with love to indore

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Electricity in Shiv "raj"

Villagers risking lives for water & power
Women of Magaria village have to walk one km to get water from the awfully constructed well and they have to sink down 40 feet inside the well by helping each other hand-in-hand to finally get drinking water.

'They' claim to provide electricity, water, education, literacy, but neglectful about which are the places that immensely need the above mentioned facilities. The suburbs of most developed cities of Bhopal and Indore in Madhya Pradesh are still dying, yes, dying due to the obstinate inconsistency.

Dheeraj, Ramkanya, Mahesh are the names of those few people of Dewas district who have paid the penalty of their lives for electricity and water. The residents of Magaria village have to dismount a 40 feet deep well to get water which is nowhere less than the death dismounting from horse to depart them from their life. These villagers are not even favoured with the most basic facility of electricity due to which they have to walk more than a km directly connecting the cables so as to get temporary current from the electric poles that is generally considered to be illegal; on the top it is a life-taking risk which has been already suffered by 2 men of the village.

This doesn't end here. 80 kms away from the capital city of Madhya Pradesh, the villagers have relocated from plains to the nearby mountains to get rid from the flood. They have been served as victims to flood a number of times due to Lodri river nearby compelling them to change their homes 18 years ago, still no attention has been paid yet towards any of the scarcity. The population of this village is around 400 Dalit people who come under gram Panchayat Khaunpur Pipaliya but the Panchayat is inactive to cooperate or come forward to solve the discrepancies, said Nandram, 50, a villager. He complained, "The Government has just provided wooden boards to us to construct houses but other resources are still under promises for 18 years. Even the administrators of Electricity Board have turned off their faces saying that the village was formed by your own wish and we can't help you with electricity". Nandram further informed that due to the negligence by the authorities, the Panchayat also doesn't come forward for any kind of development.

Above all, the scenario is drastically implacable to see that the women of this village have to walk one km distance to get water from the awfully constructed well and they have to sink down 40 feet inside the well by helping each other hand in hand to finally get drinking water. The pitiful condition simply invites death to these vulnerable women, one wrong step will end the life just like Ramkanya, the lady who died rather sacrificed her life to quench the thirst of her family members. There are several incidents like this occurring frequently. Similar danger persists with electricity too, "Because the village in situated in between the forest and mountains, risk of wild animals and snakes increases at night time, therefore, we have to directly connect the wires to electric poles which are one and a half kilometres away and again disconnect it in the morning, we are left with no other option than this", Resham bai explains.

The authority has not taken any measures for water and electricity supply in spite of writing numerous applications of request and complains about the scarcity. Siddhulal, 65, grumbles of the discrimination that they face by the Gram Panchayat, they don't treat the people fairly because they do not possess lots of land. He informed that gramsabha meetings are irregular with unnoticeable development and the attention is predominantly given to the villages of Panchayat Mukhyalaya and to those who are not Dalits. In regards with the complaints made by Leelabai in the Panchayat for installing electrical poles and construct wells, Kailashchandra, the secretary of Gram Panchayat answered, "The memo has been dispatched to the Janpad Panchayat and the Electricity Board will immediately come into action as the funds will get sanctioned by the Government". The villagers said arduously that it's the matter of Rs 2-3 lakh which is not a huge amount to sanction for the Government but no one is willing to take any measure to solve their problems and they are tired of the false promises made by the Government.

Ultimately the women stood up in unity and went together to the CEO of Janpad Panchayat in the Block head office where 35 women under the leadership of Leelabai had submitted the memorandum. They were bold enough to approach the Collector on not receiving any feedback from the Janpad and asked for the required help from the Collector but again came back empty handed with insincere assurance. It has been informed that the Collector comforted them by promising that the problem shall be solved within a month and it has already been six months that the promise is still to be implemented. This raises a question in not only the mind of the sufferers but also other citizens as to what extent a citizen can raise his voice before our no-guarantee-Government and until when he has to beg for what he deserves.

Overall the pitiful conditions end up to the heights of irresponsibility, carelessness towards developmental work and the so-called strategies of the authority. It is believed that the basic facility of electricity and water must be provided preferably which is sadly seen stumbling here in Magariya. Whereas according to the calculations of Madhya Pradesh Government, more than 51800 villages have been facilitated with electricity and water supply but the state of Magariya village uncovers the miserable truth of discrepancy. The question arises that despite the power and supremacy given to the Panchayat Raj which comprises of villagers themselves, what prohibits them to implement the most fundamental developments? It has been stated that the villages can overcome with the very basic resources like water, electricity and concrete roads by getting all means of help from the Rashtriya Gramin Rozgar Yojna and other plans but only because of the unconcerned slow pace in the administration the developmental works never come into existence, thus, it reveals a really gloomy picture of the State Government.

The situation of Magariya village now plonks up like a challenge in front of the self-boasting-administration which can easily overcome the ground level problems by sincerely giving a thought for it and spending adequate amount of fund for the progress. They actually need to cover up their own loopholes first and start working for the people without delay as prime motive; else the villagers have no other option than slipping into the 40 feet deep well and then risking their lives with electrical extension cables. Now, it's the Government to decide as to what kind of development do they prefer, hollow or death-les

Monday, September 29, 2008

Temple stampede

Are we ready?

After recent stampede in Mehrangarh

and Naina Devi (http://www.bbc.co.uk/hindi/regionalnews/story/2008/08/080803_naina_devi.shtml)

It becomes imperative to see whether we are ready to handle such situation in Indore.
First of all problem all over India is that temples are in hand of Pandits or Government - either party is interested in making money only and whatever they spend on temple goes in tiling the floor or walls, decorating statue and garbh grah and at max making rooms for lodging.

But widening the path or access point to temple or improving crowd management is never an option.Partly because there is this aura of god being difficult to get if one has to go through narrow paths and alleys.

Police forces are never trained to do this kind of job and mostly security is left on scouts/guides and bloated policemen who would be first to eun if stampede happens.

There is no control on how many voice amplification systems would be put and blaring bhajna make it difficult to transmit any instructions

Recently it has become a kind of craze in Indore to organize yatras or joolos on every other festival and temple like bijasan, khajrana & devguradia all have narrow passage to final temple and are ripe for this kind of disasters.

Are our dharmgurus training their devotees in keeping patience while going for darshan??

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Madhya pradesh third most corrupt state in India

from rediff result of a transparency international survey

India's most and least corrupt states

September 5, 2008

Madhya Pradesh

Madhya Pradesh, which according to the Transperancy Internation India survey is 'Alarmingly Corrupt,' has since long been a victim of nepotism and corruption.

The chief minister of the mineral-rich state is Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

The survey ascertained that nearly Rs 883 crore (Rs 8.83 billion) was paid as bribes in the year 2007 by BPL (below poverty line) families to avail of these public services -which include getting a ration card as well as for admissions in schools. Of the entire bribe money, Rs 214.8 crore (Rs 2.148 billion) was paid to the police.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Waste Managment and Khalwa

Waste management PPP of Indore municipality is getting interesting day by day.and my hunch is it final decision will be taken only after assembly election when relative power positions are clear but internal fighting of BJP and indecisive mayor is costing Indore a lot. first of all companies are pissed of with repeated tendering. One mumbai firm was reportedly denied project solely because its CEO was a christian. This is perverted logic and must be coming from people like "dharm rakshak sabha". Do these fools know that verghese kurien was a beef eating christian who brought milk revolution in Gujarat.
Then there is this angle of sanitary workers. No one knows for sure how many of them are on roll , how many of them are actually working. No one has tried to use an RTI for same and obviously these overly paid and never working people will get their job axed so we are entering into a ham handed PPP where main expertise of private sector i.e. collection of garbage is once again being left to public sector. So be ready to see Indore exchequer getting bled.

On other side congress announced its candidates. In Indore 1 as suspected someone from Shukla family was bound to get ticket as after recent violence congress will not risk a Muslim candidate in form of Sarvar Khan. So Sanjay Shukla gets the ticket. I guess he is youngest among all candidates.I remember during my class 8 and 5 exams board papers leaked and sold in market used to have his name. So at least students will vote for him :)

Congress really has no hope in number 2 and number 4 (unless there is a rebel candidate). In number 4 congress has both the candidates in panel Sindhi so it would be interesting to watch what BJP does.

New construction being announced by IMC and IDA daily are not worth mentioning. I guess it is more than what they did in last 3-4 years and it will be useful media exercise to track all these announcements down after election.

& last word on Khalwa. Recently newspapers were full of news from Khalwa. I daily read both major local newspaper i.e. naidunia and Bhaskar but my first source of information about Khalwa was lecture given by Ms Shanta Sinha ( Magsasay award winner) who mentioned it while discussing how vibrant media is and oddly enough this was front page news in Kanpur edition of Dainik jagaran. It is a pity that despite being main urban center of most peaceful tribal belt of India ( almost all loksabha seats surrounding Indore are ST reserved) there is no mention of STs in public discourse in Indore city nor there is any towering ST personality not even a politician who holds public imagination.

Now as far as backwardness of Khalwa is concerned one can employ several parameters. In Khandwa district this is the only block which has tribal majority (68%), this is the only block which has least entries on wikimapia (people are not affluent enough or educated enough to mark big boxes around their home on this online map sites), Google search throws no NGO working over there and in my extend family of marwadi banias i have heard name of places like pansemal, bheekangaon, tillore etc where one or toehr from our clan is present as moneylender but never heard of Khalwa. Now if a Marwadi does not go to a place then it must be really deprived of any opportunity.

While mentioning media of Indore there seems to be a curious understanding between two major media houses that no one will report anything about other. So today's business standard has a big article finding loopholes in Dainik Bhaskar's IPO as to there is a big tussle with the IPR over name itself but local media takes self censorship too much seriously and Junta of Indore remains oblivious of larger things.

e.g. Karnataka government today came up with an IT policy for rural areas and in MP even crystal IT park in Indore lies unoccupied or for that matter in schools near Indore there is huge corruption in midday meal scheme while these things are being audited by reputed consulting firms in south.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Dewas plant of ranbaxy blacklisted by FDA

Well mostly it is an issue between USA FDA and Rabaxy but it is notable that FDA report says that Dewas and Ponta Sahib plant of Ranbaxy don't have required cleanliness and process adherence.

I remember a talk given by former MP DGP and SP of Bhopal at the time of Bhopal gas tragedy Mr Swaraj Puri at IIT at sometime in 2003-04.
It was a talk in self aggrandizement and putting blame on GOI , on Union carbide but not on MP government. At the end when i asked him about role of MP pollution control board which was supposed to oversee everything and what they are doing he refused to comment saying it is sub judice!!!

I developed my doubts about man from that point onwards and later when he was caught trying to get his son admitted to GSITS via a forgery my hunch proved correct.

My whole point is that first of all we do not have industry in MP and secondly our officials are wither incompetent or negligent or corrupt to enforce proper quality checks.
contrast this with Maharashtra where even Subhiksha was forced to close stores after complaints of dirtiness were made by some people.

so we had bhopal gas tragedy.

we have a polluted khan river in indore when there are no big industries ( ironic is not it!!)

and now this ranbaxy's dewas plant.

and Nero is busy getting minor girls of state married while his cronies are doing land deals.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Silicon deaths in Jhabua

It is strange that mainstream Naidunia or Bhaskar cover tribal areas only when there is a robbery or there is some issue because of conversion politics.
ratlam, dhar, khandwa all areas surrounding Indore ar tribal reserved seats but they have no place in our media discourse and no place in state politics as well.

even our chief minister is only interested in doing various yatras and creating more and more blocks and districts but nothing concrete is being done to elevate living standards of ST people. For many reserved posts there are not enough ST candidates clearly indicating a capability issue.

सिलिकोसिस के शिकार मज़दूरों की दास्तान

फ़ैसल मोहम्मद अली
बीबीसी संवाददाता, अलीराजपुर और गोधरा से

सिलिकोसिस से पीड़ित
मिल की फिज़ा में उड़ रही सिलिका साँस के ज़रिए वहां काम करने वालों के फेफड़ों में जमने लगती है
जब तक संगीता, इदला, सुमारिया, सकरी, धनबाई से मुलाक़ात नहीं हुई कांच के साज़ो सामान का इस्तेमाल करते वक्त शायद ही कभी ध्यान आया हो कि इसके लिए कच्चा माल तैयार करने वाले हज़ारों लोग अकाल मौत का शिकार होते हैं.

रोज़ी रोटी की तलाश धनबाई को अगलगोटा से वडोदरा ले गई जहाँ उसे चंद दिनों का काम मिला,थोड़े रूपए मिले और मिला फेफड़े की ख़तरनाक बीमारी-सिलिकोसिस.

मक्के के खेतों के बीच बनी अपनी झोंपडी में पड़ी 30 वर्ष की धनबाई अब अपने मौत के इंतज़ार में हैं. उसकी साँसे धौंकनी की तरह चल रही है.

ज़िंदगी को बेहतर बनाने के लिए किए गए वडोदरा के सफ़र में धनबाई के साथ उसके पति, दो बेटे और बेटी भी शामिल थे.

एक बेटे मुकेश को सिलिकोसिस ने निगल लिया है और संगीता का फेफड़ा दिन ब दिन सिकुड़ता जा रहा है.

इन सभी लोगों ने कुछ दिन क्वार्टज़ फैक्ट्रियों में काम किया था जहाँ पत्थर को मशीनों में पीसकर शीशा बनाने के लिए सिलिका डस्ट तैयार किया जाता है.

मिल की फिज़ा में उड़ रही सिलिका साँस के ज़रिए वहां काम करने वालों के फेफड़ों में जमने लगती है जिससे व्यक्ति की साँस लेने की ताक़त घटी जाती है और फिर कम ऑक्सिजन मिलने की वजह से शरीर दूसरी बीमारियों का भी शिकार होने लगता है.

बीमा और डाक्टर से लगातार परीक्षण की बात तो दूर काफ़ी मिल मालिक बिजली की बचत के चलते डस्ट कलेक्टर तक बंद कर देते हैं जो फिजा में धूल को कंट्रोल करता है.

अमूल्य निधि, स्वंयसेवक

चिकित्सक प्रकाश ढोके कहते हैं कि सिलिकोसिस होने के बाद बीमार की मौत निश्चित है उसकी ज़िन्दगी के दिनों को दवा और अच्छे भोजन की मदद से कुछ लंबा ज़रूर किया जा सकता है.

हज़ारों घरों की दास्तान

गुजरात की सीमा से लगे दक्षिणी पश्चिमी मध्य प्रदेश के हज़ारों घरों की लगभग यही दास्तान है.

कहीं पूरा का पूरा खानदान ही रोज़गार के साथ मिली इस बीमारी की भेंट चढ़ गया, जैसे रोडधा के ईदल सिंह के यहाँ से 14 लोग काम के लिए गुजरात गए अब उनमें से एक भी नहीं बचा है.

या फिर गाँव के बीच एक लाइन से ढहते मिट्टी के घर जिनमें इस कहानी को कहने वाला भी कोई नहीं बचा.

स्वंयसेवी संस्थान सिलिकोसिस से पीड़ितों की निश्चित संख्या जानने के लिए सर्वे करवाने पर जोर दे रहे हैं

स्वयंसेवी संस्था खेडूत मजदूर चेतना संगठन, आदिवासी दलित मोर्चा और इंदौर स्थित शिल्पी केंद्र के रिपोर्टों के आधार पर दक्षिणी पश्चिमी प्रदेश के तीन जिलों के सिर्फ़ 61 गाँव में ही पिछले दो सालों में 800 से ज़्यादा लोग फेफड़े में जम गए शीशे की धूल की भेंट चढ़ गए.

खेडूत मजदूर चेतना संगठन के शंकर तडवला के अनुसार अपने सर्वे के दौरान वह जिन गाँव में गए वहां उन्हें दूसरे गाँव में भी पीड़ित लोगों के बारे में बताया गया.

वे कहते हैं कि कि सिर्फ़ मध्य प्रदेश ही नहीं बल्कि पड़ोसी राज्यों राजस्थान के बांसवाडा, डूंगरपुर और गुजरात के पंचमहल, गोधरा, दाहोद, वडोदरा वगैरह में भी मजदूर इसकी चपेट में हैं.

स्वयंसेवी संस्थाओं का कहना है कि प्रशासन को सिलिकोसिस से ग्रसित मजदूरों की सही संख्या जानने के लिए एक व्यापक अंतर्राज्यीय सर्वे करवाना चाहिए.

लेकिन पिछले लगभग एक दशक से गुजरात, फिर राजस्थान और अब मध्य प्रदेश में इस मामले पर उठी आवाज़ों के बावजूद सरकारों ने इस पर कोई पहल नहीं की.

बेफ़िक्र प्रशासन

मध्य प्रदेश के झाबुआ,धार और अलीराजपुर जैसे आदिवासी बहुल इलाकों से मजदूरों का भारी संख्या में पास के राज्यों में पलायन होता है जहाँ वह खेतों, भवन निर्माण के आलावे सिलिका निकालने वाली फैक्ट्रियों में भी काम करते हैं.

फैक्ट्रियों में धूल कंट्रोल करने वाली मशीनों की ग़ैर मौज़ूदगी या फिर उनका उनका इस्तेमाल नहीं किए जाने और मजदूरों के मास्क प्रयोग नहीं करने की वजह से सिलिका डस्ट वहां काम करने वालों के फेफड़ों में जमा होने लगता है.

हालांकि गोधरा स्थित एक कारखाना मालिक हातिम अब्बास मिल 'ऑटोमेटेड प्लांट' दिखाते हुए कहते हैं कि वहां धूल की कोई गुंजाइश ही नहीं, फिर भी वह मज़दूरों को मास्क वगैरह देते है, डॉक्टर से उनका नियमित परीक्षण होता है और मजदूरों के लिए बीमा कि सुविधा भी है.

शिल्पी केन्द्र के अमूल्य निधि का कहना है, "बीमा और डाक्टर से लगातार परीक्षण की बात तो दूर काफ़ी मिल मालिक बिजली की बचत के चलते डस्ट कलेक्टर तक बंद कर देते हैं जो फिजा में धूल को कंट्रोल करता है. मजदूरों का नाम रजिस्टर पर चढ़ा ही नहीं होता तो बीमा कहाँ से मिलेगा?"

अलीराजपुर के मालवी ग्राम में सिलिकोसिस पीड़ित सुमारिया के मान से यह पूछने पर कि वह बेटे का इलाज कैसे करवा रही है वह कहती है, "इलाज के लिए रूपए कहाँ? घर के बर्तन, बकरी, मुर्गा-मुर्गी तक तो बिक चुका है?"

तो घर कैसे चलता है?

उनका कहना है, "कभी जंगल की लकड़ी बेचकर या भीख मांग कर."

प्रशासन की बेरुखी से हताश संस्थाओं ने हाल में ही राष्ट्रीय मानवधिकार आयोग के सामने यह मामला पेश किया जिसके आदेश पर मुंबई स्थित सेंट्रल लेबर संस्थान ने सर्वेक्षण किया.

इस सर्वेक्षण में सिलिकोसिस के 41 निश्चित मरीज़ पाए गए.

अमूल्य निधि कहते हैं कि इस रिपोर्ट के बाद फर्क सिर्फ़ इतना आया है कि प्रशासन यह मान रहा है कि इलाके में सिलिकोसिस है.

इधर मानवधिकार आयोग ने लिखा है कि वह अब इस मामले में कुछ नहीं कर सकता क्योंकि इसको लेकर एक मुक़दमा अदालत में दर्ज है.

Soyabean & Real Estate

Okie these are just two news items from ET. Each one of them is about the commodity which is driving economic development of Indore.

NEW DELHI: Realty firm Parsvnath Developers Ltd today said it would build a group housing project at Indore in Madhya Pradesh, with an expected realisation of about Rs 60 crore.

"The realisation from the project is approximately Rs 60 crore and is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2011," the company said in a statement.

The group housing project 'Parsvnath Premier' is spread over 6.3 acres and is part of a 200-acre integrated township. The company would develop 300 units covering 4.11 lakh sq ft of saleable area.

In the township, Parsvnath is also coming up with an IT/ ITeS Special Economic Zone (SEZ) spread over 76 acres. The SEZ has already been notified by the Centre.

In Madhya Pradesh, it is also developing another township at Ujjain on 100 acres of area.

Parsvnath is currently developing 114 projects across the country covering 211.32 million sq ft of saleable area.

For the year ended March 2008, it posted a consolidated revenue of Rs 1,837.12 crore and a net profit of Rs 424.39

NEW DELHI: India has contracted exports of 200,000 tonnes of soymeal to Indonesia, Singapore and Taiwan at $450 per tonne, launching new season shipments at prices 56 percent above last year's early deals, a top trade official said.

Soymeal would be exported in small containers, not bulk shipments, to enable traders to save on freight costs, Rajesh Agarwal, coordinator of the Soybean Processors' Association of India, told Reuters on Tuesday. He said export prices may rise.

Last year, India struck its first export deal at around $288 per tonne but prices gradually rose as demand grew and supplies fell due to a strike by farmers in Argentina. The country, Asia's biggest supplier of soymeal, is likely to export a record 5.5 million tonnes of soymeal in the current crop year that ends this month, buoyed by strong demand from traditional buyers in southeast Asia.

Demand for protein-rich feedstocks like soymeal has been rising rapidly due to greater consumption of poultry products globally, analysts say. In the year to September 2009, exports are likely to be over 5 million tonnes, but it was premature to forecast accurately, Agarwal said.

"It is early to arrive at a concrete figure for our soybean crop, but we are very optimistic as the area under soybean is much higher than last year," he said. Farmers planted soybean on 9.54 million hectares between June 1 and September 5, up 9.2 per cent on year, government data showed.

Trade officials say India's soybean output is likely to rise to 10.2 million tonnes in 2008 from 10 million tonnes last year. The Solvent Extractors' Association of India, a leading trade body, on Monday said exports of soymeal in August more than quadrupled to 212,310 tonnes from 46,720 tonnes.

India grows nine oilseeds in a year but only one soybean crop, which is planted in June and harvested in October. Analysts say India gained from the farmers strike in Argentina, the world's biggest exporter, and a rise in freight costs forced Thailand, South Korea and Japan to turn to the South Asian country.