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Ailing ’93 blasts convict dies in Nashik, family blames hospital, jail

Shariff Parkar was held guilty for his role of landing explosives which was used in the serial blasts across the city

In this recent photo, Sharif Parkar is seen along with his family members at JJ hospital. Parkar was shifted to Nashik Road prison on December 8 and to the civic hospital there on Thursday
Salman Ansari
dna
The efforts put in by the children of 1993 serial blasts convict Shariff Parkar to ensure that their ailing father’s life would be extended by a few more months, bore no fruit. Parkar died in Nashik civil hospital on Thursday. They allege that apathy of JJ hospital in Mumbai and jail authorities resulted in the death of the 83-year-old man, who was serving his sentence in Nashik Road prison in poor health. As per the Supreme Court direction, Parkar was asked to surrender before the sessions court in May 2013 and continue to serve the remaining part of his life sentence. Accordingly, he was lodged in Nashik prison. However, in November this year, Parker suffered a paralytic stroke and was shifted to JJ hospital for treatment. The man was also suffering from dementia. After treating him for 10 days, hospital authorities told his family to take him back to jail. However, the family approached Bombay High Court and filed a petition to direct the hospital not to discharge him. A stay order was slapped on his discharge and he remained in the hospital. On December 7, the authorities issued a medical certificate which said that the patient was on the path of recovery. Finally, on December 8, he was sent back to the jail. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Parker’s son Faizal said, “We were pleading the hospital not to discharge my father, but they didn’t pay any heed. They convinced the court through their false medical reports that he just needed physiotherapy.” Parkar was held guilty for his role of landing explosives which was used in the 1993 blasts.

Railways’ only own brand water at stations diktat raises commuter fury

The demand for Rail Neer was about 2,500 cases (each case holds 12 bottles) before the circular. Now, it is between 10,000-12,000 cases. IRCTC officials admit that it will take some time to revv up production.

Commuters take water from a public tap following a shortage of packaged drinking water at railway stations.

It’s double whammy for suburban railway commuters. As if the searing October heat is not enough, thousands of commuters are left with parched throats since Sunday, thanks to an ad hoc decision by the railways to sell only its own Rail Neer brand (manufactured by Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation) of packaged drinking water at stations.Both the Central and Western Railways have issued the circular that warns of penalties, if stall owners violate the diktat. Since one of the four Rail Neer plants nation-wide, at Ambernath, which supplies drinking water to the western zone, has been under-utilised, bottled water was unavailable at almost all railway stalls.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The demand for Rail Neer was about 2,500 cases (each case holds 12 bottles) before the circular. Now, it is between 10,000-12,000 cases. IRCTC officials admit that it will take some time to revv up production. The ‘only-Rail Neer’ diktat came after the CBI raids on a couple of senior Northern Railway officials and seven private firms – accused of thwarting Rail Neer supply at stations for bribes from private bottling firms and caterers. Dipesh Tank, a regular commuter, said: “On Sunday, I was surprised that the entire Vile Parle railway station did not have a single bottle of packaged water. Stall owners told me that there was no supply. Since I was very thirsty, I got off at Andheri. I got the same answer there also. Finally, I had to go out of the station to buy water.” Tank added that he saw several people asking for water but being told that there was none. Minesh Shah, a Borivli resident, too, had the same experience. “I was shocked on being told by a stall owner at Bandra that there was no bottle of water and he offered me water kept in a dirty-looking mug that I refused. How can the railways take decisions without keeping commuter interest in mind? The railways knows that since only railway stalls sell bottles on MRP, several people would prefer to buy water from platforms.” Meanwhile, senior railway officials said that the IRCTC-run Rail Neer plant has already increased production and will be able to meet the rise in demand. “It was a circular in 2001 that made it mandatory for all railway stalls and pantry cars to sell only Rail Neer, but post the CBI raids, the railway board issued a new circular. Since there was a scam involved, no one wants to take a chance and it has been implemented,” said a senior railway official. On water shortage, an IRCTC official said: “Our staff that used to work in a single shift is now working in three shifts. While we are able to produce high quantity of Rail Neer, supply to every station on WR and CR and other logistics need fine-tuning. It will take a couple of more days.”

Communists used Congress’ weakness to control top bodies: Venkaiah Naidu

Congress and the Communists had an understanding of convenience as per which the latter came to dominate higher education institutes and central bodies, he said.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
The Communists took “control” of higher education institutes and central bodies when Congress became weak, and “polluted” them with their Left ideology, but the NDA government has now started a process to “cleanse” them, Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu said on Monday.Congress and the Communists had an understanding of convenience as per which the latter came to dominate higher education institutes and central bodies, he said.”It is the criticism of Communists (that persons with RSS leanings are appointed in educational institutions). Communists had control of these. They polluted the environment with Left ideology by taking advantage of Congress’ weaknesses. When it is being cleansed to some extent, they are indulging in a disinformation campaign. It needs to be understood,” he told reporters.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Naidu was replying to a query over criticisms that the BJP-led government is appointing persons with RSS leanings to leading institutions.”In many educational institutions, central institutions and universities, when Congress became weak in 1969 and sought the cooperation of Communists, they came to some sort of understating, like a quid pro quo, that we will give you political support and you give us this opportunity (to control these bodies). They are feeling bad now that they are losing their monopoly. (Under BJP Govt) opportunities are being provided to all, and persons with merit are appointed and those with nationalistic outlook are given opportunities,” he said.Replying to a question on the proposal to hike salaries of MPs, Naidu said he is not the decision-making authority and that a conference of party Whips (in Parliament) to be held in Visakhapatnam would discuss the matter.”It’s a Whips conference wherein they are going to discuss this proposal. The proposal is to refer the issue to a commission. “We are a democracy, we have to discuss various suggestions and take up necessary action. Finally, it is the Government and Parliament which takes the final view,” said Naidu, who handles Parliamentary Affairs Ministry among other portfolios.

India did defeat Pakistan in 1965 war, says new army book

An army book by defence analyst Nitin Gokhale assessing the 1965 war says that India won the war against Pakistan.

Tanks of 18th Cavalry (Indian War) during the 1965 Indo-Pak war

As we near the 50th anniversary of the 1965 war, a new book titled 1965, Turning the Tide: How India Won the War written by defence analyst Nitin Gokhale has revealed details which prove that India was the victor after all, reports a leading daily. Pakistan, since the war has celebrated September 6 as the ‘Defence of Pakistan Day’ claiming that they won the war although analysis showed that the war ended in a draw. But that fact has now been challenged with the statistics stated in the book, which is a part of the defence ministry’s project to rewrite the history of all major wars and operations that were carried out by the armed forces. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>.Quoting the statistics from the book, the report said that India had lost only 540 sq km of its own land while capturing 1,920 sq km of the Pakistani land. And while India lost less than 100 tanks, Pakistan had lost over 450 tanks. The book also has the then Defence Minister Y B Chavan’s statement in Rajya Sabha saying that India had lost 2,862 soldiers while Pakistan had lost 5,800. But because Pakistan says that they lost only 1,033 soldiers in the war, the figures cannot be verified. The daily said that the book also explains Pakistan’s failure of operations during the war, like the then President Ayub Khan’s attempt to separate Kashmir Valley from India, which as a concept seemed great but faltered in its execution. A quote from the book explains the incident saying that “Finally , Pakistan’s last shot at glory by sending its much-touted 1 Armoured Division into Khem Karan came a cropper… In the end, the so called glorious war planned by Ayub turned into a military-politico-diplomatic defeat for Pakistan”. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the war, the book will be released on September 1.

Suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt sacked

Earlier, Bhatt had been suspended on the basis of a controversial video. The Gujarat government sought an explanation from him about his alleged illicit relationship.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
According to ANI, IPS officer Sanjeev Bhatt’s service has been terminated. Earlier, Bhatt had been suspended on the basis of a controversial video. The Gujarat government sought an explanation from him about his alleged illicit relationship.The notice to him suggested that his conduct was unbecoming of an Indian Police Service officer and was a breach of service rules.He tweeted: “Finally removed from service today after serving 27 years in the Indian Police Service. Once again eligible for employment. smile emoticon Any takers?”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The forensic results support the complaint that Bhatt has a relationship with woman, other than his wife,” the notice read.Forensic reports claimed that the 11-minute film hadn’t been tampered with. Bhatt claims that it wasn’t him in the video clip and a closer examination of the clip reveals difference in facial features. Bhatt had been suspended since 2011, after taking on the Gujarat government and former Chief Minister and current Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Bhatt’s claims were rejected by the Special Investigation Team appointed by the the Supreme Court.

‘I am son of Bihar’: Nitish Kumar answers questions on Twitter, talks about open letter to Modi

Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s ‘DNA’ remark made against him made during a recent rally, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday wrote an open letter to the PM, which was released on social media sites Facebook and Twitter.

Nitish Kumar. PTINitish Kumar. PTI

Nitish Kumar. PTI

Kumar said the comment was unbecoming of the office the PM holds and deemed it as “an insult by a large section of the people of the state and beyond” and asked him to withdraw it.

Minutes after posting the letter, Kumar invited questions regarding the same on Twitter.

“I’ll take questions regarding my open letter to @Narendramodi on my DNA via live chat on Twitter today between 5 and 7PM #NKLetterToModi,” tweeted Kumar.

Firstpost sent out some questions regarding the letter and the upcoming elections in Bihar. Here are Kumar’s responses.

– On the question of why he wrote a leeter about Bihar’s DNA, when the Prime Minister had criticised him and not Bihar:

– On being asked if he was trying to imitate PM Modi’s strategy in Bihar:

– When asked about his insistence to get Bihar special status when the state has already received money from Finance Commission, Kumar dodged the question, and called the imformation ‘factually incorrect’:

– Finally, on being asked to comment on his statement that he will not contest a seat this time, Kumar denied making any such remarks and called it all speculations.

“I will not contest assembly polls and would devote my time for campaigning,” Nitish had been earlier quoted telling media outside assembly on Monday, reports the Economic Times.

‘I am son of Bihar’: Nitish answers questions on Twitter, talks about open letter to Modi

Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s ‘DNA’ remark made against him made during a recent rally, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Wednesday wrote an open letter to the PM, which was released on social media sites Facebook and Twitter.

Nitish Kumar. PTINitish Kumar. PTI

Nitish Kumar. PTI

Kumar said the comment was unbecoming of the office the PM holds and deemed it as “an insult by a large section of the people of the state and beyond” and asked him to withdraw it.

Minutes after posting the letter, Kumar invited questions regarding the same on Twitter.

“I’ll take questions regarding my open letter to @Narendramodi on my DNA via live chat on Twitter today between 5 and 7PM #NKLetterToModi,” tweeted Kumar.

Firstpost sent out some questions regarding the letter and the upcoming elections in Bihar. Here are Kumar’s responses.

– On the question of why he wrote a leeter about Bihar’s DNA, when the Prime Minister had criticised him and not Bihar:

– On being asked if he was trying to imitate PM Modi’s strategy in Bihar:

– When asked about his insistence to get Bihar special status when the state has already received money from Finance Commission, Kumar dodged the question, and called the imformation ‘factually incorrect’:

– Finally, on being asked to comment on his statement that he will not contest a seat this time, Kumar denied making any such remarks and called it all speculations.

“I will not contest assembly polls and would devote my time for campaigning,” Nitish had been earlier quoted telling media outside assembly on Monday, reports the Economic Times.

Check results.cgg.gov.in for Telangana SSC Supplementary 2015 Results

The Board of Secondary Education (BSE) conducts the Telangana SSC Advanced Supplementary 2015 exams.

Finally the wait of students are over! Results for Telangana SSC Advanced Supplementary 2015 exam have been declared.The Board of Secondary Education (BSE) conducts the Telangana SSC Advanced Supplementary 2015 exams. Students who appeared for the class 10 (matric) Advanced Supplementary exams can log on to http://results.cgg.gov.in/ to check their results. The exam was conducted between June 18 and July 2. To access the results, students need to keep their roll numbers handy. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>We wish all the students very best and lots of luck for future endeavours.

What to look for in a management institute

The success of a b-school depends upon how well it anticipates the emerging manpower requirements of industry and how well it trains and develops its students to make them job ready.

The globalized economic environment has forced business entities to improve their efficiency and adopt best practices from around the world to survive and grow in a highly competitive market economy. Business activities have become extremely complex, requiring continuous improvement of systems and processes, innovating new products and services, and making strategic decisions to satisfy highly demanding customers. This has thrown up a great challenge for managers to conduct business effectively.The success of a b-school depends upon how well it anticipates the emerging manpower requirements of industry and how well it trains and develops its students to make them job ready. It requires a close coordination and interaction between b-schools and industry. There are many issues to be addressed in this regard. The curriculum must evolve continuously around the emerging needs of industry. This is possible if the b-schools have the freedom to modify their curriculum on a regular basis and adopt innovative learner-centric pedagogy.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The emerging integrated and inter-dependent global business environment demands that management students get adequate international exposure and have a global orientation, so that they understand business context and business demands. Many b-schools provide some opportunity to their students for international exposure through international immersion; under which the students are sent on visits to a few business units or multinational organizations or educational institutions in other countries to get a feel of international business environments and processes. Alternatively, b-schools have exchange programmes with international institutes, in which students from one country complete part of their curriculum in the partner institute in the other country. Finally, b-schools set up up multiple campuses in various regions of the world. These interconnected campuses share their regional expertise and exchange students.More than 2/3rd of India’s population lives in villages. Corporates are recognising the tremendous untapped business opportunities in rural India and focussing their business strategies in that direction. B-school students need to be sensitized to the needs of rural population and have an awareness of rural economic activities and market potentials. A few proactive b-schools arrange for their students to visit villages, and study rural institutions, rural markets, etc. and collect qualitative and quantitative information to analyse the income, expenditure and economic activities of rural folk.The demand for business education has increased manifold in the past two decades, but the number of b-schools has outgrown the demand. This situation has posed many challenges for the education industry. Finding competent faculty, creating bonding with industry and aligning curriculum to their needs; adopting learner centric pedagogy; internationalizing business education; and providing adequate industrial and rural exposure to students, are the major challenges faced by a large number of b-schools.
Dr C Babu is the Director of Durgadevi Saraf Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai.

Salman hit-and-run: Activist wants Maharashtra government to probe death of witness

Pune-based activist Hemant Patil in his plea, which will come up for hearing in due course, has stated that “legal action should be taken against the actor who had allegedly used pressure on eyewitness and his police bodyguard Ravindra Patil not to reveal the facts of the case during the trial”.

A social activist has moved the Bombay high court seeking a probe by Maharashtra government and the police into the circumstances leading to the death of a key eyewitness in the 2002 hit-and-run case in which actor Salman Khan was convicted last month.Pune-based activist Hemant Patil in his plea, which will come up for hearing in due course, has stated that “legal action should be taken against the actor who had allegedly used pressure on eyewitness and his police bodyguard Ravindra Patil not to reveal the facts of the case during the trial”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The plea, which has made Khan as one of the respondents, said: “At the time of trial it was revealed that Salman Khan and other unknown persons used undue influence upon Ravindra Patil and attempts were made to prevent him from giving true and correct statements in respect of the case though they failed to turn him a hostile witness.”The petition alleged that because of fear in his mind about Salman and his associates, the witness failed to appear before the court which had issued non-bailable warrant against him. “Instead of providing him protection, the government and police hounded him and put him behind the bars,” the petition adds.After his release from jail, Patil disappeared and much later was traced to a hotel in Mahableshwar. A task force had been formed by police to track him down. Finally, Patil was found in a Sewree hospital after he had contracted tuberculosis and he eventually died on October 4, 2007. By then, he had been dismissed from the job, said the petition.The actor was sentenced to five years’ RI by a sessions court in the case in which he was charged with killing one person and injuring four others who were sleeping outside a shop in Bandra on September 28, 2002.

Nepal Earthquake: There was nowhere to run inside the airport… the people swayed

With all the energy I could muster I screamed and ran to the door that led out to the lawns. Stones and cement blocks were falling. Those few seconds are an hazy to me but my colleagues tell me that my screaming ‘run run’ jolted them into sprinting out.

I was in Nepal for a workshop when the first earthquake hit. I was exiting the hotel washroom as the lights went out and the earth began to shake in a way that tosses you around. Trying to walk in complete darkness I made my way to where I hoped others were. A colleague took cover by a wall. I held on to him as he held on to another. We thought it was a terrorist attack, but soon it was clear it was a massive quake. With all the energy I could muster I screamed and ran to the door that led out to the lawns. Stones and cement blocks were falling. Those few seconds are an hazy to me but my colleagues tell me that my screaming ‘run run’ jolted them into sprinting out.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>We reached the lawns and sprawled ourself on our stomachs, trying to balance ourselves. Strong aftershocks continued as more guests ran out. We were now cut off from the Internet and phone lines. As the lawns were close to the building, and unsafe, we were escorted to the tennis grounds. We camped there for six hours as the staff brought us whatever food they had — cakes, pastries — and water, though the they too were injured. The kitchen staff had suffered cuts and bled profusely. Those injured were soon treated. The tremors continued but we were safe.Around six it got cold and looked like rain. The hotel manager announced that we could shift to the lobby. Making our way inside, we saw the damage for the first time. Walls and ceilings had cracked open. The ground was split in places and tiles had come off.We still did not know the extent of damage outside and could only speculate. Initially, we heard 300 people were dead in Kathmandu, the Dharahara was destroyed along with Bhaktapur Durbar Square, both places I was hoping to visit the next day. We ran up to our rooms to get essential stuff, blankets and pillows. I saw the staircases and corridors were all damaged with big cracks on walls. It was very scary, especially as aftershocks occurred every hour. I frantically tried to call home. Finally, I got an Internet connection and could inform people I was safe.Of course, we also raided the mini bar.The tremors continued and with each we felt the worst would happen now. Sleeping was difficult because of all the motion sickness we felt. It is not possible to take a nap when you have to be prepared to run out any moment. Many slept with shoes on. Around midnight some of us decided that sleeping out in the lawns would be a better as we wouldn’t have to run. However, strong aftershocks started again. At times I did not know if was my mind playing games. But then the birds started chirping and dogs howling before each quake.It started to rain, forcing us inside with all our luggage. All this while I tried calling or messaging but network services were not available. News of death and destruction was reaching us with reports that more earthquakes were expected. Now and then the Internet would work for five minutes and we would all try to send across messages. While trying to sleep and simultaneously remain alert, big tremors occurred, lasting 2-3 seconds shaking everything in the lobby, making children cry and distressing parents. With each aftershock people would wake up harried and run to the exit, only to realise it is over and they should stay put. Panic thrived in the uncertainty that night. The next day I left for the airport with four others, around 12;30 pm, as news about another predicted earthquake came in. The airport which was chaotic, choked and a complete mess. We got into a snail-paced queue for check-in when the second quake hit. Some airline staffers ran away. I was terrified as my mind rushed and my heart beat faster. If the walls and ceiling gave way we would be rapped and if panic set in there would be a stampede. In both scenarios there was no way to reach the exit in time. We tried to stand still, holding on to our luggage as the building and people swayed. A few seconds later the lights went out. Some passengers panicked and ran for the exit. My heart was beating painfully hard. There was nowhere to run in the small airport. When one feels they’re facing death, priorities are clear. I called home but it didn’t connect. I left a message on my phone that read “I love you all”. Finally, I reached a friend and, feeling a silent panic taking over. asked him to tell my family that I loved them. I felt that in those few second it could all be over. But the tremors subsided and I could speak speak to my sister and my mom who was near tears. A European passenger in a parallel queue saw me hiding my tears behind my glasses. He silently gestured to me that all would be fine. I nodded and smiled back. Strangers had been making such small gestures throughout and it made all the difference.
As we got through the security check, it looked as if all flights were suspended and the airport non-operational for the day. Thousands of passengers were waiting, in the lounge, and outside near the runway. We saw a huge Indian Air Force plane, which we heard had just landed. There was much confusion over who would be allowed to board this flight, till the officials assured us all would be taken. After waiting in the queue to the aircraft for seven hours, we were allowed to board at 7:30pm. The injured, the elderly and the children were given preference. Some 325 people were accommodated, most sitting on the spiked floor. Some instructions and an hour and a half later we arrived in Delhi. My luggage is still in Nepal and I should receive it soon. I hope normalcy is restored and families of those who died have the strength to live through.

Omar Abdullah appeals tourists not to cancel Kashmir visit over floods

Srinagar: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday appealed to tourists not to cancel their booking for visiting Kashmir in view of flood threats.

Former Jammu and Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah. PTIFormer Jammu and Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah. PTI

Former Jammu and Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah. PTI

“Those of you with bookings to visit Kashmir please PLEASE don’t rush to cancel. Instead I request you wait to see how things develop,” Omar wrote on twitter.

The working president of National Conference said the tourism industry had bad year since the September floods last year.

“The Tourist industry had a disastrous Autumn & a really bad winter because of the floods. Finally things were looking up in April.

“Now because of the recent rains & accompanying news stories hotels are reporting up to 40% cancellations which is a disaster for them. So my earnest appeal to you is please keep the faith, don’t rush to cancel. Wait to see how the next few days go & then decide,” he added.

Omar asked his followers to retweet his tweets as a favour to the tourism industry of the Valley.

“I’ve never asked for RTs before but as a favour to the tourist industry of Kashmir please RT my last 4 tweets as many times as possible,” he said.

PTI

Only benificiaries of land acquisition are big companies: Here’s why

The key question in the land acquisition debate isn’t about “industry” or “farmers.”  It is: who decides which is land is to be acquired? Because, when land acquisition is done badly, it doesn’t just harm displaced communities. It prevents necessary infrastructure, imperils the financial system, and endangers the economy.

Official data in Rajasthan shows that majority of land acquired is lying unused, and the CAG found the same in Orissa. In Orissa, over Rs 75,000 crore was raised by mortgaging such land illegally; in ten years only two percent of projects were ready to start. On SEZs, the CAG found that “land appeared to be the most crucial and attractive component of the scheme.”  Eleven companies were checked; those eleven alone had raised Rs 6300 crore by mortgaging SEZ lands, of which over Rs 2000 crores went to companies in non-operational SEZs. Similarly, most companies that sought captive coal mines — and associated land — never used them, except to boost their own value. In every sector, this story repeats itself.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The government tells us it wants employment and “development”, but those can’t be generated by projects that never come up. Besides, loans to such projects can’t be repaid. Thus India’s public sector banks are drowning in bad loans, with the infrastructure sector being the biggest recipient. Finally, assuming that some proposed activities were actually useful, how will they ever come up when non-performers got the land first?

Such non-starters are not the end of the story. In project after project, independent analysis has found proponents’ claims to be grossly exaggerated. The CAG found that all the SEZs it sampled had failed to meet their employment, investment and export targets, in some cases by over 90 percent. It said “the achievements of SEZs in the country are mostly contributed by a few SEZs in developed states that were set up before the SEZ Act.” An analysis by US-based economists found that the famed POSCO project would destroy three times more livelihoods than it claims it would create, while generating negligible tax revenues. All the figures for benefits from the project were from a “cost benefit analysis” paid for by POSCO, which essentially ignored all the existing jobs in the area. Meanwhile, in 2009, 89 percent of India’s hydroelectricity projects were producing below capacity, and 50percent of these were not even generating half their targets.

The reason all of this happens is that India’s resource allocation process is completely irrational. Decisions are made by bureaucrats on the basis of information given either by project promoters or other bureaucrats. There is no objective review and no one is ever held accountable.

The 2013 Land Acquisition Act made two changes — a social impact assessment by an independent panel, and requiring landowners’ consent in some cases. These would have forced corporates and bureaucrats to at least back their claims with data, and to justify their promises to some of those who would lose everything. None of this would have stopped the abuse, but it was a start.

That start was too much for the NDA government. Under the current ordinance, for practically all projects, the District Collector’s word is gospel. If the Collector says that land must be acquired, it must be acquired.

But still Ministers tell us they want “development.” How do they know that any project will lead to development when they have no way of checking promoters’ claims? How do they know projects will generate net employment when there is no assessment to count the jobs they will destroy? Decisions made in this manner, whether corrupt or not, can never be rational. The only beneficiaries are big companies. Everyone else — displaced communities, banks, the government, those needing infrastructure — will pay the price.

Shankar Gopalakrishnan is a researcher and unionist based in Dehradun. He is currently working on a book on the land question in India.

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