National Situation

Some Major Facts at Glance about Gujarat: For Anna Hazare and others

Our Presentation for 26th May 2011 meeting at Ahmedabad of Annaji, Swami Agniveshji, Arvin Kejriwalji, Kiran Bediji and others - Some Major Facts at Glance about Gujarat


Respected, Annaji, Swami Agniveshji, Arvin Kejriwalji, Kiran Bediji and others.

 

We are trying to brief you regarding the real picture of the Gujarat which is quite different than the Gujarat propagated by Government of Gujarat.

 

It is painful that the activists of Gujarat have to explain the realities because people outside Gujarat are hypnotized by the fake propaganda of the Government of Gujarat.

 

Rohit Prajapati & Trupti Shah

Activists of Gujarat

Some Major Facts at Glance about Gujarat.

 

We would like to clarify one point from the very beginning that when we are talking about the condition of the ordinary people of Gujarat is alarming that does not mean that we are trying to say that the condition of the ordinary people is good out side the Gujarat.

The Chief Minister of Gujarat is manufacturing mega events by spending cores of rupees to propagate his so called achievements. Like an echo of the highly proclaimed ‘Indira is India and India is Indira’, Mr. Modi, the Chief Minister of Gujarat is also trying to replicate it that ‘Modi is Gujarat and Gujarat is Modi’ and now he is crossing all limits by attempts to extend it that ‘Modi is India and India is Modi’ with clear-cut fascist tendency.

The overwhelming majority of the Fact-Finding Reports, about Carnage 2002 including that of the NHRC, were careful to place the blame of Gujarat Carnage on the Government of Gujarat, the state machinery and specific rightwing groups and not on the people of Gujarat in general. The Supreme Court’s various remarks in the various cases of carnage 2002 clearly condemn the state machinery, Government of Gujarat and religious fanatics groups. The Gujarati Community as a whole is not identified as the culprit in any reports, editorials or articles. Yet Mr. Modi constantly propagate that they have tarnished the image of Gujarat and all Guiaratis. He is taking personal credit when any one praise Gujarat but subtlety shift the blame of his crimes on the 5 crores Gujaratis to divert the point of view of the criticism.

In the midst of the euphoria created by the investment flooding in to Gujarat and lakhs of new jobs likely to be created we would like to draw the attention that this is only one side of the story. Any civil society should have ‘land use’ policy because land can not be produced and you can not produce grains and vegetables without land.

The success story of the two digit growth has masked the several digit realities of loss of livelihood, land acquisition, displacement and permanent loss of natural resources, which are treated as free goods in this process. The investment figure without the displacement and depletion of natural resources figure and the employment figure without loss of livelihood does not make sense. No wise person would talk about the income without talking the cost of acquiring that income or wealth.

The following facts expose the fake claims about the so called development in Gujarat.

  • On one hand, the quantity of groundwater in Gujarat has reached at critical stage and on the other hand, it is also being contaminated continuously. The groundwater of about 14 districts and about 74 talukas of Gujarat are critically affected by pollution. Even if we take the routine parameter like Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), Total Hardness (TS), Dissolved Oxygen (DO), Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), and some heavy metal like Cadmium, Copper, Lead, Mercury, Iron etc. the condition of the groundwater of Gujarat is very critical that requires immediate attention as the rural population is deprived of the very basic need of safe drinking water and clean water for their animals and crops.

·         Ahmedabad, Daskroi, Mehmedavad, Vadodara, Ankleshwar, Bardoli, Choryasi, Kamrej, Mangrol, Olpad, Palsana, Valod, Vyara, Navsari, Sanand, Dhoraji, Jetpur, Okha Mandal etc talukas are critically polluted. Amreli, Jambusar, Junagad, Mandvi, Kalol, Morvi, Upleta, Mahuva, Chorila, Dhangadhar, Limdi, Bansda, Umbergaon etc talukas are found moderately polluted. (State Environmental Action Programme - Industrial Pollution Phase III – Sectoral Report, Volume I, Gujarat Ecology Commission, April 2002) If we talk about Vatva to Vapi - Golden Corridor it is clear that 80% of the groundwater is contaminated and it has reached the irreversible level.

 

Critical pollutants in the Critically polluted talukas

Critically polluted talukas

Critical pollutants

Golden Corridor

Ahmedabad

COD, Cd

Daskroi

COD, Hg

Mehmedavad

Colour, TDS, COD, Total coliforms, E. coli, Hg

Vadodara

Colour, Hardness, NO3, Total coliforms, E. coli, Cr, Fe, Pb

Ankleshwar

Colour, TDS, Hardness, Cd, Cu, Pb, Mn, Hg, POP

Bardoli

TDS, Hardness, Total coliforms, E. coli, Cr

Choryasi

TDS, Hardness, Cl, Total coliforms, E. coli, Cr, Fe, Mn

Kamrej, Mangrol, Valod

TDS, Hardness, Total coliforms, E. coli, Cr

Olpad

TDS, Hardness, Cl, Total coliforms, E. coli, Cr, Mn

Palsana

TDS, Hardness, DO, Total coliforms, E. coli, Fe

Vyara

Total coliforms, E. coli, Cr

Navsari

COD, Total coliforms, E. coli, Cr

Pardi

Hardness, COD, Total coliforms, E. coli, Hg

Other areas

 

Sanand

TDS, COD, Total coliforms, E. coli

Dhoraji

TDS, Hardness, Cl, COD

Jetpur

Colour, TDS, Hardness, COD, Cu, Pb

Okha mandal

COD, Salinity

Lakhpat

Salinity

Moderately polluted talukas

Critical pollutants

Amreli, Jambusar, Junagad, Kalol, Morvi, Upleta, Dhangadhar, Limdi, Bansda

COD

Mahuva

COD, Hardness

Chotila

NO3, COD




  • The Gulf of Khambhat has suffered severe degradation in a short span of 25-30 years resulting in rapid decline in mangrove cover. The 7.45% area of Gulf of Khambhat was salt affected in 1960 but rose to 54% in 1984, 57.6% in 1986 and 64% in 1993, now due to heavy industrial effluent discharge it about to reach 70%. Moreover, this will not just salt affected area but it will be salt + industrial pollutant affected area.
  • Development-Induced Displacement in Gujarat 1947-2004 report prepared by Dr. Lancy Lobo and Shashikant Kumar of Centre for Culture and Development clearly indicates that there are 4,00,000 households displaced and affected in Gujarat during 57 years of Independence, amounting to 5% of the total population of Gujarat from developmental projects such as water resource related, transport and communications, industries, mines, defence, sanctuaries, human resource related, government offices, tourism and so on. This report further indicates that a total of 33,00,000 hectares of land has been acquired during 1947-2004 as computed from 80,000 Gazette notifications of the government of Gujarat and from Land Acquisition Departments from 25 Collectorates through RTI Act. This figure does not include the land acquired and people affected by the most controversial project Sardar Sarovar Dam [Narmada]. This figure of displaced also does not include the people who were dependent on land for their livelihood but were not the owner of the land. Thus real figure of loss of livelihood may even cross the figure of 50,00,000.
  • Vibrant Gujarat summits are talking about huge investment but are silent on the issue of land acquisition and loss of livelihood because of the land “acquisition”.
  • The working condition of the workers is in very bad shape.
  • The health and safety is most neglected aspect of the working condition of the workers in the State.
  • As per Factory Inspectorate office negligible numbers of workers are having occupational health problems but our own small experience indicate that about 30% of the hazardous industrial workers are having occupational health problems.
  • Since 1990, the Voluntary Retirements (Retrenchment) Scheme is become part of the life of the working population of Gujarat. This VRS is nothing but Voluntary Retrenchment Scheme.
  • All most 60-70% big-medium industry has retrenched about 30-70% of the workers in the name of Compulsory Retirement Scheme.
  • The big-medium industries have about 50 to 200% more contract workers than the permanent workers. The unfortunate part is that some of the contract and casual workers are the ex-permanent workers, who were retrenched in the name of VRS.
  • There is sharp rise in the contract workers in the private and public sector also.
  • The Labor Ministry openly admits that only about 3-7% industry is implementing the labor laws with their suitable interpretation.
  • In unorganized sector, about 99% workers are not getting the minimum wages.
  • The Gujarat has more than 11% worker in Chemical industry, the minimum wages become applicable after our Public Interest Litigation from 1-5-97 but not implemented in majority of the industries till now.
  • About 96% workers were not given the Identity Card, pay slip, etc. etc.
  • Only about 2%, workers are getting the PL, SL, and CL as per the law in the unorganized sector.
  • The labor disputes has increased by 600% in last 5 years, but instead of 100% increase in the labor machinery staff the Government has reduced the staff by 40-60%.
  • The Government has officially announced that now no more new recruitment in the labor department. Whenever somebody is retired, the post is abolished.
  • In Gujarat, about 60% industries are paying late salary every month.
  • Now the order of the labor court has become piece of paper as there is no effective Contempt of the Court is applicable to the labor court judgments.
  • As on today about 80% labor court judgments are not implement by the industry and in about 50% of the case are not even challenged in the High Court because lacuna in the implementation. That has lead to situation been the judgment on labor issue is just piece of paper.
  • In major cities of Gujarat you will find 30-50% new houses empty because of the lack of purchasing power.
  • We have empty houses and food grains waiting for human beings.
  • Due to unemployment the children of the ordinary people are force to take VRS from the education.
  • Culture of the violence is going up and state is not worried.
  • Small incidents lead to communal tension between the communities.
  • During the violence 2002 in Gujarat, Mr. Narendra Modi and his government in collaboration with the state machinery surpassed Hitler's methods adopting a strategy which was directly and indirectly supported by the then BJP-led central government.
  • From day one, the government and the state machinery came out with a number of justifications for the carnage. In the name of spontaneous reaction, the government justified the violence and the state machinery in many places gave assurances to the mob that no action will be taken against them.
  • The open vocal support of the government and state machinery brought huge mobs on the streets that were observed for the first time in Gujarat's history of violence. Not only were houses and shops of Muslims burnt, even industries were put to fire to economically paralyse the community.
  • In many instances across the state, police officers were openly instigating the mobs, giving them a time deadline within which they were free to attack the Muslims. In the second phase of violence after 15 March 2002, wherever the mobs lead by the Hindutava forces were not able to attack the Muslims, because of their location, the police took on this role in the name of combing operations. Due to this complicity of the government, police officers were bold enough to ignore most of the complains made by the victims and even human rights activists and their organisations.
  • Women were raped, abused, pulled, dragged, and beaten mercilessly. Pregnant women were particularly attacked in several areas. In spite of their oral and written complains, supported by human rights organisation's investigative report, even FIRs were not registered against the accused.
  • The present status of almost all FIRs and charge sheets reflect the state machineries bias against the minority community. People from minority community were charged with tough and non-bailable sections of IPC while where there were actual instances of looting, burning and deaths, people from the majority community were charged with milder sections of the IPC.
  • The government did not open relief camps for the victims of the violence. Instead, it played a proactive role to forcefully close the relief camps organised by the community.
  • In the name of negotiation for rehabilitation, arranged by the state machinery, victims were forced to withdraw their complaints and accept a life at the mercy of the perpetrators of violence.
  • The First victims of the Development Project known as Sardar Sarovar Project are the Tadvi Adivasis living in the six villages of Kothi, Kevadia, Waghodia, Gora, Navagam and Limdi. The acquisition of their lands began in 1961 even before the late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru laid the foundation stone for the Navagam project in 1962. Almost 70% of the total landholdings of these villages were acquired for the project colony construction which was much more than the actual land needed for the colony. Since these were thick jungle areas quite remote and interior, considering the situation in early 60’s, the lands were acquired without any compensation but a very meager compensation of Rs.80/- to Rs. 250/- per acre was offered for the standing crops. People were totally illiterate and the land title deeds were not updated and hence only about 350 title holders recognized by the government as deserving compensation. In spite of their ignorance, many families did not accept the meager compensation which was offered for the standing crops. Thus the government and the Nigam stands exposed for the forced acquisition of Adivasis lands without offering them any valid alternative. Only those who have lands in two villages or those who have more lands than what is acquired had accepted the cash compensation. For example, Waghodia village has more than 200 families (original title holders were 39) none of whom have taken cash compensation so far. But the lands under their houses as well as their farm lands are with the Nigam! Kothi village has not been acquired but those from Kothi who had lands in Kevadia village had lost them. While their lands were acquired during 1961-63, the colony construction began much later and the dam construction was cleared by the Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal only in 1979. The government has to admit that they have acquired more than what was necessary for the colony construction. Many of the unused lands are still being cultivated by the villagers and they demand the return of the same. The Government of India’s policy in this regard is clearly in favor of the tribals! The Parliamentary Committee on Welfare of SC/ST, Ministry of Welfare, had in its 59th report on ‘Rehabilitation of Displaced Tribals by Major projects of Madhya Pradesh’ had clearly recommended that “the surplus land of tribals compulsorily acquisitioned and lying idle with the acquiring body be returned back to the original land owners. This was communicated to the Government of Gujarat by Director, Tribal development Division, Ministry of Welfare, Government of India as early as in April 1996. The same was evoked in the case of Kevadia colony affected Adivasis PAFs and GoG was asked to work out an action plan at the behest of the GRA who had so informed NBA, then. The official letter by the Executive Engineer, NP Colony Division No 3 to the SE, NP Colony & Procurement Circle, Baroda clearly gave the details of the excess land, 200+ hectares, available. It’s obvious that the land belongs to the people and should go back to them, not to tourism, the abode for those who can afford to enjoy it, at the cost of Adivasis life and livelihood. Now with the eco-tourism project coming up, government is planning to circumvent the legal nuances to pass on the lands acquired in excess from the six villages plus fresh acquirements (about 1,400 hectares) for tourism projects like golf courses, water parks, hotels, swimming pools, parks etc, the total estimate investment of Rs.170 crores.
  • The water from Narmada was meant for the drought-affected areas of Kutch and Saurashtra but in practice number of Industries and cities were given and Government is planning to give water at the rate of Rs. 10/- per 1,000 litters. Among the five major industries that get water at throwaway prices are Apollo Tyres in Waghodia, Vadodara, General Motors in Halol, Panchmahals, power plant of Ahmedabad Electricity Company (AEC) and a GEB plant in Gandhinagar. The list is very long. Now Baroda dairy is selling the Narmada Water in bottle. Initially, around nine Million Acre Foot (MAF) water is allocated for drinking purpose, 7.94 MAF for irrigation and 0.20 for industrial use. The SSNNL has now increased the per cent of water to be supplied for industrial purpose to 1 MAF. The SSNNL project is primarily supposed to benefit districts like Saurashtra and Kutch; it is not for commodification.
  • The state claiming to have number 1 in Industrialisation is having 24th rank in case of child sex ratio. Gujarat was among the top few states (including Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh) to register the most alarming declines in the number of girls in the 0-6 years category. Gujarat is one of the DEMARU states as termed by Ashish Bose. Census data for 1961-2011 show that child sex ratio in Gujarat has declined from 955 in 1961, 946 in 1971, 947 in 1981, 928 in 1991 to 883 in 2001 and there is very marginal increase to 886 in 2011 inspite of spending crores of rupees in the name of “Beti Bachao”. Thus “Beti Bachao have remained as mere propaganda of the state government without effective implementation of PCPNDT ACT.
  • In Absolute Numbers, 4,45,964  girls were less compared to boys in 2001 Census and the gap has increased to 4,54,396 in 2011. Gujarat is among the more “developed” states is evidence of the fact that ‘development’ as a category – based on indicators such as urbanization rates, female literacy, and access to “modernization” - has failed to capture the deteriorating situation of women. Female literacy, while having a positive relationship to fertility overall, has an inverse relationship to the status of the girl-child. Total 1,05,166 incidence of violence against women have been registered by police during 2001 and 2008 in Gujarat. According to 2008 police data 359 women were raped in that year i.e. one woman is raped every day in Gujarat.

Unnatural deaths of women have increase from 4,709 in 2001 to 5,318 in 2008 i.e. 15 women die unnaturally every day in Gujarat. Total 6,093 women have registered complaints with police during 2008 i.e. 17 women are mentally and / or physically harassed every day in Gujarat.

  • Even today most Dalits live as landless laborers or own very small and uneconomic plots. Under the Agricultural Land Ceiling Act surplus lands were to be given to Dalits and Adivasis. Some 12,700 acres of land have been distributed to them but this is only on paper. According to the government records the Dalits and Adivasis own this land but in most cases they actually do not have possession of it.
  • Leaflet published by Council for Social Justice of Ahmedabad titled 'Chargesheet Against Government of Gujarat for Non-Implementation of Atrocities Act 1989', based on research of 400 judgments of cases related to atrocities on Dalits in 14 districts of Gujarat found that in 95% of the cases there is acquittal due to negligence and hostile role of government pleaders. In most of the remaining 5% cases the accused are punished under provisions of the Indian Penal Code and are acquitted under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act. In many cases severe strictures are passed by courts and directions are issued for action against erring officials for negligence in cases of atrocities on Dalits and Adivasis, but instead of taking any action against them they are rewarded with promotions. In addition, Dalits and Adivasis government employees are regularly charge-sheeted on false and fabricated charges to stall their promotions. [Interview of Valjibhai Patel, Director of the Ahmedabad-based Council for Social Justice - http://www.zcommunications.org/dalits-in-gujarat-by-valjibhai-patel]

Economic Growth versus Human Development and Social indicators

In spite of ‘above average economic growth’ in terms of State Domestic Product only 48 % of the Human Development goals are achieved. The expenditure for social sector by 18 large States of India, Gujarat stands 17th. (Monthly Bulleting of Reserve Bank of India, February 2007)

Between 1996 to 2006 Gujarat is legged behind in Health and Education indicators from 6th rank to 8th and 10 ranks respectively. (www.indianexpress.com/.../modis-development-hype-hits-ngos-as-funds.../432592/)

Gujarat stands 14th in Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) for 0-1 year and 13th for 0-5 years. 47% malnourishment among 0-5 years old children, 42% children reported low height than normal and 47.4% reported low weight due to malnourishment. (National Family Health Survey III 2007.)

About 67% women are anaemic and of them 80.1% of girls aged between 6 to 35 months are anaemic.

Global index on hunger reports India with 66th rank, Gujarat is ranking 69th, which is actually as low as Haiti in Africa (International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), 2008. see www.ifpri.org)

From the students of class 5 only 59.6% Students could read textbook of class 1, 40% could read the time in the clock and 61% could count money in rural Gujarat. This is lower than Orissa, Bihar and Rajasthan. (Annual Status of Education Report 2008 (ASER)).

Gujarat ranks the lowest on environment sustainability index, i.e. 27th; 14 out 19 districts, 14 districts have reported serious pollution level in ground water. (Environment Sustainability Index for Indian States, 2007, Centre for Development Finance Institute for Financial Management & Research, Chennai)

Gujarat ranks 14th in gender equality and 11th on patriarchal attitudes and behaviour. (Hirway Indira and Darshini Mahadevia, 2004. Gujarat Human Development Report, Gandhi Labour Institute.)

Now we do not have declared emergency but undeclared permanent emergency.

The wider the process of economic globalisation, the narrower the circle of those who benefit from it. The free, global market has begun to appear less and less free.  Both trade and investment seem to be governed by more and more complicated laws and procedures in favour of monstrously rich economic and financial corporations – the real beneficiaries of the free global market. With the passing of each day, these  unaccountable corporations, with unlimited life, size and power, are taking ever- increasing control over economies – largely to the detriment of the individual  consumer, worker, neighbor and citizen. One can find much evidence that corporate- led globalisation negatively affects the environment, financial stability, equity, security, food safety, health and cultural diversity of millions of people.