Thursday, June 24, 2010

Letter to World Bank re Vishnugad-Pipalkoti Project

Date: Thu, Jun 24, 2010
Subject: Letter from villagers affected by Vishugad Pipalkoti Project

(Translation of the letter attached)

The President                                                                                            
And Executive directors
World Bank
Washington D.C.
United States of America

Subject:  Stay on loan provided by World Bank to Vishnugad-Pipalkoti (440 MW) Hydro-Electric Power Project in Chamoli, Uttarakhand, India  as it would otherwise violate world Bank’s own guidelines

Dear Sirs,

We are the people affected by the above mention project. It has come to our knowledge that in June 2010 in the World Bank’s directors’ meeting it was considered granting a loan for the Vishnugad-Pipalkoti HEP (440 MW) in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, India. We want to bring to your notice that till today the relevant documents such as Environment Impact Assessment report and Environment Management Plan have not been made available to the project affected people in the regional language, which is Hindi.

All the recent studies regarding the project have been done in English and discussed behind closed doors. Only a mere brief of the proceedings was given to a few people. World Bank distributed thousands of rupees to NGO’s to influence the people’s opinion but didnot get documents translated and printed in Hindi or conduct free and impartial public hearings or to explain about the project .

Even in meetings called by the World Bank there has only been discussion on the Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy, while no information about the impact of the project on people’s lives and livelihood was given. Under such conditions it is meaningless to discuss rehabilitation. 
We demand from you:

1. Before anything else the Environment Impact Assessment Report and Management Plan of the Tehri Hyrdo Development Corporation presented to the World Bank be made available to all affected villages in Hindi. This is to be disseminated to the villages by Independent people’s organizations like Kalpavriksh.
2. Following this, with at least one month’s notice, a Public Hearing be held by an Independent panel. The recommendations of this panel based on the Public Hearing must be binding on the project executors as well as the Bank.
3. After completing the above stated process World Bank may think of providing technical and financial help to this project.
4. We do not want to destroy our future like Tehri Dam Project affected people.

From village Jaisal
Tara Dutt
Durga Prasad
Prakash Chandra
Sarveshwer Prasad
Suresh Chandra
Chandravallabh, Headmen of Village Jaisal
Mohan Prasad
Govind Prasad Kulsari

From Village Durgapur
Devendra Lal
Munni Devi
Manoj Kumar
Mrs. Rukmani Devi, Durgapur
Mrs. Roshni Devi, Durgapur
Mrs. Deveshvari Devi, Durgapur
Nandi Devi 
Naval Kishor Gairola, Member AreaPanchayat Hatt, Jaisal, Durgapur,   Baula 

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