'MSEZ officials used deceptive tactics to acquire fertile land'

People's audit of MSEZ at Bajpe records woes of the displaced

The project displaced families of MRPL and I Phase of MSEZ kept forth their experiences of life in the rehabilitation colony and the process of being evicted from their own lands respectively.  The families living in the proposed II Phase of MSEZ spoke about the iron handed approach of the MSEZ officials and the deceptive tactics used by them to acquire their fertile agricultural land. The MRPL project displaced families narrating how they have been leading a helpless life in the colony said that though the company had promised to give them employment, they have not been employed yet leaving them struggle for livelihood.

Dinesh Kulal one of the victims said that whenever he had tried to speak about the problems faced by the MRPL project displaced families to elected representatives, they have always said that it is a closed chapter which does not need to be spoken about.

Responding to this, panelist Economic and Political Weekly Editor Ram Manohar Reddy said that these stories of the project displaced families only make citizens question if they are living in a democracy, and is there anything called human rights in India and is the government run by industrialists.

He said that when an elected representative says that ‘the chapter is closed’ it means that his chapter is closed and not the chapter of the people.

Faulty reports

Hema Swaminathan from IIM Bangalore explained to the panelist how MSEZ had gone ahead vesting the responsibility of socio-economic assessment to one of the local colleges and how they managed to get a fabricated report as per their will and wish.
Panelist former Union secretary for power EAS Sarma said that the greatest fallacy here is that the developer funds the studies and hence the developer always has the scope to manipulate and mend the study.

“Black list the consultant who do study to satisfy the developer,” he said.
IIM Bangalore Dean, Board Member Trilochan Sastry, Centre for Gandhian Studies Director D Jeevan Kumar, Petronet India Ltd Mangaing Director Anand Teltumbde, School of Planning and Architecture Urban Design HoD K T Ravindran, Journalist Kalpana Sharma, veteran journalist Nagesh Hegde and writer Vaidehi were the other panelists.

Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan and National Campaign of People’s Right to Information founder member Aruna Roy and Narmada Bacho Andolan founder member Medha Patkar were the observers.

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