Saturday, June 09, 2007

My letter to CMO about eliminating illegal cowsheds in BBSR

To: Chief Minister, Orissa
Bhubaneswar, Orissa,
Dear Chief Minister Sir:
Kindly read the attached article in Orissa Matters by Subhas Chandra Pattnayak. I can't imagine that this is true - given your clean image. But test always is in reality and ground situation. If what Mr. Subhas Pattnayak states, is true - and my cross checks with friends confirm that he is telling the truth - you need a major revamp of your administration. We have been taken for a ride by likes of Late Promod Mahajan (who accumulated 2200 crores in 20 years of public life claiming clean and efficient Govt. ) but with technology where information moves at the speed of light, it is no longer possible to hide anything. I would thus request you, Sir to take the necessary action - and to ensure that the officers understand you mean business. Kindly, ask the Chairman of Bhubaneswar improvement Trust to remove the Cowsheds from BBSR by next Puja. If not, let him know that you will send his name to the court telling them that he has not followed the court orders - inspite of your clear direction.
The court can send him to jail for contempt of court. And you will probably will again win the next years election - even if the goons of your party can't be paid for their service the uncollected amount.
Lastly, Sir if you really act as suggested - you will see that the roads will improve, the hospitals will get cleaner and their attendance improve, forests get greener etc, without any action on your part.
Yes, Sir you have to do one more thing - You have to advertise in paper that each of the resident of BBSR report to you/your office direct - if they see any cowshed removed from their area - or exist in their area with a copy to news papers if they are not removed. You may appoint 3 activists against such cowsheds as Govt appointed committee to check the citizens complains. They might also complain to you through a dedicated phone line secretly about existence of such sheds in their community, this needs to be set up - so they can bypass the Govt channel, which has been rigged since the British days. Even RTI is not working because incompetent and corrupt officers have been sheltered there, all over India. That way Sir, you will really be number one CM, in India like Mr. Nitish Kumar, in the eyes of people of your state.
Best wishes,

Subject: Darkness under the lamp - The unpleasent truth
To: OrissaTodayNetwork - A network member
Dear all:
We talk about mosquitoes and malaria and often blame the government for this. But they may be blamed, but did we do our own part.
In America , where I live, there is no mosquitoes - the following could be possible reasons.
- No littering, $1000 fine for littering
- All house hold rejects must be kept out in a trash bag and trash pick up arrangements have been made in 3 week days, usually alternate days.
- No cows/buffaloes/animals in streets
- No diary farms in city limits
- All mutton/chicken/meats are sealed and refrigerated
- Lawns and surroundings are well maintained by grass plantation hence
no dust/mud
- No open drains
Once the above minimum conditions are met, then only we can blame some one. Of course , Government have to some part from the above points, but are we doing our own part ?
Here you go; the one & only furious intellectual Subhash babu writes about Naveen's campaign in other places while, he failed to anything in BBSR.
Darkness under lamp !!
June 3rd, 2007
*Subhas Chandra Pattanayak*
Open any newspaper worth the name in Orissa, you will find Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's lovely face and uncial autograph on an official advertisement telling you that June is being observed as the Malaria Eradication Month. You are instructed in the advertisement to cooperate with the mission of making the State mosquito-free. Official agencies and unofficial agencies engaged by administration would spray insecticides to exterminate the mosquitoes and you are instructed not to tamper with the sprayed insecticides for at least three months. The ads are worded to give you the impression that Naveen Patnaik is determined to free Orissa from mosquito menace.
Is he?
Is he really in the mission of extermination of mosquitoes?
Does he really want to eradicate malaria?
As I look at his style of administration, I feel, he is only trying to show us acrobatics in the mass media.
I will marshal the capital city of Bhubaneswar, where he lives and from where he rules, as my evidence.
He being the Home Minister, it is well within his knowledge that Bhuaneswar is so much malaria infested that the police force had to suffer casualties due to mosquito bite while guarding the Assembly in session on summon.
The collective wisdom of Legislature had determined that crabbed dairies operated by cowherds in every nook and corner of the capital city are the principal centers of mosquito breeding and therefore the Orissa Municipal Corporations Act, 2003 had stipulated that there shall be no dairy or cowshed in Bhubaneswar.
Naveen Patnaik has kept this Law inconsequential and in the process, has killed the Supreme Court of India verdict of Feb.2, 2006 that had fully supported this special Law.
I had discussed this issue in these pages in a different context and in due deference to Article 51A (g) & (i) of the Constitution of my Motherland, had immediately sent copies thereof to the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary of Orissa for their perusal and action. But they are conspicuous by their silence. Several crores of illicit payola clandestinely collected from the milkmen is apparently the cause.
I reproduce relevant portions of that discussion for ready reference.
The illegal cowsheds are, I had observed: flourishing because the corridors of Orissa administration are full of commission agents and robbers that act as protectors of the pollutant milkmen.
Many things can be known; but every thing cannot be proved. I know, because a milkman had once confided in me, that the Directorate of Estates collects a Sum of Rs. 1000/- off the record from each of the milkman in return for silence over their encroachment over Government land in prime localities in the new Capital to run their lucrative milk trade. Compared to the benefit they fetch this sum of Rs.1000/- looks too small an amount to them. But there being one thousand milkmen families in the heart of the Capital City, the bribe collected from them amounts to not less than Rupees ten lakhs per month. This money is shared amongst all officials who matter in the matter of land encroachment by milkmen.
I was inclined to reject this information as rubbish. But looking at the immunity the milkmen are enjoying, and looking at how the officials have made a farce of the Order of the Supreme Court in the matter of eviction of the milkmen, I am inclined to believe in the information though there is no proof in support of it.
*Now let us look at the Supreme Court Judgment.*
It pertains to Civil Appeal No.940 of 2006 arising out of SLP (C) Nos. 16362-16363 of 2004.
By 1994, as many as 686 milkmen had encroached upon prime plots of Bhubaneswar City and running dairy business from there oblivious of the health hazards that was causing to genuine inhabitants. The situation was so unbearable that the then Chief Minister in a bid to get rid of the gowalas declared to rehabilitate them in the villages in the city's close vicinity. But they did not go while on the other hand they were encouraging other gowalas to encroach upon other vacant plots. By 2003 their number increased to 1000. The dung and other filthy matters of the cowsheds run by them on government plots in prime areas of Bhubaneswar imperiled public health to such extent that in the Orissa Municipal Corporation Act framed in 2003, the legislature not only prohibited establishment and running of dairies or cowsheds in the city proper as well as in the periphery of the town, but also provided for penalty against the dairy operators. Under the new act, all of the milkmen were bound to be evicted from Bhubaneswar city. Against this mandated eviction, the milkmen through their association had gone to Orissa High Court. The Court refused to intervene. Then they stressed on rehabilitation and wanted a mandate from the Court that the Government provides them with plots to run their business. The High Court rejected this plea. Alleging that the High Court's refusal to order for their rehabilitation before eviction from Government plots was illegal, the Milk Producers Association, Orissa and others preferred the appeal in the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court took serious note of the health hazards the milkmen were causing to the citizens of Bhubaneswar. Even the Supreme Court made it clear, "As by reason of the Orissa Municipal Corporation Act, within the periphery of the town, dairies or cowsheds cannot be maintained, the State cannot be entitled to adhere to its earlier plan of rehabilitating them in villages mentioned therein".
Making it abundantly clear that there does not exist any legal concept which confers a legal right upon the encroacher to be rehabilitated by State action, the Supreme Court has not only rejected the Appeal of the Milkmen but also has ruled that "In view of the 2003 Act, even the doctrine of Promissory Estoppels will have no application".
So in the Supreme Court the Milkmen have lost their case and the Apex Court has made it clear that the State Government is not even entitled to rehabilitate them.
In an earlier Order [(2004) 8 SCC 733] in Friends Colony Development Committee V. State of Orissa and Others case, the Supreme Court had ruled, "Not only filth, stench and unhealthy places have to be eliminated, but the (town planning) would be such that it helps in achieving family values, youth values, seclusion and clean air to make the locality a better place to live".
In another case between N.D.Jayal and another v. Union of India and others, reported in [(2004) 9 SCC 362], a 3-Judge bench of the Supreme Court held that Right to environment being a fundamental right it is the duty of the State to make it sure that people get a pollution free surrounding.
The Orissa municipal Corporation Act, 2003 under Sections 409, 543 and 548 by banning running of cow-buffalo-swine-sheds, has provided for the environment the Supreme Court has emphasized on.
Therefore the Supreme Court refused the Appeal of the milkmen and removed every obstacle from their eviction. This verdict was delivered on 2 February 2006.
But neither the Director of Estates, nor the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation nor the Bhubaneswar Development Authority has bothered to evict the milkmen. The concentration of milkmen rose from 686 in 1994 to 1000 in 2003 and it has possibly doubled by end of 2006. The surprising and unexplained reluctance of the State Government to evict the milkmen, even though brilliant youths like Bibhuti and Rubi have succumbed to air pollution caused by the cowsheds and scores of genuine citizens near whose residences the milkmen have been running unauthorized dairies on encroached lands have fallen victims to unhealthy environment affected by filth,
stench, dung and other excremental matters.
When the Law enacted in 2003 has prohibited dairy activities in Bhubaneswar and when the Supreme Court by rejecting the Appeal of the milkmen has stressed on their eviction saying simultaneously that the State is not entitled to rehabilitate them anywhere in the city and its periphery, why the State Government has not evicted them so far even though the Apex Court verdict was delivered on 2 February 2006?
It is therefore believable that the milkmen have been greasing the palms of officials to purchase their cooperation in rendering the Supreme Court judgment inconsequential.
*Huge Money*
If it must be happening then it must be a scam of ten lakhs of rupees per month, taking the officially admitted figure of milkmen to be one thousand. The 1000 figure pertaining to 2003, if they have doubled by this time, the amount of bribe must be 20 lakhs per month. This is a secret income exceeding many times the income the officers earn on records.
According to a calculation recorded by the Supreme Court, at Para 14 of its Judgment, "the income per annum of each gowala family of Bhubaneswar comes out to about Rs. 3,71,910.00 as admitted by them in the SLP. Deducting 50% out of the total income towards establishment and maintenance charges, net annual income per family comes to 1,85,950.00". This huge money every milkman family earns because he runs the dairy on encroached government land in prime areas of Bhubaneswar. To keep up this lucrative business, why should he hesitate to grease the palms of officers who are in a position to carry out eviction?
With this question, I had attracted attention of the Chief Minister as well as the Chief Secretary to the menace that poses pernicious dangers to human health in Bhubaneswar. It is not that they are not aware of this. But payola determining administrative decisions, the breeding centers of mosquitoes are flourishing in every cowshed illegally running in Bhubaneswar. ‘lI have information that attempts are being made to amend the Municipal
Act to undo the ban imposed by the 2003 Act on cowsheds so that the changed face of Law can obliterate the impact of the Supreme Court verdict.
Do I err in holding the Chief Minister's advertised eagerness to exterminate mosquitoes as mere acrobatics politicians display when they propound a cause that they never stand with?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Compansation for land in a coal project in Jharkhand

The following was the compensation that they got for their land in Pachuwara Coal Project Area.
I like all of them except I want the Rs. 6000/annum, related to inflation. Lastly, I would like the school and hospital to be upfront. How else the kids will be educated in the interim? If the land prices go up more than the rate of inflaton they should be compensated further at at least 50%, to protect against manipulations of land market price.

- Sandip

The compensation that the Catholic nun fought for, and ensured, includes:

* The cost of the land acquired at the current market rate

* A job

* A school, education for students of the displaced families free of cost

* A hospital to provide them free treatment

* Rs 6,000 per acre per annum to compensate for the loss of agriculture

* Rs 210 sq m of land for home stead

* After mining complete, the land to be reclaimed and returned to its
rightful owner

"Valsa John gave her consent only after she was convinced that the company had offered the best compensation to the people," says Deputy Chief Minister Stephen Marandi, who backed her and signed the agreement between the Andolan and Panem as a witness.