No dams without exhortation of the affected people!
Mumbai tribunal should consider for other water resources
Mumbai: Around 12 dams like Kalu, Shai, Balganga, Susari, Khargihil, Bhugad, Pinjal, Gargai, Central Vaitarana, Barvi and others are to be built to satisfy the growing thirst of the Mumbai Authorization Area.
All these dams come in environmentally sensitive Western ghats. Around 700 hectares of land is supposed to be occupied under the dams. Out of which around 1 lakh trees are there at 750 hectors of land under Tasna sanctuary.
The dams would displace more than 1 lakh people from Thane and Raigad. Their livelihood is dependent upon the jungles and their ancestral lands.
As per the Environment Impact Assessment Notification 2006, facts like Social and Environment Impact Assessment and Management Scheme, Environment sanctions, Environment supervision, public hearing, etc. have not been taken to consideration while building these dams.
Besides, Tribals and Forest act, Environment, Jungle and rehabilitation etc. rules have been violated by the Konkan Irrigation department.
Naturally the villagers are opposing of these dams.
Recently a seminar on this issue was organized by South Asia Network on Dams, Workers Liberation Organization, Jalbiradari and Key-Stone Foundation.
More than 50 tribal organizations, social workers, water experts, economists, wild life conservationists and dignitaries from education field were present at the program.
The issues related to social and environmental impacts of dams were discussed.
It was expected that the authorities would study the impacts of the dams before building them. A stringent action should be taken against those officials and contractors who were illegally rehabbing the tribal. All the points should be considered before constructing the dams.
Mumbai Authorization Department has other water resources but because of the lack of management, these resources are not considered. At present there was not scarcity of water but still the dams are being built hurriedly.
The discussions raised important issue regarding the biodiversity and environmental concerns. The jungles in Western ghats are the lungs of Mumbai and Tansa, Bhatsa, the natural resources are fulfilling the thirst of Mumbai.
It was voiced that water usage should be made in a democratic way by Mumbai Authorization Area and notices have been given to MMRDA, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, Municipal Corporations comes under Mumbai Authorization Area, Maharashtra government, Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, State Forest department and National Wild Life Organization.