and Larsen and tubro) involved in mining in kalahandi to kashipur the Bauxite rich belt of Orissa, simply claimed that the degree of displacement will be very small, and those ousted will benefit from handsome rehabilitation packages. Utkal Aluminium, for example, said villagers of only the three hamlets of Korol, Dimundi and Ramibera will be displaced from Kashipur hills. The locals though were not convinced. They feared that once mining operations begin, they are unlikely to limit it to merely one or two sites in the bauxite-rich region, triggering off a series of displacements. Their experience with displacement had made them doubly sceptical of rehabilitation packages. An oft-cited example of an ineffective rehabilitation package in the region is the Indravati dam project in 1989-90.68

The manganese mining in North Karnataka has also caused ecological imbalance besides creating huge pits dug for mining the mud thereof destroying additional forest land, in addition, the silt from these mines settle in the bottom of the two dams, Kadraand and Kodsalli built nearby on the river Kali. Pits no longer in use â€" "dead" in mining terminology â€" are left callously never bothering to re-fill them, which causes landslides, destroys more forest land, clogged water sources, and muddy water flowing into neighbouring standing paddy fields, ruining entire crops. Besides causing unnecessary destruction of nature, it wiped out whole stretches of virgin forests in the name of development.69

The Kudremukh National Park nestled in the midst of the Western Ghats which is identified as one of the 18 ecological hotspots of the globe, is supposed to be the third wettest region in the world with the annual rainfall exceeding 6000 mm. Three major rivers, Tunga, Bhadra and Netravathi also spring from the Kudremukh hills. The Kudremukh Iron Ore Company limited (KIOCL), which is situated in these very hills is extracting 10 million tonnes of iron ore annually. The Nagarika Seva Samiti which has conducted a detailed study into the functioning of the KIOCL and its effect on the environment feels that "the cascading effect of deforestation and other unsustainable activities like mining on Western Ghats has resulted in siltation of reservoirs and pollution of river systems".

Large scale illegal sand quarrying, beyond permitted depth in a lake in Madambakkam, near Tambaram, in Tamil Nadu had affected four villages in the area obstructing the flow of water for farming, resulting in many people migrating to other parts in search of employment.71

The coal mining72 (including open cast mining of coal) in Singrauli which began in the late 60s uprooted hundred of thousands of people from their lands and homes, most of them for the second time as the Rihand dam had already displaced nearly 200,000 people. The third time the same peoples were affected by the thermal power plants including the one built by Birlas for their Hindalco aluminium plant near Renukoot. Besides displacement the open cast mining produces huge dust clouds and the scores of trucks in the vicinity of coal mines add their share to the general pollution of the area. From Rihand dam to coal mining and then thermal power station the people of Singrauli have been displaced several times over a period of 10-15 years. People, who initially cultivated land, depended on forest resources and tended cattle have none of these occupational options open to them today. Rapid deforestation, pollution and displacement continue to make their lives miserable and forced them to struggle for survival.

Down to Earth in its 15th July 2000 edition73 reported that "[T]he problem of large-scale displacement of poor people is the inevitable corollary of the changeover to opencast mining. Already 35,000 people of 27 villages have been displaced to make way for the Ananta, Kalinga, Lingaraj, Bharatpur and South Balanda coalmines in Orissa. Thousands more will be uprooted in the days to come in view of the massive expansion of mining in the area. Those who remain get a worse deal."

Industrialization and urbanization

The rapid economic growth since past few decades forms a part of the `planned development' evident in the establishment of large scale projects in power generation, mining, industry, infrastructure development, irrigation and even creating new urban settlements. The project implementing agencies which used to be mostly from pubic sector have recently included private sector in a big way, that opt for compulsory land acquisition under the amended Land Acquisition Act of 1984 which allows the same even for the establishment of companies. And the state is hand in glove in promoting the companies, in the name of national interest, which have no intention other than making profit.

In the south Kannada region of Karnataka alone, the state government acquired 1500 acres of land for the Konkan Railways, 1900 for mangalore refineries, 3000 for a large industrial estate, 2000 for Cogentrix, 1350 for Usha Ispat plant and 550 acres for Grasim Industries. The Singrauli region of Uttar Pradesh has seen multiple displacements due to irresponsible development activities. The City and Industrial Development Corporation plans around the City of Mumbai in the late 1960s affected more than 90 villages during the setting up of Navi Mumbai Township. In the recent past creation of another mega city near the Navi Mumbai has been planned, besides the Mumbai-Pune expressway which has displaced several hundred families. The Hyderabad Water Supply Project, which ousted 50,000 people, is among the largest urban displacements on record in the world.

The urbanization of the fringe areas of growing cities all around the country is causing displacement much larger in intensity than that caused by other industrial or infrastructural projects. The connivance of Land Mafia and Politicians facilitate this unnoticed phenomenon which forces the owners, most of them farmers, to sell out `voluntarily' or `surrender' under threats. Governments also declare the surrounding green areas as `urbanisable lands' to be used by municipalities or housing and/or industrial development boards. The unchecked growth of metropolitan cities like Bangalore, Pune or Kanpur or for that matter any city in this country is sufficient illustration. The encroachment in the Vasai-Virar region of Mumbai, a green hinter land, was legalized overnight by declaring 10000 hectares of land therein as urbanisable. Purchase and control of agricultural land close to the National Highways by the Land Mafia for selling it at high price to urban elites, for making hotels, motels and holiday resorts etc. depriving the average Indian family from the cultivable feeding land.

Another impact of urbanization is the displacement caused due to the "beautification" of the urban centers, especially while hosting mega events as global conferences, sporting events, and international expositions. The governments, to facilitate such events, rely on shortsighted strategies of forced removal in order to conceal the existence of slum dwellers and, in doing so, protect national claims of "development."74

In recent years, housing advocates and development scholars have criticized large-scale urban economic development projects for their adverse impacts on informal settlements. For example, in his World Bank Discussion Paper, The Urban Environment and Population Relocation, Michael Cernea suggests that "the frequency and magnitude of compulsory displacement are likely to increase in the developing world as the trend towards urbanization grows stronger."75

According to the 1996 Global Report on Human Settlements prepared by the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (UNCHS), five of the top thirty-four recent examples of massive evictions worldwide were related to mega-events.76 The report suggests that "beautification" projects immediately prior to international events are one of the most common justifications for slum clearance programs.77

Another side of the random approach to development has been the unsystematic establishment of industries in the heart of the city around human habitations causing pollution and adverse effect on the ecology, forced the Courts to order relocation of such industries. However, not without causing displacement of thousands of families those depended on these industries for their livelihood. Such an approach to development cuts from two ways firstly it entices the rural population to move out from the villages in search of livelihood (forced migration), who end up being nothing but the one living at the periphery of the urban society, from one who was at the centre of his society, a land owner in the village becomes an urban labourer, thus, creating a new class of people in the urban social hierarchy viz. the "slum dwellers". The misery gets doubled when such relocation is done or any other distributive policy is unveiled by the industry. The person who had already lost his usual life and livelihood, thereby, also loses his marginal life. The condition is worst when such industry is the one like Union Carbide in Bhopal that silenced more than 3000 people permanently while they were innocently asleep; the impact of the gas leak is evident till date even after 23 years of the tragedy, also the relief and compensation promised is yet to be distributed to the victims.

Industrial concerns, since the beginning of 20th century, have added to alienation, from Tata Iron and Steel Company in Sakchi (now Jamshedpur) (estd.1907), The Rourkela Steel Plant, the Heavy engineering Corporation Ltd. or the Bokaro Steel Ltd. the land acquired for these installations caused displacement of scores of thousands of families, most of them belonging to ST and SC. The phenomenon continued and reached its heights during the growing pace of development under `liberalization', in the last decade of the century, with that the intensity of displacement also increased. Unaccustomed to new ways of life, the affected people face a hostile situation where they have to compete as individuals, different form their community based settings, and many end up losing out in this race for development that "create dispensable citizens" as Usha Ramnathan explains the same with Orissa example:


On January 2, 2006, police opened fire on tribals who were preventing the takeover of their land for setting up industries in Kalinganagar in Orissa. Twelve tribals were killed. A journey through Kalinganagar tracked the trouble unerringly to rehabilitation â€" or, more accurately, its absence. Twelve industries were proposed for Kalinganagar, of which four had been set up. Each displaced family was promised a job in the industries: a promise not even partially fulfilled. As reported in The Indian Express, 87 families had been evicted to set up the MESCO steel plant; five persons had been given jobs. A total of 634 families had been displaced from the site of the Neelachal Ispat Nigam Ltd., 53 people were given work. Some 430 families were displaced for Visa steel, 42 were given employment. When asked, the District Magistrate is reported to have said: "We will ask the industries to have a sympathetic look at the situation." There was another direct cause for the "uprising" by the tribals. The State Government had bought the land from the tribals at Rs.35,000 an acre, and sold it to industry at Rs.3.35 lakh an acre! In the rehabilitation colonies, death and disease stalked the displaced. At Gobarghati Rehabilitation Colony in Kalinganagar, six persons including two children, died in the five months before the firing, of water borne diseases. These were people who had been moved to make way for Neelachal Ispat Nigam. Of the 634 families shifted to the rehabilitation site, only 120 families remained in January 2006. The rest had left seeking jobs because there was nothing for them at the rehabilitation site. One month after the firing, The Hindu carried an interview with Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik where he was quoted as saying: "We are contemplating revising our resettlement and rehabilitation policy to make it more sympathetic and humane." This procrastination in a State where, as Manipadma Jena writes in the Economic and Political Weekly, officially 81,176 families from 1,446 villages have been displaced due to development projects between 1950 and 1993, which required the acquisition of 14,82,626 acres of land.

The Hirakud dam, when it was being built between 1948 and 1957, affected 285 villages of which 249 were in Orissa. To quote Mr. Jena, "due to displacement, the livelihood of 22,141 families consisting of 1,10,000 people was disrupted. Around 4,744 families, all belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, were displaced forcibly with the help of the police. Only 2,185 families were resettled in 17 rehabilitation camps..." Intergenerational impoverishment has been the inevitable effect.

The Niamgiri Hills in Orissa is another example where five million hectare of forest has been used for industrial purpose displacing three million people, and the rehabilitation where of is still not completed.

Forest conservation

The imbalances caused to global ecology and the increased socio economic inequalities displacement marginalization and cultural uprooting that is caused by the dominant model of development is sought to be corrected through ecology-centred model with an emphasis on the creation of more national parks, sanctuaries with reserve and protected forests to conserve the ecology and the forest.

Forest conservation, ironically, has become one of the major causes of concern that result in displacement particularly of tribals and their further marginalization and suffering in social economic and cultural terms. Forests and tribals have an age old relation both are interdependent for their survival and can be said as complementary to each other. But in the eyes of the environmentalists sitting in an air-condition room tribals are the one who are degenerating the forests in this country and the only way that forests can be saved is to oust the tribals from the vicinity of the forest. And for those who does hath the power it is no difficult to notify any forest as protected forest or reserved forest so as to cease human activity inside such forests warranting the removal of the inhabitant therein, causing displacement of those who depend totally on the forest for their livelihood and living.

The inherent discrepancy with the model is that it is a continuation of the policy adopted by the British regime which evolved the concept of state owning and managing the forest, primarily to suffice their economic interest in exploiting the rich natural resources in the forests of the country. Unlike South Africa, where indigenous communities were empowered to claim restitution of land forcibly appropriated during apartheid, India did the opposite in using the colonial Forest Act of 1927 to further the sate interest by 26 million hectares, declaring such forest as limited right or no right forests, based on unreliable paper records without any field survey being carried, thus, converting homelands into state property and rightful owners of the lands into encroachers.

The displacement and resettlement of the `maldharis' in 1970s and 1980s of the Gir forest in Gujarat, as a result of the creation of a sanctuary and later a national park is one such illustration of displacement by ecological development , wherein the state government's policy of resettlement was neither well-conceived nor implemented systematically.78 The pre-rehabilitation population of 4802 persons in 845 families and livestock numbering 16852 reduced, after the resettlement, to 2540 persons of 361 families and livestock reduced to 9811.

The dilemma of conservation of forest and protection of rights of tribals is evident in the Constitutional provision of Part IV and the Schedule V and VI, given the spatial overlap between forest and tribal areas any unilateral enforcement of environmental laws in such areas is bound to give rise to grave crisis in the countryside. For the purposes of harmonizing the constitutional and legal requirements under the Panchayat (Extension of the Schedued Area) Act, (PESA) 1996, the Scheduled tribes (Recognition of Forest Rights) Bill 2005 was introduced that "attempts a paradigm shift from colonial to democratic and equitable forest governance to restore the adivasis self respect and dignity â€" essentially their citizenship rights denied to them even 58 years after independence."79

The closing of areas marked out as national parks and sanctuaries invariably displaces communities who live in, and off, the lan d and resources in the notified area. It also displaces their traditional rights which are then converted into licences which permit them limited access, within the constraints places on them as conditions in the license. This is an uneasy compromise which, it appears, is some environmentalists view with a certain hostility. In Animal and Environmental Legal Defence Fund vs. Union of India (1997), the Supreme Court was presented a petition by `an association of lawyers and other persons who are concerned with the protection of the environment'. They challenged the 305 fishing permits that had been issued to the tribals who had been displaced from their forest villages in what is now the Pench National Park. The villagers, who had claimed that their traditional right to fishing should be preserved as this was the source of their livelihood, had been permitted by an order of 30 May 1996 to fish in the Totladah reservoir. The reservoir had come into existence in 1986-87 on construction of a dam across the Pench River as part of the Pench Hydro-electric Project. The reservoir falls within the national park area, and straddles Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.80

The Kerela Government acquired 1054.75 Hectares of land for Environment Protection which accounts for 2.04 percent of the total land acquired for the purpose in Kerala during 1950-95 through gazette notifications. There are 11 wildlife Sanctuaries, two National parks and one Bird Sanctuary in Kerala, notwithstanding, the official claim of minimal displacement the authorities acknowledge the possibility of displacing Tribals from the project areas. The actual shifting of persons from the areas gave a clear indication of the displacement. The population of 12827 living in 2315.44 SqKm area depended on forests for their livelihood and are seriously affected by the parks or sanctuaries and might well be considered project affected persons. Wherein the three projects viz. Elephant project, at Thariyode displaced 40 families with 212 persons, similar project at Marayoor displaced 335 families comprising 1775 persons and the Periyar tiger Reserve at Mlappara affected 14 families with 74 persons, thus, in all being responsible for displacement of 389 families or 2061 persons.81

Natural disasters

Development may not be the direct reason behind the natural calamities but it surely is one of the factors affecting the occurrences of natural calamities. However, there are some evident impacts like minor earthquakes due to large dams and the artificial flood caused by releasing the excess waters from artificial reservoirs. The indirect impacts are manifold and alarmingly adverse to the human and environmental interests. From draught, flood, deforestation, global warming, acid rain to climate change, all are in some or other way connected to the growth-led paradigm of development.

The problem does not stops here, the difficulty is that the dominant model of development which only addresses the issues relating to the short-run gives way to disasters in the long run, natural calamities are one such instances where the unsystematic development projects become agent, abettor and partners in time of disasters. The floods in mines, fire in oil wells, loss of life in large scale, in urban areas, due to flood and earthquake is caused owing to the temporal approach towards planning and construction. And we do not learn any lesions from our past experiences and mistakes.

Despite being on the seismic map of the world and even after facing numerous fatal tremors we did not plan and construct our cities in accordance with the safety norms with respect to earthquakes, the same is the scenario at the coastal region which faces cyclones every now and then yet the population therein is left with the same living conditions as is the case with any flood prone area. No preventive measure is seen at any level of governance be it policy choice, planning, implementing or enforcing the philosophy seems to be redressing the after affects of such disasters. The laxity in disaster management, rather absence of it is evident from the fact that after every catastrophe the rescue, resettlement and rehabilitation plans are laid afresh and then acted upon when much of the damage and devastation is already done. No lesions were learnt from Latur, Surat, Bhuj, or the number of draughts, famines and floods over the period of which was evident in the damage caused by the Tsunami, the J&K earthquake and the very recent flood (again much of the devastation caused by the dams) across the country. Time and again the fact has remained that, much of the loss of life and property is caused not only because of the intensity of the disaster but due to absence of efficient post disaster rescue, resettlement and rehabilitation (immediate, short-run and long-run) operations, escalating the losses (of both life and property) manifold.

Modern Mega Infrastructures

Airports, Nuclear Power Stations, Special Economic Zones, Mega projects like National Quadrangle and proposed River Linking, as modern amenities and infrastructures, are the ideals of development in our country that vindicate the ideas of the ruling class and their notion of development. The whole idea is prejudiced against the marginalized section and is built out of their living. Airports, Nuclear Power Stations other Mega Projects are no exceptions to this. Most of these projects are conceived and in fact built on the lands of poor farmers and tribals who are politically not so strong rather weakest to safeguard their interests. Here too, the principle of eminent domain played as golden rule and the lands are appropriated to fulfil the ambitious dreams of certain classes of people and their perceptions. No airport in the country was built without displacing families e.g. the Nedumbassery International Airport (NIA) built with an estimate to Rs. 230 crores was prepared in 1992, an area of 526.32 hectares of land was acquired for the project by displacing about 1200 families82.

The Mangalore airport modification project that acquired 175 acres of land displaced 207 families.83

The Special Economic Zones are the latest to join the bandwagon of economy driven development. Large piece of lands are acquired by business tycoons to develop business or industrial city on such land. The lands are acquired by the state at lower cost with false promises of giving jobs and other benefits, and then sold to these companies at huge profits. The companies then forcefully evict the land owners only to make them labourers in the new industry. The phenomena pose larger questions and threats to the very social and cultural existence of peoples affected. The acquisition of 25000 acres of land in Haryana, 35000 acres in Bombay, and the recent 18,894.45 crore worth investment in SEZ for IT and IT enabled services in Bangalore84 by giant industrial houses are good illustrations, besides land is also acquired for IT and Knowledge Parks, the decision of the Karnatake Government to build a 5000-acre knowledge city between Bangalore and Mysore with a bio-IT park85, is another such illustration.

Other mega projects like the Golden Quadrilateral, the North-South Corridor, the Bombay Pune Expressway, the Bangalore Mysore Infrastructure Corridor (BMIC) the Mangalore Chitradurga Highway86 or the East Cost Expressway between Chennai and Kanyakumari all have caused displacement of people already living at the periphery of the society and also adversely affect the environment and the ecology. Most of these projects pass through protected or reserve forest areas and some or other national park or sanctuary or coastal wetlands.

For instance the BMIC project required land acquisition from 6970 khatedars; the project got environmental clearance despite Environmentalists agitating against the project claiming that the MoEF order was "extremely narrow and technical, limiting to the 111 km expressway and shrugging off the responsibility of adverse environmental and social aspects of converting large tracts of forest land for the townships and industrial developments planned."87 The farmers also opposed the project as being anti-farmers as their lands were being acquired without sufficient compensation and urged the government to close down the project.88

One of the most ambitious projects of Indian Railways was undertaken by Konkan Railway Corporation, the now functioning railway line is called by the Goans as the Butcher's Line. There is no other way Goans can describe the high-speed rail track the Konkan Railway Corporation (KRC) has build through the most densely populated and ecologically precious parts of their state. Despite the Studies undertaken by conservationists, architects, sociologists and engineers pointing clearly to the disaster the proposed railway line would be; the State, keeping aside the alternative economic and people friendly plans, had been resolute in following the official plan passing through the densely populated wetlands causing severe damage to the environment and displacing hundreds of families.89

The eviction of about 75000 people on the National Highway No. 5 between Gundugolanu in West Godavari district of and Ravulapalem in east Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh for widening the road is an instant where the NHRC was approached to interfere, as there was no talk of compensation, alternative house sites, employment or any relief measures which had been assured under various laws and guidelines.

The 8.2-km IRR stretch is between the Calcutta Highway and the Tiruvottiyur Ponneri Panchetti Road (TPP Road) at Manali, it is feared has displaced 800 odd families.91

The proposed interlinking of rivers (now kept in abeyance) is another dangling threat to indigenous peoples in large number across the country, those who would come in the way of the proposed canals linking the rivers, besides the irreversible impacts on the environment.

The consequences of Growth-led paradigm of Development

India is fast moving towards a situation wherein the super rich and the middle class are becoming more powerful at the cost of marginal communities who are powerless to defend themselves, or compete with market forces. A number of mega-projects have come up. From Kutch in Gujarat and Dakshin Kannada, to Manipur and the Andamans, commercial projects now threaten the very foundations of rural existence as people are displaced and their livelihood snatched from them in the name of development. From where do Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta and Madras get electricity? From dams and power projects which desecrate thousands of ecologically sustainable villages. Where do we obtain the metals and minerals to run the factories which large business houses set up in league with politicians? From forests such as Radhanagari Bison Sanctuary and from village commons in Bastar and Gandhmardhan. Grasslands, swamps and forests thus quickly succumb to bulldozers, earthmovers and saws, converting ancient assets into instant cash for the well connected. Today the slums are a visible symbol of our senselessness...and our inhumanity.
 The consequences and their intensity vary with local circumstances, but the ultimate common factor underlying the displacement effect is "impoverishment". It often affects the economically, politically, and socially most vulnerable and marginalized groups in a population. However, at the individual and community levels, impoverishment risks associated with resettlement can be felt more intensely by certain segments of the displaced population.2


In this process of economy-driven development virtually all developmental project within the discourse had taken one thing for granted, i.e. "Displacement" (Displacement is seen as the result of a model of development that enforces certain technical and economic choices without giving any serious consideration to those options that would involve the least social and environmental costs94). It is taken to be a natural corollary of development and the public at large is `forced to believe' that the reason for displacement is in "national" or "public" interest.

Conventionally, there was no question of challenging the displacement or the development paradigm itself as such, moreover, with time the `Temples' increased in number and categories, from Dam only to mines, powerhouses, factories, sanctuaries, urbanization, tourism project and defense projects became the `public purpose" and displaced people `normally'. Walter Fernandes et al estimated that 30 million people were affected by these projects till 1994, the World Commission on Dams Report (November 2000) estimates the total number of the displaced people by 4500 large dams in India to be 30-40 million.95

The figure quoted by Arundhati Roy in her essay `The Greater Common Good: The Human Cost of Big Dams' reflects the same. It is worth quoting her persuasive reasoning: According to a detailed study of 54 Large Dams done by the Indian Institute of Public Administration, the average number of people displaced by a Large Dam is 44,182. Admittedly 54 Dams out of 3,300 is not a big enough sample. But… it's all we have… let's err on the side of abundant caution and take an average of just 10,000 people per Large Dam. 33 million… That's what it works out to… What about those that have been displaced by the thousands of other Development Projects?… Fifty million people…I feel like someone who's just stumbled on a mass grave.96

However, the voices of the displaced are no longer extraordinary. Echoed in virtually every displacement situationsâ€"be it Tehri, Narmada, Singrauli or Keol Karo, only to name a fewâ€"they reveal what it means to be a "displaced lot": loss of livelihood and traditional lands; demolition of homes; loss of social networks; severance from an eco-system that sustained them earlier and, above all, a feeling of powerlessness and insecurity for the future.

Displacement is a multidimensional phenomenon not confined to physical relocation; it reduces the "quality of life" of the communities into sub human conditions. This understanding of displacement highlights (i) the alienation of the individual and community legal and customary rights and dislocation of the social and economic organisation, and (ii) the politics of legal and policy instruments that sanctions such disenfranchisement. In this context displacement refers not only to those who are forced to physically relocate in order to make way for the project and its related aspects but also includes those who are displaced from their resource base and livelihoods. It is commonly experienced through the loss of land and the disruption of social and economic relationships (Bartolome et al 1999).97

Ironically, the existing definition of project affected people (PAP) did not include the landless, the non-asset class, the seasonal farmers, the fishermen, boatmen, those engaged in work of art, culture and handicraft, and small shopkeepers in the affected village; also it did not recognize those affected by the canals, colonies, sanctuaries, catchment area treatment, secondary displacement and displacement through subsidiary and ancillary projects as `oustees', making the whole process as class biased and only in terms of cash economy.

Ideally, it is to be expected that those likely to be negatively affected by the projects would be consulted and kept informed in such a way as to enable them to best rebuild their ravaged lives. However it is not the case, rather, from the inception of planning of most projects, through various stages of displacement and resettlement, there is bewilderment and confusion among the resettlers in virtually every large project about the extent and intensity of the damage.98

Vulnerable groups and displacement
The displacement caused by the large projects are class biased and the ethnic "otherness" is evident on the face of it, however, besides the impact it has on the tribal population it also affects the status and life of women's children's and elderly persons. The heartrending story of Nanhe, a displaced from Sardar Sarovar Project, is just an illustration.99

The Scheduled Tribes constituted about 8.1 percent of the total population of the country according to 1991 census but they also constituted 55.16% of total displaced people which indicates victimization of the tribals. Many of the tribals have been displaced for creation of national parks. Over 40 percent of those displaced from 1950 to 1990 were from tribal communities. Since 1990 the figure has risen to 50 percent. Planners and administrators invariably capitalize on and manipulate the relatively weaker socio-economic and political position of most of the people facing displacement. Their numbers are underestimated, they are treated indifferently and only minimal cash compensation, if at all, is paid. They are rarely granted security of tenure on alternative developed land sites. All too often after a painful and traumatic period of establishing a new lifestyle, they are informed they must move again to make way for yet another project. Despite the scale of the displacement and the efforts of some governmental and independent groups, resettlement efforts continue to be shoddy and grossly inadequate. The following table gives an idea of the tribal displacement done only by Dams.

Dams and the displacement of tribal people

Source : Satyajit Singh, Taming the Waters, OUP, 1997, and Government figures.100

*Projects are either under construction or have been planned.

Arundhati Roy points this fact in her work: "A huge percentage of the displaced are tribal people (57.6 per cent in the case of the Sardar Sarovar Dam). Include Dalits and the figure becomes obscene. According to the Commissioner for Scheduled Castes and Tribes, it's about 60 per cent. If you consider that tribal people account for only eight per cent, and Dalits fifteen per cent, of India's population, it opens up a whole other dimension to the story. The ethnic 'otherness' of their victims takes some of the pressure off the Nation Builders. It's like having an expense account. Someone else pays the bills. People from another country. Another world. India's poorest people are subsidising the lifestyles of her richest."101

The fact again was brought to the notice of the Supreme Court, which in its 1997 Samatha judgment has banned transfer of land and mining lease and license to the non-tribal in 5th schedule area. The judgment has declared as void and impermissible all transfer of land belonging to the state of Andhra Pradesh at any time in the past or present in "Scheduled areas" to non-tribals and all mining leases or prospecting licenses when so ever granted by the concerned State Government in such areas to non-tribals. The judgment was quite explicit in favour of tribal and declared that the government is a non-tribal person and all land leased to the private company in scheduled area are null and void. However, it did not seem explicit enough for the Orissa Government which decided, against the judgment, not to put a blanket ban on granting mining lease in the Scheduled areas. Due to such approach of the Government, natural resources and livelihood of tribals are in great danger, which had virtually pushed the tribal to the abject of poverty and hunger.102

The following table gives a conservative estimate of persons and tribals displaced by development projects from 1950-

Types of projects

All DPs (in lakhs)

% of DPs

DPs resettled (in lakhs)

% of resettled DPs

Back Log (lakhs)

Back Log %

Tribals Displaced (lakhs)

% of all DPs

Tribals DPs and resettled (lakhs)

% of Tribal DPs

Back log of tribal DPs

% of Back Log















































































Source: Fernandes, 1994, pp.22-32.

A significant number of tribal people, who are generally dependent on the natural and common resources are displaced, and their ethos and lifestyle is dismantled and denigrated for the sake of developmental projects. Apart from the loss of land, living and lifestyle (of generations) displacement causes other traumatic, psychological and socio-cultural consequences, making their life further more miserable and impoverished.103 In the name of development, tribals are displaced from their traditional habitats and livelihoods with little or no rehabilitation, and are rendered destitute, bewildered and pauperised by the development process. They are pushed into a vortex of increasing assetlessness, unemployment, debt bondage and hunger due to loss of access to traditional sources of livelihood viz.,land, forests, rivers, pastures, cattle etc.

In these large development projects, tribals lose their land and also the new economic opportunities in commerce and petty industry to project authorities and outsiders alike, even wage employment for them is rare. In Chotanagpur area, though the tribals constitute more than 50 per cent of the total population, there are not more than 5 per cent of them in the industrial working force. In some of the large firms like TISCO, Jamshedpur and Bharat Coking Coal Ltd., Dhanbad, the tribals employed are less than 5 per cent. Development for the nation has meant displacement, pauperisation, or, at its very best, peonage for the tribals.104

In addition to what displacement has brought, in particular, for the tribals it has unleashed very similar or even worse consequences for women, children and elderly men in general. Studies have effectively documented how women and children are disproportionately burdened by displacement. The payment of compensation in cash directly disempowers women, who are impaired traditionally in influencing any decision on how the money is to be spent.

Also, any loss of access to traditional sources of livelihood â€" land, forest, sea, river, pasture, cattle or saltpan land â€" marginalizes women on the labour market. It is only when land and other sources are replaced that women at least partially regain their economic status. Women not only suffered in terms of health and nutrition, they also lost the capacity to provide a secure future for their children. By resorting to seasonal migration they have unwittingly denied their children access to school, health care, child welfare, and other welfare services.105 Further, considering Widow, deserted and unmarried adult daughters as dependents ceases their right to claim separate or independent rehabilitation package with no land allotment in their names. The Uttar Pradesh policy is even more gender biased. If a couple holds property separately, they will be considered one unit and will receive one package. In this situation, a woman will have to forego her right to the package as it will be given to the head of the family: the man.106

Besides, the profound vulnerability of the landless agricultural workers, there are people like the destitutes, beggars, the uncared for aged, women victims of violence and abandonment, the disabled, leprosy patients, the mentally ill, and children deprived of adult care, who are anyway condemned to the margins of society and are likely to be the first to fall by the wayside.107

Rehabilitation and Resettlement

Since Displacement was considered to be necessary, rather obvious for Development, the only solace for the displaced lot was to get the meager compensation decided by the state authorities in accordance with the colonial Land Acquisition Act of 1894. Though, initially the Constitution vested property right108 as a fundamental right but the same was crippled by the very first Amendment to the Constitution in 1951, by adding Article 31A which provided legitimacy to land acquisition by State but not the without payment of compensation that is not less than the existing market rate, and finally in 1978 the Right to Property was omitted from being a fundamental right and was reduced to a mere constitutional right under Article 301A.

Legally speaking all the land acquisitions by the state is lawful, if only the state pays the requisite compensation to the displaced. However, monetary compensation for the land deprived to the individual is no compensation, as the land for him, besides being a property, has emotional, cultural, social, ethical, and economic value for which the monetary compensation does not compensate. Hence, the concept of `Land for land' and provisions for resettlement and rehabilitation of those affected by such acquisitions. But these concepts are followed more in violations than in observance.

In a welfare state the State is obliged to take care of the subjects like a parent, and when it is so ensured under the Constitution (Fundamental Rights) it becomes all the more imperative on the state to grant protection. The ill-effects of the displacement induced by development ought to be taken care off by the state and necessary arrangement thereof made, i.e. the displaced persons be resettled in a safe habitat wherein they can start there life afresh. However, this would require more than mere allocation of certain piece of land for resettlement or mere construction of make shift camps for temporary settlement. What is needed is the "rehabilitation" of the persons affected by the projects; rehabilitation means to "restore to the former condition", and thus, all that was lost by displacement, the emotional, cultural, social, political and economic losses must be restored at a priority basis than to the Project itself, which is the cause of the impoverishment.

Initially, when displacement was considered to be "sacrifice in the nation building" rather, more appropriately, "temple building", the miseries and pains of displaced were ignored with no specific arrangement even for their `resettlement' leave alone `rehabilitation'. It was only when people started questioning (since the late 70s and 80s) the `sacredness' of the `sacrifice' and the `latent purpose' behind the `public purpose' unleashing a national debate on the whole issue, the state was compelled to announce resettlement and rehabilitation of the displaced, nonetheless, the practice remained same, rather the intensity of the projects and consequent displacement increased manifold riding high on the fast tracks of `liberalization' after the new economic policy of 1991. The irony is that, those already affected were never attended to and on the other hand every new economic project was exposing 100s of thousands of families to displacement. In the present march of globalization-induced liberalization, the development has been proceeding in such an unprecedented manner and un-formidable pace that development has become almost synonymous to the term displacement. Wherever there is drum-beet of development, thousands and thousands people are not only apprehending, but also facing the bulldozer of displacement.

Taken randomly any project that boasts of economic well-being of the nation is not free from this malady of displacement, and in no case the people affected have received the much needed protection of resettlement and rehabilitation. On the contrary, the projects are given a free go-ahead without completion of the resettlement and rehabilitation programmes. The abrupt closing of flood gates of Rihand Dam which left more than 50000 peoples missing is not just one isolated example, in executing the Maan irrigation project of Narmada valley On 20 July 2002, police forcibly evicted the residents of Khedi Balwari, the first village to be submerged. The sluice gates of the dam were deliberately closed, though the affected persons had not been rehabilitated. The villagers testified that the police dragged them into buses and took them to rehabilitation sites 45-70 kms away. While pushing people into buses, children - the smallest being a couple of months - were separated from their parents and left behind. The women complained that they did not know the whereabouts of their children for over a week. Virtually all developmental projects have one or even more episodes of such ghastly instance to their glory; besides, forced resettlement (in absence of consultation with the people affected by the projects) has been the rule of the day and planned ones being rare exceptions.

Few projects have rehabilitation policies in India, even on paper. Projects like Tehri and Narmada, which have comprehensive rehabilitation policies in place â€" even if they are most often not implemented â€" are rare, the National Rehabilitation Policy, though captures certain important concerns relating to the experience of displacement, fails to provide appropriate mechanism or framework for the assessment of the necessity of displacement, or the identification or compensation of the oustees with livelihood.109 The awful situation of resettlement and rehabilitation is same across the developmental projects irrespective of damming, mining, industrialization, urbanization, infrastructures and the like including in the cases of natural disasters.

The provision of `land for land' that has been envisaged since from the Narmada Project, for the Project Affected Persons, though a positive step, was rendered unfruitful by the tribunals like NWDTA110 and not so well founded judgments of the Supreme Court. This apart no resettlement programmes in the country has compensated the displaced in a just manner, giving an insultingly paltry sum as compensation while appropriating his sources of livelihood. One of the fundamental reasons of dismal record of resettlement and rehabilitation is the biases and prejudices of those who design the projects, for them it is the responsibility of the local authorities and something that is outside the ambit of the project, in other words, an `external cost' to the project. Most of the time the matter is dealt on an ad-hoc basis, virtually with no practical information rather based on guesswork. Delay in work, involvement of middlemen, corruption and red-tapism further aggravate the miseries of the poor and vulnerable victims.


For the Government and its agents of development, cash compensation seems to be the only panacea for the problems induced by displacement and only policy for rehabilitation, whereas, in practice it is the most inadequate means for rehabilitation. No procedure and principles are laid down to estimate the costs, showing the arbitrariness of compensation. Apart from loss of land, the villager suffers loss from common property resources â€" forest produce, village grazing land, community centre, social security, and so on. The problem is more acute with the artisans, some of them may own land, but their major income is from their profession within the known community. There seems no provision with regard to their rehabilitation. Besides, the landless and the tribals are probably the worst sufferers. The assessment of compensation is made on the basis of the property owned by an individual, ignoring the fact that common properties also contribute to the living and livelihood in a society. The gender and class biasness of the state is evident in any such case of huge displacement, the widows, unmarried daughter, and children are never considered as separate entity for the reli984ef and rehabilitation purposes. Most of the time in cases where the properties are owned by women the compensation yet is paid to the male head of the family.

The people affected require more than just cash compensation, they ought to be prepared emotionally and psychologically to move out of there usual habitat, reducing the psychological trauma and anxiety created by wild rumors. The people affected are mostly those who give least value to monetary compensation or they do not know to handle the cash. In such circumstances the compensation in kind and even if in cash should be with an advice on proper investment or help in channelising the same should be ensured for the better future of the displaced.

There is this general risk of Landlessness, Joblessness, Homelessness, Marginalization, Food insecurity, Increased morbidity and mortality, Loss of Access to common property and services, Social Disarticulation, Differential Risks, and the Risk to Host Populations as a result of the convergent and cumulative effect of these processes (development induced displacement) entailing rapid onset of impoverishment, which is not limited to the community of the displaced but are risks incurred by the local (regional) economy as well, to which they may inflict major loss and disruption.111 The general policy of compensation does not fit into the welfare schemes of a government founded on the principles of socialism, and serves only to mitigate immediate desolations while ignoring the long run and permanent solution to the problems.

Table showing how displacement produces new poverty: landlessness in Orissa (Pandey 1998a data by Downing 1999)

The problems in this regard were evident when the Coal India Limited confirmed in an environmental impact assessment for one of its pending coal sector projects that the victims of resettlement "often end up as exploited contract laborers trapped in perpetual poverty or they simply leave the area, to reappear in the slums of the city or as squatters" (Berne Declaration 1996). The situation of the tribal people is all the more thorny, since the compensation is paid on the basis of land owned, the tribals who have no inclination to own land but use it as a common property fail to claim compensation on the basis of the lost common land. Its hard to believe that how land, natural resources, means of livelihood, social and cultural loss resulting from displacement can be quantified and compensated in monetary terms? And the non-quantifiable nature of numerous human and ecological costs is not even acknowledged? The government acknowledges the problem that, "In tribal areas, where the displaced persons are given only cash compensation, the tendencies to spend the compensation amount by buying consumer goods and becoming destitute are common. In most of the projects, the tribal oustees become listless wanderers without a mooring." Yet it fails to correct its ad-hoc manner of distributing monetary compensation.

Larger social, economic and environmental threats

Involuntary and forced displacement induced by development projects, besides the above discussed problems, pose certain larger social, economic and above all environmental threats which has perpetual or irreversible impact on the project affected people in particular and their habitat in general. Displacement forces people to leave their usual habitation to which they are used to, in doing so they leave behind, besides their personal belongings, the common utility assets, the social bondage and security, an essential part of their life. Not only the land-owners are evacuated but the land less agricultural labourers, carpenters, blacksmith, cobbler, barber, tailor and so on those depended on these land and the village society loose their livelihood too. The common properties like grazing land, ponds, wells, sacred grooves, worship places, playgrounds, and fuel sources are lost in the village; on the other hand in urban context people lose their place of work like hawking/vending, self employment etc.

The worst form of social impoverishment is caused due to loss of networks which are built up over generations; people who are used to traditional way of living are exposed to entirely new and alien living conditions and environment that is hostile to them. They are forced to think and live individually, unlike the usual common living and dependency, wherein only the well-off sections of the community survive.

People start to confront and fight within family for compensation money, the callous settlement of different ethnic and caste groups develop inter community hostility. Many are rendered jobless and even if jobs are offered they find it beneath their dignity of once being landowners to work as labourers. The affected peoples have no political voice, and as they are resettled in new fragmented conditions there is lack of uniformity, the living conditions at different places of resettlement are different thus, and the common interest is vanished leaving the marginalized ones further to the periphery.

Not alone the social conditions of the project affected persons is deteriorated, it is same with the host community where these persons are resettled. "The inflows of displaces increases pressure on resources and scarce social services, as well as competition for employment. Prices of commodities tend to rise and health risks in the host area increase. Cultural clashes are quite likely, and social tensions tend to endure long. Secondary adverse effects on the environment hurt both the hosts and the displaced."112

Conventionally people had to worry for the displacement caused due to Big Dams alone, which would affect the population of a region where the dam is being constructed or limited to the submergence area. However, contemporarily the cause of displacement has multiplied in numbers and dimensions with varied and enormous impact not only on the physical population of the nation but also affecting the social and economic fabric with serious threats to environment and the ecological balance. The fast-track industrialization has turned our cities inhabitable, forests barren and man to machine, a country which was predominantly a sustained traditional economy has been transmogrified into modern growth-led economy devoid of human considerations. Those who cherished the new economic policy failed to wield the same in application, the long hidden agenda inherent in the policy, best identified with the western culture, took over in the fact of privatization of essential commodities in a state once firmly based on the principles of socialism.

The modern agents of Development has made inroads to an extent that even the natural resources are not left from the encroachments of foreign hands, wherein, the indigenous, the rightful owners, have to pay for the things once considered to be natural and common. Privatization of drinking water supply with vesting river rights onto a private entity, the Seonath River in Chattisgarh, the ground water exploitation and contamination by Cola giants in (Plachimada in Palakkad) Kerala, on the cards privatization of water supply for Trivunanthapuram and Vizag to be facilitated (displacing millions) by construction of Polavarm Multipurpose Dam, besides the already privatized electricity and water supply in number of metropolitan cities including Delhi and Mumbai are some of the many instances of this draconian run. The web of Industrialisation, Privatization, Globalisation, Liberalisation, and the excuse of Development, it seems, has become irreversibly complex. And this complexity has been integrated and seeped deep into the economic et al policies of the state.

Development projects, nevertheless, symbolizing economic growth, an important component of development, cannot be a goal in itself, nor can go indefinitely. A project howsoever technically perfect will not bear the desired results if we keep the "substance" out of it. Development means the development of the "people". Why care for the people? And, as EF Schumacher wrote, "Because people are the primary and ultimate source of any wealth whatsoever. If they are left out, if they are pushed around by self-experts and high-handed planners, then nothing can ever yield fruit."113

Moreover, no development can be accepted at the cost of environment which essentially means human survival, rather `the survival of the humanity'. Unsystematic and piecemeal approach to development has cost us dearly in the form of depletion of the environment and loss of ecological balance. The large scale deforestation due to mining and establishment of industries has resulted in climate change and inconsistent weathers. Big Dams submerge huge area of forest cover causing irreversible loss to varieties of flora and fauna besides the land area. The pollution (air, water, soil and noise) caused by the industries accentuate the miseries of the present as well as the generations to come, added to this pollution by industries and urban centers is the garbage and toxic waste that is generated over time. No wonder that the environmental impact assessment of most of the big and mega projects reveal that such hyped and appreciated mega ventures are nothing but surviving at human and environmental costs. It is high time we realize the need of transforming our developmental policies to answer the larger human and environmental requirements until it becomes too late.

Economic cost alone can never be the only consideration in a project that is going to affect the lives of lakhs of people, the ecology and the environment, not just in the short term but for centuries. Almost all the developmental projects today are woven into economic fabric with the thread of liberalization, privatization and globalization (LPG), and up for sale in a market driven economy, thus ruling out the commoners from being among the beneficiaries of such a development. On the contrary the development is achieved at the cost of the commoners by causing their displacement.

If we consider displacement as the factor responsible for causing impoverishment, then the maximum of the impoverishment is caused due to industrialization-induced displacement, next only to the displacement caused by Dams. Since it creates a vicious circle of displacement, beginning with acquisition of land for the establishment of industry and culminating in mass slums, the existence of slum in every industrial city is a sufficient testimony to this fact. However, the extended threat in the modern context is that all the activities are run and controlled by private entities, leading to concentration of the natural and economic resources and wealth, belonging to the people, in limited hands, to an extent of excluding immediate institutional remedies from the state. In LPG the sate has found a disguise to escape its social and welfare responsibilities. It is only when the state finds the situation out of control coupled with peoples' movement, it aversely takes some steps for resettlement and rehabilitation only to subside and undermine the mass movements.

After Enron, Maheshwar Hydro-Electric project and UNOCAL it seems fair to conclude that the globalization has been depriving the people from their livelihood, as happened in the influx of over 200 mega-trawlers of the MNCs in the Indian coasts, harming the interests of the lakhs of small fish-workers. The New Economic Policy and the package of LPG, and particularly the Globalization, have further deepened the problem of the displacement in India. The tribals, peasants, Dalits, women, workers, and their organizations have a difficult task of resisting the interests of these new capitalist forces which are supported by the State, the majority of media, urban-industrial and commercial middle class and the experts. The struggle against the displacement has thus become the struggle against the larger politics of Globalization.

And in the course the civil society is challenged to deal with varied forms of inconsistencies from within and out of the society; the answer may not be found in one-sided approach to the problems. What is required to reach any harmonious solution ensuring better management production and distribution of the resources with sustainable development as its end result is a holistic view and consideration in totality of the needs, necessities and wants of different sections of the society, with state as the major stakeholder in the whole process; forming a fine balance between the `right to development' and the `right against displacement'.

Development Disasters and people's participation

It is imperative to note here that any kind of disaster, natural or manmade â€" Natural disasters may be broken down into three sub-categoriesâ€"sudden impact, slow onset, and epidemic diseasesâ€"while human-made disasters include two sub-categoriesâ€" industrial/technological disasters and complex emergencies114 â€" is equally responsible for the impoverishment of peoples coming under its impact; and to address the negative impacts of the natural as well as the human-induced disasters, a comprehensive and concerted steps at all levels of policy making, planning, execution, and enforcement should be undertaken, keeping in mind the long term perspectives of human and environmental survivals, besides the search for sustainable livelihoods (see chart below) in an era of economic globalization and supposedly pro-poor national policies.

Forced Displacement, Sustainable Livelihoods and Impoverishment Risks
â€" A Revised Framework for Analysis

Any piecemeal approach would entail drastic consequences in the long term. Thus, `sustainable development', a global principle of environment protection and development becomes all the more significant. In this regard, Cernea's impoverishment risk and reconstruction model offers a valuable tool for the assessment of the many risks inherent in development-induced displacement.

State's obligation to provide humanitarian assistance and promote observance of human rights, in case of development-induced displacement, requires a balance of the state's right of "eminent domain" against a human being's right to home and property. In this light, development can be the proper expression of a state's responsibility to ensure the protection and welfare of its citizens. Where development leads to arbitrary displacement, injustice and impoverishment, the responsibility still falls primarily on the state to take corrective action.116

The states' indifference, apathy and at times inability to deals in a proper manner with the disaster situations (both natural and man made) has forced the society as a whole to think and come up with alternative arrangements to deal with the crisis. The peoples' support and participation for the reconstruction of Bhuj in the aftermath of Gujarat earthquakes or the Post-Tsunami relief and rehabilitation endeavours of the NGOs is commendable. The role that civil society plays to counter the impoverishment risks is highlighted in the fact of public movements and institutionalization of the public expertise117.

It is pleasing to note that a number of significant people's movements have been instrumental in stopping deforestation and depletion of wildlife.

Chipko Andolan march 1973 in Gopeswar in Charob District Representative of sports goods factory based at Allahabad to cut down 10 ash trees near a village Mandal. When told not to do so they persisted the villagers hit upon the idea of hugging the marked trees thus forcing them to return empty handed. The movement, led by Sundarlal Bahuguna and Chardi Prasad Bhatt grew into a big people's movement. 118

San Silent Valley Movement initiated by KSSP against the proposed hydro electric project of the government in the rich tropical evergreen forest of the western ghats in kerala. With collaboration with others the movement grew within and outside of kerala forcing the govt. to postpone the project.

The role of civil society and public movements was imperative, rather forced for the constitution of the World Commission on Dams, in an independent assessment of the Commission it was observed that, "Based on the growing evidence of dams' negative impacts, protests and mobilisations have multiplied the world over. These protests have matured into sustained social movements that have effectively slowed down or stalled further work on proposed or ongoing dams. Among the more notable examples are the Bakun Dam in Malaysia, the Maan, Tehri, and Maheshwar Dams in India, and the Lesotho Highland Stage II Dam in Lesotho. In the case of proposed dams, such as the Arun III in Nepal, national mobilization and intensive global campaigns have led to the cancellation of these projects. On the Koel-Karo and the Suvarnarekha Rivers in India, projects have been shelved after ground had been broken and significant infrastructure work had been completed. Even in the industrialised world â€"whether in the United States, Europe, or Japan â€" public opposition and the growing evidence of the adverse economic and ecological impacts have led to a rethinking of large dams as an option for irrigation and energy.120 Additionally, social movements and their supporters have criticized the role of multilateral funding agencies such as the World Bank in the legitimation and construction of large dams."121 Narmada Bachao Andolan has been a front runner in this regard.

"Such movements, be they the resistance to displacement in the Narmada Valley or the struggle against the mining activities in Jaduguda or against the setting up of production units that are bound to affect the environment adversely in many parts of the country, are, however, finding it difficult to take on the mighty establishment. The forces of status quo, after all, are not restricted to one political party or combine but are spread across civil society."122

Development, to have a real positive impact on the society must confirm to the principles of sustainable development, i.e. not only the immediate concerns but the long term social and environmental considerations should guide the policy decisions, and those affected should be allowed to participate in such decision making so as to promote and uphold participatory democracy. However, one must be cautious to understand the actual interests involved and not the vested interests. In this respect the role of NGOs and other voluntary organizations has to be consciously evaluated. Not all of them serve public cause; the long list of blacklisted NGOs tells the other side of the story. The Council for Advancement of People's Action and Rural Technology (CAPART), a Government of India organization that supports the projects and activities of NGOs, recently blacklisted 400 such organizations. The Central Social Welfare Board (CSWB), which funds NGOs on behalf of the Department of Women and Child Development, has a long blacklist of 3,000 NGOs. As Dhillon (1997) observes, the concept of voluntary work appears to have changed with NGOs becoming a source of income and employment generation for people sitting in plush, air-conditioned offices in the capital or other major cities, hopping from country to country for conferences around the globe, and doing `advocacy work' - a fancy term for churning out reports that put you to sleep by the time you reach page three.

This further raises the question of effectiveness of the NGOs to address the real issues concerning displacement i.e. the resettlement, rehabilitation and compensation, as most of the time the organizations take a rigid stand against the projects itself and thus shy away from any management and reconstruction works after the project is initiated; since there whole resource and energy the name and ego are at stake to oppose the project per se, such resettlement and rehabilitation works are done and undertaken by inexperienced small local NGOs or voluntary groups with ultimate control and supervision of the state. The very object and purpose of the NGO is frustrated, rather it is being used as a farce by some such groups (particularly where the NGOs concerned are unapologetic about their source of funds) in such a manner that even sections that mean well turn out to be articulate apologists of the mainstream development followed by the state. These NGOs, which serve as distribution centres for the funds from the international institutions and donor agencies from the West and also as a major employer of elite, stand aloof of the social movements.

Therefore, not all but most of the times, `NGOization' of the issues aggravates the crisis. On the other hand, `people's movement' or the `democratization' of the issues is more yielding and effective in addressing the issues and is more thriving in mobilization of the peoples' support and participation for the social cause. Narmada Bachao, Chipko, San Silent Valley, Koel Karo Jan Sangathan… all success stories form part of the People's movements and not NGO affiliations.

Moreover, though the World Bank was eventually forced to withdraw from the Narmada valley projects, the work carried on nevertheless, and the dam that is now (realistically was always) a foregone conclusion, is not without conceding the fact that NBA has managed to bring into the public domain, issues which were hitherto never critically analyzed and were resignedly accepted as collateral damage. The entire viability of mega dams was brought into question and was subjected to unprecedented scrutiny in the media. On an optimistic note, this debate on dams, I believe, could spill over into larger issues related to development.

Having being said that, one can not deny the fact that NGOs and voluntary organizations have a role in ensuring people's participation in the decision making processes and notwithstanding the exceptions they do play a major role in social mobilizations, through imparting information and creating awareness. NGOs have a distinct advantage in comparison with government agencies, and are better able to: (1) reach the poor; (2) obtain true, meaningful participation of intended beneficiaries; (3) be flexible and responsive in their work; (4) strengthen local level institutions; (5) achieve outcomes at less cost; (6) experiment with alternative ideas and practices; (7) utilize indigenous knowledge and other local resources. (Fowler 1990:11) Today many of the development agencies take help of the NGOs to plan and execute their resettlement and rehabilitation operations, especially those funded by World Bank and other international donors. The Coal India Limited and the National Thermal Power Corporation were first of the Government of India undertakings to utilize the services of NGOs for their resettlement and rehabilitation plans.


Right to development as a human right was declared in 1986,123 however, was acknowledged in the Second UN World Conference on Human Rights in 1993 in Vienna integrating the economic social and cultural rights with the civil and political rights; it articulated an amalgamation of the two sets of human rights as an essential fore condition for the `right to opportunities for development' to take effect.124 Nonetheless, Development remains a mere hollow emotional assertion in the absence of Participatory Democracy; where one has no say in determination of policies and decisions that affect him, rather the system in place is marred with fundamental follies in the very policy formulation; where despite the growth in the economy, opportunities do not expand; where the benefits belong to the rich and burden and costs for millions of those on the periphery; where the growth of economy in no way endures to see participation or empowerment; where loss of cultural identity as collateral damage is a non issue. In such a scenario `development' amounts to be self defeating, serving to further accentuate and perpetuate social and economic inequities and thereby rendering meaningless its own avowed `telos'.

The empirical perspective on the worldwide and most definitely in the Indian context reveals a bias in the development discourse; one which has posited the individual and the investor at its helm and on account of which development as we know it, is inherently ill suited to promote human and social development, as was and is being envisaged. Thus we face a paradox wherein endeavours to promote the one human right (Development) gives rise to the violation (displacement) of another.

"Development-induced displacement is the forcing of communities and individuals out of their homes, often also their homelands, for the ostensible purpose of social and human development, but which is actually nothing more than "economic growth" and the benefits accruing from such almost never if ever percolate down to the one's that bear its costs. It is a subset of forced migration." 125 From, historically, being associated with the construction of dams for hydroelectric power and irrigation purposes it now also appears in many other forms, some of which have been discussed above; and almost of all which invariably result in some sort of displacement. So much so that displacement and development have almost become synonymous. It is time the disparity between the theory and praxis of development was considered in the light of its flawed metaphysical underpinnings rather than facilely blaming only ineffectual implementation. And what has compounded the problem is that such flawed notion was uncritically accepted as a template and applied across different spatial and temporal milieus disingenuously disregarding the accompanying socio-political and cultural sensibilities. If people are the means and end of all development â€" there's no refuting that I think â€" then it logically follows that all development policy should be inclusive of culture and tradition, keeping in mind that it's avowed object is the `preferred futures' of people. How then can one justify the (cultural) disorientation that most development applications result in?

To steer pass this impasse we need to rethink rather un-think the established perceptions and ask ourselves a certain set of new questions, shifting the focus from after-project impacts to pre-emptive pre-project scrutiny interrogating the inevitability of the thesis of development; the relevant question being: is displacement always inevitable? If yes can the quantum be reduced to the critical minimum and how? What legal, administrative, cultural measures may be taken to minimise the social, cultural and environmental costs? In the process we need to look for better alternatives, as an optimal response to predictable impoverishment risks, which could eliminate altogether the need to displace people, or could at least reduce the number of displacees'. In other words, the first goal should be to find alternatives that cause minimal displacement, in those instances where displacement is inevitable, it is imperative that the full costs of rehabilitation be internalized into the project cost.

Most of the problems connected with displacement, resettlement and rehabilitation can be traced to the "Unbalanced growth strategy". Development, which has entailed many large-scale forced evictions of vulnerable populations, without the countervailing presence of policies to assist them to rebuild their lives, has only accentuated the negative aspects of displacement, such as lack of information, failure to prepare in advance a comprehensive plan for rehabilitation, the undervaluation of compensation and its payment in cash, failure to restore lost assets or livelihoods, traumatic and delayed relocation, problems at relocation sites, multiple displacement, and neglect of the special vulnerabilities of the most disadvantaged groups.126

It is incumbent upon the operators of the wheel of development to seek the participation of those displaced or to be displaced. It can be done directly or through their formal and informal leaders, representatives and even the Non-Governmental Organizations. It would help in understanding the needs and preferences, prevent costly mistakes and reduces the sense of insecurity among the displaced lot. We have already waited too long to challenge the development model that is biased to certain perceptions and class of society; alternatives for power generation, irrigation, means of production, etc., that do not exert such an enormous toll on human suffering, are now available and which might well be followed to reduce forced displacement.

To achieve the goals of sustainable development and for the Development itself to sustain, it must come from the bottom; which is possible only when the third tier of the governance (is functional in its real sense) has determinative rights of participation in policy framing and decision making when it proposes to affect their interests. Though the structural arrangements in this regard are ensured through 73rd and 74th Amendments of the Constitution and numerous Panchayat Acts in the States, the irony (all too commonplace now) is that the provisions are seldom upheld in practice. A functional grass root democracy and people's participation in decision making that benefits and harmonises all interests, is probably the best possible way to complete the projects on time and keep the costs from escalating and minimising the miseries of affected. A good deal of authority in this regard ought to be vested with the local bodies; meaning that their decisions and recommendations be regarded of utmost importance, bearing effectively on the very viability of proposed projects.

However, in the modern contexts the complexities of representational politics throws up its own set of problems. Elected representatives, non governmental organizations (NGOs), affected people or their organization, are all addled with their peculiar set of political imperatives, and therefore can rarely if ever act in concert. Political imperatives notwithstanding the initiatives in this regard have to come from the state. Mere lip service such as responding to the popular stress on people's participation by involving NGOs is not the answer. While non governmental organizations can play an important supportive role they cannot substitute the voice of the affected people, nor can they replace what is the basic responsibility of the State. Many NGOs are funded by the government itself which often puts limits to their independence and the ability to speak in opposition to the government line. In any case, meaningful participation of people is a difficult and complicated process which needs meticulous planning, strong will and respect for people's voice. Unless there is a conscious effort to create space for genuine participation at different stages, by building into the process, the modalities for participation and consultation, it will not become a reality.127

"Development which cannot provide the basic necessities of life should be shunned" and attempts be made for an alternate mode of development which should aim at providing roads in villages instead of flyovers in cities, schools in all places instead of five star hotels." Protagonists of development should understand that it is not possible for the multinational companies to ameliorate the plight of the starving millions in the country. All present "development" seems hell-bent on impoverishing people and strengthening the hands of the rich sections of society. It is unfortunate that decision-makers are becoming absolutely insensitive to the needs of agriculturists, fishermen, weavers and so on.128 It is this perception of the marginalised that the state ought to endeavour to reverse and only then can development be imbued with even a semblance of legitimacy. In order to do so, democratisation of the planning process by involving the affected in decisions that so drastically affect their lives seems to be the logical first step. Further, there must also be absolute transparency and accountability at all levels, especially so with regard to the kind of investments made by MNCs, World Bank, IMF, or any other international or national funding agencies, in mega public or private projects.

Even the great Soviet collapsed due to the centralization and concentration of power which made them remote from the aspirations of the people, hence, decentralization of the power and people's participation in decision making would be ideal for bridging the divide between the present theory and praxis of development. Furthermore this would afford an opportunity for new paradigms to percolate into popular perception and when that happens, we would witness the first steps spawned out of real `paradigm shift'. And only if that comes to pass will there be vindication for all the time, money and intellectual resources that this debate has consumed. Until then the dilemma stands unresolved.

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Usha Ramnathan, "Common Land and Common Property Resources", [published in Praveen K. Jha ed. Land Reforms in India â€" volume 7 Issues of Equity in Rural Madhya Pradesh (New Delhi Sage Publications, 2002), p. 204.] accessed from on 7-5-2006.
Jose Murickan etal. "Development-Induced Development: Case of Kerala",[Rawat Publications, Jaipur, 2003]

Indranil Banerjie / Panjim, "On the Wrong Track", SUNDAY 29 Marchâ€"-4 April 1992. Pp.48-50.

Rajnikant Yadav, "The Damned and the Displaced", Humanscape 01-12-1997.
Jason Stanley, "Development-induced displacement and resettlement" accessed from

Bartolome, L.J. et al "Displacement, Resettlement, Rehabilitation, Reparation, and Development", WCD Thematic Review I.3 prepared as an input to the World Commission on Dams, Cape Town,
Sanjay Sangvai, "Politics of Displacement and the State in the Age of Globalisation".

Ravi Hemadri et al, "Dams, Displacement, Policy and Law in India", contributing paper for thematic review 1.3: available at dtd.28-08-2006.
Biswaranjan Mohanty, "Displacement and Rehabilitation of Tribals", Economic and Political Weekly, March 26, 2005, P.1318-1320.

Naresh C. Saxena, "Policies for tribal Development Analysis and Suggestions".

Chittaroopa Palit, "Short-changing the Displaced: National Rehabilitation Policy", Economic and Political Weekly, July 3, 2004 p. 2961.
Michael M Cernea, "Risks, Safeguards and Reconstruction: A Model for Population Displacement and Resettlement", Economic and Political Weekly October 7, 2000, p. 3659.

Dr Christopher McDowell, "Involuntary resettlement, Impoverishment Risks, and Sustainable Livelihoods", The Australasian Journal of Disaster and Trauma Studies ISSN: 1174-4707 Volume : 2002-2 accessed from,
on 12th Sep'06.
W. Courtland Robinson, "Risks and Rights: The Causes, Consequences, and Challenges of Development-Induced Displacement", THE BROOKINGS INSTITUTION â€" SAIS PROJECT ON INTERNAL DISPLACEMENT 2003, 1775

Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20036-2188 and 1717 Massachusetts Avenue, Suite 555, NW, Washington DC 20036 TELEPHONE: 202/797-6145 FAX: 202/797-6003 EMAIL:

"Problems of forest, Land, wildlife and National Parks â€" Indian case study" by Dr. B. Ekbal. Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad india.
"A Watershed in Global Governance?" An Independent Assessment of the World Commission on Dams. From on 05-09-06.

Arjun Sengupta, "The Right to Development as a Human Right", Economic and Political Weekly, Vol-36, No. 27, 2001, at p. 2527.

Harsh Mander, "A people savaged and drowned", Frontline, Vol-20 issue 08, April 12-25, 2003.
News Papers:
Deccan Herald

The Telegraph

Times of India

The Hindu

Indian Express

URL sources:

1Ed. Wolfang Sachs, "The Development Dictionary: A Guide to Knowledge as Power", [Orient Longman Limited, New Delhi 1997] Pp 1-7. [B.Q12.S66]

2Ed. Richard Holloway, "Doing Development" [Earthscan Publications Ltd. London, 1989] Pp 1-9 [ B.K02.H60]

3Chris De Wet, "Economic Development and Population Displacement: Can Everybody Win?" Economic and Political Weekly, 15th December, 2001, Vol 36, Issue 50 at Pg.4637.

4What is being followed is the Cartesian way of splitting the total reality and compartmentalize everything, a notion that each part of the body, when diseased, could be treated in isolation by a specialist, ignoring the overall health of the individual, with a mechanistic view of the body as an assemblage of parts each of which can be withdrawn repaired in isolation, any connectivity between organs considered philosophic, mystical, illogical and unscientific guess. The reasoning today is applied equally to every aspect of human civilization including development overlooking the facts and failing to foresee the consequences.

5Jeremy Seabrook, "Victims of Development, Resistance and Alternatives." (London, Verso, 1993) at p. vi (foreword).

6Joke Schrijvers, "The Violence of Development: A Choice for Intellectuals" {published in collaboration by international books (Utrecht, the Netherlands) and Kali for Women (New Delhi, India), 1993} at p. 5.[B.Q12.S63]

7Micheal J. Schultheis, "Refugees in Africa: The Geopolitics of Forced Displacement" [African Studies Review, Vol. 32, No. 1. (Apr.,1989), Pp. 3-29.] accessed from Jstor online

8September 3, 2003 at 16.

9See Madhav Gadgil and Ramchandra Guha (1995) Ecology and Equity (New Delhi, Penguin) at 71.

10N. J. Udombana, "The Third World and the Right to Development: Agenda for the Third Millennium" (Human Rights Quarterly 22 (2000), the John Hopkins University Press) at p. 757. [B.E10.G61]


12Supra no. 2, at p.9.

13Ibid at pp.10-11.

14Supra no. 3, at p.759.

15Supra no. 3, at p.759.


17Supra no. 2, at p.11.

18"The Development Debate, Critical Perspectives", edited by S.P.Srivastava. (Jaipur, Rawat Publications, 1998), at p. 20.

19Supra no.2, at p. 11.

20Supra no. 1, at p. 8.


22Supra no.11, at p. 22.

23Supra no. 11, at p. 23.

24Ibid at p. 26.

25Supra no. 1, at p. 9.

26Supra no. 11, at p. 27.

27Supra no.11, at pp. 24-25.

28United Nations Millennium Declaration, adopted 8 Sept. 2000, G. A. Res. 55/2, U.N. GAOR, 55TH Sess., Supp. No. 49, U.N. Doc. A/RES/55/2 (2000), available at

(hereinafter Millennium Declaration).
29Philip Alston, "Ships Passing in the Night: The Current State of the Human Rights and the Development Debate Seen through the Lens of the Millennium Development Goals", (Human Rights Quarterly 27 (2005), The John Hopkins University Press) at pp. 755-756.

30Ibid at 756-757.

31Supra no. 22, at p. 798.

32Ibid at p. 799.

33Ibid at p. 802.

34See Alf Morten Jerve "Social Consequences of Development in Human Rights Perspective :Lessons from the World Bank", in Human Rights in Development â€" Global Perspectives and Local Issues, edited by Hugo Stokke and Arne Tostensen [Kluwer Law International, the Hague, 1999), at p. 51.

35Michael Cernea, "Development's Painful Social Cost â€" Introductory Study" in S. Parasuraman, "The Development dilemma â€" Displacement in India",[ Macmillan Press London, 1999] at p. 3.

36Upendra Baxi, "Notes on Constitutional and Legal Aspects of Displacement and Rehabilitation". In Walter Fernandez and Enakshi Ganguly Thakral (eds), "Development, Displacement and Rehabilitation", [Indian Social Institute, New Delhi, 1989] at p.164.[B.K02a.F60]

37Maharartra Project Affected Persons Rehabilitation Act, 1986walter

38Madhya Pradesh Pariyojna Ke Karan Visthapit Vyakti (Punarsthapan) Adhiniyam, 1985

39The Karnataka Resettlement of Project Displaced Persons Act, 1987

40This group functioned under the joint convenership of Medha Patkar and Smitu Kothari. Girish Patel. B D Sharma, Vasant Palshikar, Bittu Sahgal were some of the other members who drafted this document which was widely discussed in smaller groups through participatory process of consultation.

41Amrita Patwardhan, "Dams and Tribal Peoples in India" contributing paper prepared for thematic review, World Commission for Dams, accessed from

42MALIKA BASU, "Where lies the Hope?" DEVELOPMENT AND DISCONTENT. 5-10-96


44As prepared by SAMATA an NGO based in Vishakapatnam.

45Patrick McCully, "SILENCED RIVERS, the Ecology and Politics of Large Dams" (Hyderabad, orient Longman limited, 1998), at pp. 2-3. [B.E21a.M1]

46Ibid at p. 7.


48Supra no. 27, at p. 7.

49Arundhati Roy, "The Greater Common Good", (Frontline, June 4, 1999) at p. 7.

50Supra no. 27, at p. 8.


52Ibid at p. 12.

53Supra no. 27, at p. 27.

54Amita Baviskar, "In the Belly of the River", (New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 1995), at p.36.[B.E21b.B1/B60]

55Supra no. 27, at p. 27.

56IbIbid at p. 29.

57Supra no. 36, at p. 47.

58Arundhati Roy, "The Greater Common Good", Frontline, June 4, 1999, p. 6.

59Prof. M.K. Ramesh, "Legal Notings on Involuntary Displacement, Rehabilitation and Large Dams", (unpublished).

60Prashant Bhushan, "A Damning Judgement", NAPM Bulletin â€" Vol. 4 No. 5, July-October 2000, Bangalore, Published on behalf of National Alliance of Peoples Movements by Babu Mathew, p. 6. [J.E21b.1100LAW11]

61Supra no. 16, at pp. 6-7.

62Morse and Berger, "Report of the Independent Review Sardar Sarovar, (on the Narmada Dam), Chapter 17, at pp. 352-353. [R.E21b.617]

63Ibid at p. 356.

64Supra no. 40.

65"Development must avoid destruction" Deccan Herald 24-10-97 . [C.ELDOC1.E28.E28_B1006.pdf]

66Theodore E. Downing, "Avoiding New Poverty: Mining-Induced Displacement and Resettlement" [IIED and WBCSD 2002]


68"FATE OF MINES ONLY FACTORY IN KORAPUT BELT", The Telegraph (Calcutta) 5/4/96.[C.ELDOC1.k02a.K02aB1685.pdf]

69"Mining Leaves eco-System in Peril",Times of India (Bombay) 06-02-1995.[C.ELDOC1.E28.E28_B1010.pdf]

70"Digging Disaster" Deccan Herald, 20-07-2001.[C.ELDOC1.E28.E28_B1016.pdf]

71"Illegal sand quarrying triggers migration", The Hindu 07-09-2001.[C.ELDOC1.E28.E28_B1011.pdf]

72Coal mining which was in private hands earlier created vast tracts of wasteland by haphazard mining, the scenario have not changed much even after the nationalization of coal mining. The illegal mining is still prevalent; besides displacement and pollution it affected the life and livelihood of the forest dwellers, tribals and poor farmers, rendering their fields infertile and forced them to abandon and alienate their land.

73"A Nationalized Nightmare", Down to Earth 15 July 2000 Pp. 29-37.[C.eldoc1.E28.E28_B1021.pdf]

74Solomon J. Greene, "Staged Cities: Mega-events, Slum Clearance, and Global Capital", Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal, 2003, Vol-6 p.161-187.

75MICHAEL M. CERNEA, THE URBAN ENVIRONMENT AND POPULATION RELOCATION iii (World Bank Discussion Paper No. 152, 1993); see also Roli Asthana, Involuntary Resettlement: Survey of International Experience, 31 ECON. & POL. WKLY. 1468, 1468 (1996).



78See Kameshwar Choudhary, "Development Dilemma: Resettlement of Gir Maldharis", Economic and Political Weekly, July 22, 2000 Pp. 2662-2668. [ J.E22a.0700EPW2662]

79Madhu Sarin, "Undoing Historical Injustice to Tribals", [From the Lawyers Collective June 2005 p.8]

80Usha Ramnathan, "Common Land and Common Property Resources", [published in Praveen K. Jha ed. Land Reforms in India â€" volume 7 Issues of Equity in Rural Madhya Pradesh (New Delhi Sage Publications, 2002), p. 204.] accessed from on 7-5-2006.

81Jose Murickan etal. "Development-Induced Development: Case of Kerala",[Rawat Publications, Jaipur, 2003] P. 175. [B.K02a.M62]

82Jose Murickan et al. "Development-Induced Development: Case of Kerala",[Rawat Publications, Jaipur, 2003] P. 208. [B.K02a.M62]

83"Lok Adalat for Mangalore airport project evacuees" The Hindu 25-11-1997.

84The Hindu (City edition, Bangalore) 29-08-2006.

85The Hindu (City edition, Bangalore) 26-08-2006.

86The Highway passes through the Kudermukh National Park which is already affected by mining, human enclosures and other problems, given such encroachments there is no hope of saving this natural treasure. [Indian Express (Bangalore) 08-01-2001].

87"Last hurdle out: environment ministry nod for BMIC project" The Times of India,15-08-2001. [C.ELDOC1.E28.E28_B1014.pdf]

88"Ryots' rally against BMIC project at Mandya today" Deccan Herald 10-05-2001.[C.ELDOC1.E28.E28_B1015.pdf]

89Indranil Banerjie / Panjim, "On the Wrong Track", SUNDAY 29 Marchâ€"-4 April 1992. Pp.48-50.[C.ELDOC1.E21.E21_B1003.pdf]

90"NHRC notice to Centre, A.P. Govt." The Hindu 30-09-2001.[C.ELDOC1.E28.E28_B1008.pdf]

91"Problems stall completionof Inner Ring Road", The Hindu, 23-02-2001.[C.ELDCO1.E28.E28_B1017.pdf]
92Rajnikant Yadav, "The Damned and the Displaced", Humanscape 01-12-1997. [C.ELDCO1.nGR.011297HSP11.pdf]

93Jason Stanley, "Development-induced displacement and resettlement" accessed from

94Bartolome, L.J., de Wet, C., Mander, H., Nagraj, V.K. 2000. Displacement, Resettlement, Rehabilitation, Reparation, and Development, WCD Thematic Review I.3 prepared as an input to the World Commission on Dams, Cape Town,

95Sanjay Sangvai, "Politics of Displacement and the State in the Age of Globalisation". [C.ELDOC1.k02a.K02aB1001.pdf]

96Arundhati Roy, "The Greater Common Good", (Frontline, June 4, 1999). P.7.

97Supra note 84.

98Ravi Hemadri et al, "Dams, Displacement, Policy and Law in India", contributing paper for thematic review 1.3: available at



101Arundhati Roy, "The Greater Common Good", (Frontline, June 4, 1999). P-7.

103Biswaranjan Mohanty, "Displacement and Rehabilitation of Tribals", Economic and Political Weekly, March 26, 2005, P.1318-1320.

104Naresh C. Saxena, "Policies for tribal Development Analysis and Suggestions".

105Ravi Hemadri et al, "Dams, Displacement, Policy and Law in India", contributing paper for thematic review 1.3: available at



108Article 31 of the Constitution of India.

109Chittaroopa Palit, "Short-changing the Displaced: National Rehabilitation Policy", Economic and Political Weekly, July 3, 2004 p. 2961.

110Though, one of the critical requirements of the NWDTA is that the rights of the displaced Adivasis are ensured before work on the dam begins. It states that any individual or community facing submergence owing to proposed construction should be rehabilitated one year before actual submergence. This norm has been consistently violated. [Frontline Vol-81 issue 21, Oct-13-26, 2001].

111Michael M Cernea, "Risks, Safeguards and Reconstruction: A Model for Population Displacement and Resettlement", Economic and Political Weekly October 7, 2000, p. 3659.

112Supra no.110.

113Quoted by MALIKA BASU, in "Where lies the Hope?" DEVELOPMENT AND DISCONTENT.5-10-96

114Keith Holtermann, Erik Gaull, and Ray Lucas, 1998, "Disaster Dimension." In Saade Abdallah and Gilbert Burnham (eds) The Johns Hopkins and Red Cross/Red Crescent Public Health Guide for Emergencies (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University).

115Dr Christopher McDowell, "Involuntary resettlement, Impoverishment Risks, and Sustainable Livelihoods", The Australasian Journal of Disaster and Trauma Studies ISSN:  1174-4707 Volume : 2002-2 accessed from, on 12th Sep'06.

116W. Courtland Robinson, "Risks and Rights: The Causes, Consequences, and Challenges of Development-Induced Displacement", THE BROOKINGS INSTITUTION â€" SAIS PROJECT ON INTERNAL DISPLACEMENT 2003, 1775 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20036-2188 and 1717 Massachusetts Avenue, Suite 555, NW, Washington DC 20036 TELEPHONE: 202/797-6145 FAX: 202/797-6003 EMAIL:

117voluntary public institutions are constituted to deal with the aftermath of natural and man-made disasters, however, the irony is that the experience and expertise used to deal one incident is not available for a similar another incident in a different part for similar circumstances. The management and reconstruction facilities in aftermath of Gujarat quakes, unfortunately, were not available to deal with similar situations in Tamil Nadu for Tsunami victims or for the earthquake victims in Jammu and Kashmir or the recent flood victims across the country.

118Problems of forest, Land, wildlife and National Parks â€" Indian case study by Dr. B. Ekbal. Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad india.


120For instance, P. McCully, Silenced Rivers (London: Zed Books, 1996); E. Goldsmith and N. Hildyard, The Social and Environmental Effects of Large Dams (San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1984). See also the website of the International Rivers Network, for dams in Europe and the U.S. slated for decommissioning. [B.E21a.M1]

121"A Watershed in Global Governance?" An Independent Assessment of the World Commission on Dams. From on 05-09-06.[R.E21a.30]

122V. Krishna Ananth, "A New Role for NGOs" accessed from [C.ELDOC1.Q40.q40_m1020.pdf]

123Declaration on the Right to Development was adopted by the UN General Assembly, resolution 4/128 on December 4, 1986.

124Arjun Sengupta, "The Right to Development as a Human Right", Economic and Political Weekly, Vol-36, No. 27, 2001, at p. 2527. [C.ELDOC.B83.human-rights1.htm]

126Harsh Mander, "A people savaged and drowned", Frontline, Vol-20 issue 08, April 12-25, 2003.[C.ELDOC1.E21b.E21bM1067.pdf]

127Amrita Patwardhan, "Dams and Tribal Peoples in India" contributing paper prepared for thematic review, World Commission for Dams, accessed from

128Medha Patkar while addressing a rally in South Karnataka. Deccan Herald 10-10-1999.

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