E-Governance for Conservation

Participation of villagers in shifting due to dam construction

Posted by Susan Sharma on January 26, 2006

 
Forum Post

“Participatory Rule Appraisal” (PRA) appears to be paying dividends to the West Godavari district administration in  implementing the relief and rehabilitation package meant for the people of 29 villages who had to be displaced due to the construction of Polavaram project.

Under PRA, the role of district administration will be minimal. The concept, the brainchild of West Godavari district Collector Luv Agarwal sounds interesting. In case of Devaragondi and Mamidigondi villages, the district administration limited its role to explaining the salient features of the package and identified several places suitable for rehabilitating the displaced. The villagers visited all the places and themselves chose where they wished to stay.

“Now, we will ask the people to choose the plots where they want their houses to be constructed. Once, all the villagers identify the plots, construction of houses will be handed over to the NGOs,” says West Godavari district Collector Luv Agarwal .

As per the project schedule, people of seven villages have to be first rehabilitated in the new villages within three years. By the time, all this is over, the people will develop some attachment too to their new habitations, the Collector said. Though PAR is a time consuming process, its sustainability is more and the chances of irregularities are less, the Collector added. According to him, the State government has already cleared the proposals pertaining to Devaragondi and Mamidigondi villages and the process is on for the remaining habitations.

E-Governance for Conservation

Iniernet kiosks in rural areas

Posted by Susan Sharma on January 26, 2006

 
Forum Post

n-Logue  was established to serve the information and communications needs of people living in small towns and rural areas of India.

To rapidly scale its operations, the company employs a three-tiered business model based on the belief that delivery and management of Internet services should devolve to the level of the supply chain that comes closest to the user of the service. This decentralised model of operation draws, in large part, from the success of cable TV operations in India.

At the top level is n-Logue, which provides equipment, training and support to the LSPs(Local Service Providers) and kiosks, and also takes care of regulatory and connectivity issues.

At the second level, n-Logue identifies and partners with a local entrepreneur (also called a Local Service Provider or LSP) in every area it wishes to operate. These LSPs find subscribers, provide services and collect payments.

At the bottom level are the village kiosks, which provide services and information aimed at the rural market. With the help of n-Logue, the LSPs recruits the local entrepreneurs who set up the kiosks.

Thus there are up to three business entities involved in the operation - n-Logue, the LSP and a kiosk operator. All three must thrive for the operation to succeed.

Prof. Jhunjhunwallah of IIT Madras who is behind making available an Internet kiosk for just Rs 40,000 (around US$830) that could link up thousands of villages in the country has this to say

” Since we're talking about low investments we can create an army of rural entrepreneurs. They could avail of small loans to set up their own rural STD phone-cum-Internet centres," These small rural businessmen will be 50 per cent partners, and since they will be from the local areas in which they operate they will have far better contact with those with whom they work. In a 25km radius, they expect to find buyers for 500 to 700 connections. These may be individuals, government offices, schools and, most importantly, Internet kiosks that allow access to everyone. This level of operation should make a LSP viable, says Dr Jhunjhunwala.

Even if the numbers don't come in immediately, they will in a year's time when people start realising how new communication technologies empower them. Work towards this end is already underway at Cuddalore district, in India's southernmost province of Tamil Nadu. The technology is also being successfully implemented in Madurai (also in Tamil Nadu) and Dhar in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Likewise, the project is taking hold in Bagru of Rajasthan and Sangrur in north India. "We could have a million subscribers in three to four years. It's possible." Simultaneously, Jhunjhunwala is inspiring youngsters to work on rural Internet applications.

And also on offer is word-processing in the local Tamil language, a mail-client in Tamil, IRC (Internet Relay Chat) or voice-mail in the local language and an agricultural portal in the regional language. "We're adopting two key elements. Affordability, since everything is very low cost, and involving a local person in providing the solutions," says Professor Jhunjhunwala, explaining his model.

Thus far n-Logue has implemented the project in four centres. "The first-level feedback has been extremely encouraging. We have kiosks running in the middle of Madhya Pradesh where the average revenue a kiosk man makes is Rs 4,500 per month. Net of expenses, he makes Rs 3,000 per month, which makes him a rich man in that village,"

Interlinking of Rivers

Jawaharlal Nehru on large projects

Posted by Susan Sharma on January 25, 2006

 
Forum Post

" The idea of doing big undertakings or doing big tasks for the sake of showing that we can do big things, is not a good outlook at all. For it is the small irrigation projects, the small industries and the small plants for electric power which will change the face of the country, far more than a dozen big projects in half a dozen places."

The then Prime minister drew his audience's attention to "the national upsets, upsets of the people moving out and their rehabilitation and many other things associated with a big project." These upheavels would be on a lesser scale in a smaller scheme, enabling the State to "get a good deal of what is called public co-peration".

-From a volume of Nehru's speeches on science and society, published 1988.

community reserves

Tribal Rights Bill

Posted by Susan Sharma on January 24, 2006

 
Forum Post

On December1, 2005 the Union Cabinet gave its approval to the revised Scheduled Tribes (Recognition of Forest Rights) Bill.

One of the major changes in the final Bill is that the ambiguity in cut off date for determining tribal rights over land has been removed and October 25, 1980, has been made the cut-off date.

The second major change pertains to rights of tribals in national parks and sanctuaries. Tribal inhabitants would be given provisional pattas with a clear caveat that they could be relocated. "They would have right to acreage but not to land."

The third deviation is that forest officials would be involved at every stage in the process of granting land rights to tribals. Non-tribal forest dwellers will be settled according to the settlement rules of the environment and forests ministry.

There is no change in the long list of forest rights given to tribals as well as the provision that the right conferred shall be heritable but not alienable or transferable. Similarly, there is no change as far as duties -most concerning conservation of flora and fauna-of the holder of forest rights are concerned.

E-Governance for Conservation

West Bengal Grameen Sanchar Sewak Scheme

Posted by Susan Sharma on January 08, 2006

 
Forum Post

The Grameen Sanchar Sewak (GSS) scheme, kickstarted by BSNL and the Department of Posts in 2002, is ready to be regularised and go national.

The GSS scheme, which began with the idea of employing rural postmen to carry mobile phones from door-to-door in 12,001 villages, has tapped into the 7,000-strong network of self-employed people that Grasso( Grameen Sanchar Society)-a non-governmental organization -uses to carry phones to far-flung locations. 

Grasso-subsidized by BSNL for the gSS scheme- has provided mobile reach to 93% of West Bengal's 34 blocks.  They are now planning Common Service Centres(CSCs) in the State's 3,357 gram panchayats.  The CSCs are to be a hu for about 20 services, ranging from electriity bill payment, tea and coffee to commodity trading, warehousing and cold storage. 

Interlinking of Rivers

Centre shelves Pamba-Vaippar river-linking project

Posted by Susan Sharma on January 07, 2006

 
Forum Post
The Union Government has shelved the controversial project to link the Pamba and Achenkovil rivers of Kerala with Vaippar river in Tamil Nadu. The Kerala Legislative Assembly and the State Government have been appealing to the Union Government to give up the river linking project. The letter from the Union Government says: "It has taken note of the resolution of the Kerala Legislative Assembly and has decided not to treat the Pamba-Achenkovil-Vaippar Link as a priority link, for consensus-building purpose."

Tiger Task Force Report

National Tiger Conservation Authority

Posted by Susan Sharma on December 18, 2005

 
Forum Post

The Cabinet on 16/12/05 approved the constitution of a National Tiger Conservation Authority.

Contrary to rising hopes and expectations that the Prime Minister will head the Tiger Conservation Authority, it is the Environment Minister who will head the authority.

The Authority will get statutory and administrative powers to implement the recommendations of the Tiger Task Force.

Tiger Task Force Report

IWC Chat

Posted by Susan Sharma on December 18, 2005

 
Forum Post

The topic for our monthly chat on 18December 2005 was "Tiger Task Force Report".

You can read the chat transcript at the following link

http://www.indianwildlifeclub.com/mainsite/ChatTranscript.asp

Those of you who missed the chat, are welcome to write your comments in this blog.

Tiger Task Force Report

Read the report!

Posted by Susan Sharma on December 18, 2005

 
Forum Post

The Tiger Task Force has submitted its report. The report brings out some glaring facts. Read the report at this link

http://projecttiger.nic.in/TTF2005/contents.htm

"In the last 30 years, only 80-odd villages have been relocated from all 28 reserves. There are another 1,500 existing inside, of which 250 are within core areas of tiger reserves, which must be relocated. Relocating them will cost Rs 660 crore at the minimum, in terms of the meager relocation package government works with today, and without accounting for land costs. If this is taken into account, then the estimated cost is Rs 11,000 crore. "

What is suggested is a time-bound programme to identify those villages that must be relocated because  they are located inside crucial tiger habitats. It is also suggested that, unlike the past, this relocation must be done speedily and sensitively, "with careful consideration of the needs of people."

The chair person also says that if we do not make peace with the communities who share the tigers’ home, we will lose the war of conservation tiger by tiger.

Identifying the cause for a crisis situation is certainly the first step towards a solution. Let us think solutions now! How can we have the communities become stakeholders in tourism for example? Any suggestions?

Interlinking of Rivers

Polavaram Project-Controversy

Posted by Susan Sharma on December 16, 2005

 
Forum Post

The Orissa government has objected to the construction of the Polavaram project on the ground that the 150 ft high dam will submerge several villages and agricultural lands in that State and displace hundreds of tribal families and others. T

The Orissa Chief Minister has addressed letters to the A.P Chief Minister resenting the latter’s decision to go ahead with the execution of the project without consulting Orissa. The letter to the Central Water Commission expresses ire at the clearances given without referring them to his government.

It is understood that construction has started based on a 1980 interstate agreement signed by the three riparian states-Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa. In the intervening 25 years the cost of rehabilitation and resettlement would have gone up considerably. A meeting between the two Chief Ministers is likely to settle the issue politically.

Share this page:

Join Us    

Download IWC Android app     IWC Android app



Copyright © 2001 - 2019 Indian Wildlife Club. All Rights Reserved. | Terms of Use

Website developed and managed by Alok Kaushik