Special economic zones and sit-ins. Mega-projects and marches. Public-private partnerships and pitched battles. Precociously, because they are desperate, state governments are willing to hand land, forest, water over to industry.
Raucously, because they are really desperate, people all over India have begun to use all available means to contest the usually coercive intrusion of the State into their lives, and livelihoods.
Consider, as symptom, the Orissa government’s deal with Korean steel-making giant POSCO. The devil here, as ASHUTOSH MISHRA reports, lies only in the details. It is credible to ask: is violence the inevitable effect of corporate investment, indigenous or foriegn? Is deliberate sellout the only route state governments can take to attract companies?
What vision is it that has completely blinded the State to its brazen loss of credibility? Who matters, people or voters?
These questions are neither rhetorical nor emotional. Merely see the countrywide scenario ARNAB PRATIM DUTTA has compiled. India’s new road to growth, interpreted by the State as an imperative to simply industrialise, today leads…where?
It goes unsaid that in order to improve environmental governance, the roles of efficient and worthy Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) along with an equitable growth through proper Social Impact Assessment (SIA) are indispensable. They are not merely tools to assess possible impacts and suggest mitigation for the environmental and social issues, but processes, which if done well, can yield unexpectedly positive results in the form of sustainable and equitable growth.