Wednesday, December 20, 2006

hand in glove

A couple of very interesting articles appeared in Loksatta over the past few days, one of which is on today's (20/12/06) main page. The articles are regarding the Reliance SEZ in Raigad district.

On 14th December, the day of the nationwide strike, the Zilla Parishad offices were closed. A Loksatta reporter saw some activity and went in the ZP office to report on the open govt. offices on the bandh day. To his amazement he found Reliance officers sitting and working in the government office, when the government officials themselves were not present. The officials were sitting on desks with access to government records. One of the persons was Mr. Jagtap a retired government officer (now possibly working for Reliance).

If that was not enough, when asked for an explanation the ZP office in-charge initially replied that this was improper and the matter will be looked into. Today's Loksatta has an article with the very same ZP officials statement that the services of the Reliance employees is being used on State government directives. Further, Reliance has also provided the ZP with computers, staff for the same, furniture, vehicles and its own employees to work in ZP offices to speed up the land grab for its proposed SEZ.

In such a scenario, where the hand cannot be distinguished from the glove, where do the disgruntled farmers, whose land is being grabbed in the name of development, go for justice? Further, it is setting a dangerous precedent for corporates to get their projects through, with no worry about conflict of interests in the whole process!

4 comments:

Vishnu said...

Hope you have seen this:
http://www.ieor.iitb.ac.in/news/news.htm#Dowchem

Purushottam said...

vishnu,

thanks for pointing that out ... i was not aware of it.

but this is not the first case of such possible partnerships, there is funding from all kind of places at IIT and I am not sure how the social angle of these companies is evaluated. Companies who sponsor projects, students, events are involved in land grabs, pollution etc.!

-- puru

Vishnu said...

Recently UC Berkeley got a 500 million dollar funding from British Petroleum, and there were protests from students, faculty and others, on the basis of Human Rights violations, and viability of the research that BP wants Berkeley to do. The graduate assembly even passed a resolution against this. It is sad that even such things don't happen at IITs.

I know some people in the IEOR programme at IITB, and maybe I'll try asking them in April, when I'll be there.

Vishnu said...
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