Mail News Service
Jamshedpur, July 16 : A World Bank inspection panel investigation team investigated into complaints made to the panel by two communities residing on the outskirts of Jamshedpur- Giddhijhopri and PuranaBasti against the ChhottagovindpurBagbera Piped Water Supply Scheme. The investigation team met with communities from Giddhijhopri and PuranaBasti, especially the women, to discuss the harmful impacts of the Scheme.
The Majhi of Giddhijhopri’sSanthal Adivasi community, SukramKisku has said that “Construction of Scheme components was undertaken on community cultural land in both the villages without any Gram Sabha resolution. It is not just us claiming this. World Bank loan team has acknowledged this lapse in their reply. In Giddhijhopri, the administration is constructing a water treatment plant under the Scheme on Giddhijhopri Community’s JaherSthal and Maddhatti (cremation ground and graveyard). The administration never asked us about the importance of this land for our communities.
A JaherSthal is the bedrock of a Santhal community’s existence. It is upsetting that the World Bank management and district administration attacked Adivasi culture and rights for the implementation of this Scheme. We hope that the bank administration makes an effective plan to fix the glaring lapses that came to light as a result of the Inspection Panel process.”
In PuranaBasti, the Inspection Panel met with a member of late Karan Chandra Hansda’s family, Ms. NageHansda. Karan Chandra Hansda, along with his associates, Chandra Mohan Tudu and DevashishGowswami were martyred in struggle for a separate Jharkhand state. The martyrdom site erected in their memory in PuranaBasti was uprooted to build a water tank under the Scheme. PuranaBasti community member, LalsinghGagrai said that “Our communities are economically weak and cannot afford to pay for drinking water. The World Bank has admitted in its reply that they failed to finish an environmental assessment for this Scheme. We are concerned that there is a lot of existing pressure on the Subernrekha River because of the diversion of river water by industries and for household supply. Without any environmental assessment, this Scheme will also extract water from the Subernrekha River. This can adversely impact the groundwater table of the area and our local ponds, wells, and lakes.”
Community Advisor, Bineet Mundu laid out that, “The investigating report is likely to be released by October 2019. The injustice meted out to both the communities is clear from the Panel’s initial eligibility report, itself. The bank management has accepted its mistakes, but it has not put forward a constructive way to resolve the community’s grievances.”