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!