Our environment is being degraded by making environmental clearances policies ambiguous. Growth in India is for those who take advantage of non-transparent policies in the making environmental clearances.
The poor are the worst affected as they are in constant battle with limited resources and rising costs. For instance the poor need firewood as fuel and they are not able to cut trees which are a free source of fuel. Regulations to stop cutting of trees has meant that there is no source of fuel. Government has not made a source of fuel which would replace firewood for the poor. This tightens the noose and the poor are hurt, and are pushed into further impoverishment.
People are not part of the growth agenda in India’s growth story. Dams and hydroelectric powers affect water sources and reduce the fish stocks which feed the poor. No fish means no food for the local people. No alternative livelihoods have been offered to the fish-folks; now what would they eat, how will they live? Dams make infrastructure but they are built at the cost of life of the people. But are not dams built for the people? “Growth for whom” is the question. The local people suffer and the benefits of the dam are enjoyed as electricity by urban India. Homes have been dislocated so that dams can be made. But no new homes were made. Meaning is that locals have been evacuated and were not given any compensation or space to live. Factories are made in tribal lands; promises are made by offering jobs to locals. They only bring further impoverishment of the people who are given bare minimum wages. No labour reform. Factories pollute the water, and poison the land and further degrade the environment.
We, the educated elite are able to visualize the potential hazards and see how healthy growth is being stopped and subverted in the guise of development.We are not able to bring to senses the dominant political elite whose mind is being molded by selfish interests. How fast we realize this trend and how we come out of the situation will determine future India.