Thursday, May 15, 2008

Dam : update2

Dam update 2:

The Uncanny Democracy at its best !

Democracy forever teases us with the contrast between its ideals and its realities, between its heroic possibilities and its sorry achievements- Agnes Repplier.

Dam construction in Arunachal Pradesh is at the best, a play well enacted by the self acclaimed social police or I should rather say the Social uplifter. And I simply wonder, is it us they want to uplift or is that they want to up-and-up lift us to uplift themselves. You know the procedure of uplifting someone else for the sake of uplifting yourself, means you Certainly do not uplift someone else. How uncanny of the way things are meant to be. Democracy at its best.

Someone said it right, "Democracy is not the best practice, But it appears to be at the moment because the others have failed the same."
How true. Policies are framed because they have to, and we are forced to, but do we have to ?

Coming back to the Dams, we know its a big issue. But, wouldn't a bigger issue require bigger experiences to back it.
Well, it reminds me of a maxim as I would rather say. A Catch-22 situation, which is so applicable to human beings, but when it comes to Dam builders and Arunachal Govt, it sounds elusive.
Now, let me explain it how.
Why Catch-22: Every body asks for experience these days. If you are looking for a job, you ought to have one(ya, the experience), but how will I get one(exp) if you don't give me at the first place. But, is it applicable for the AP govt and its policies or whatever rants they chew about and make us cud the same ?

Certainly not!

Sept 25, 2007: Months after Apang is ousted as the govt, and Khandu govt comes to the power, Invitations are tendered to all the companies willing to invest in the various hydropower projects around the Arunachal Pradesh. And to make this a rather lively gathering for Dam builders, the invitation was open to anyone.
Ya, you heard it right. Anyone with healthy cash cows but no relative experience in building dams could bump in. Except for few projects, where the requirements were a little bit improved this time and one needed to be "Strong financially and Technically".
No guidelines were laid down for determining the bidders technical credibility or the past experience in building dams. Some of the best examples are the : Hatung-II, Kalai - I and Bharali -II projects.
3 projects were allocated to Mountain fall India, India bull Real estate, Raajratna metal industries.
OK. MountainFall India - a company unheard, and which you might even find difficult in google searching the same.
Indiabull real estate company, which has relatively no experience in Dam sector. Its Power services were founded in september. Strange, thats the same year 2007, when Khandu govt came in.
Refer this > (indiabulls)
Raajratna metal industries: Zero experience in dam building.

Memorandum of Understanding(MOUs) were signed with these private companies, without the knowledge of people, and these MOUs had its own flaws, most notably it completely overlooked the safety concerns.

I am just amused by the concern shown by authorities dealing the project feasibility of such a vulnerable magnitude. Aren't we reminded several times that the best of the builders are only given the projects. Well, we can certainly see that!

I still remember, when I was in Roing mid of jan(2007), when the anti dam agitation had gained momentum and there many environmental experts visiting Roing, to give their expert views. One such was a gentleman, Mr.Neeraj Vagholikar. He visited my Home with some other Anti-dam activists, and told us about the various intricacies of building a Dam and that too some of the biggest dams of the world, and in this many numbers. (find his article here: ). I was glad to find someone coming down all the way from Maharashtra and showing keen on issues that was rather irrelevant to him.(that's how I'ad thought initially).
During one such meeting for Dams, I came to know 11 more tenders were floated for Dams in Dibang valley.
Firstly, The Dibang multipurpose project wasn't cleared by Dibang valley people, and the public hearing was slated, some months from now(now, as in jan2007) but now, Arunachal government was all set to tender more projects.
But, this didn't surprise me. I knew, we all knew, what was stored ahead and what least can we expect from politicians who are nothing but a bunch of businessman, and of unusual kind.

This much for now...
Shall update later.



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