While the chance of doing this seem to have been ruled out at Posco (http://www.financialexpress.com/news/fe-editorial-wasnt-so-tough-was-it/703403/), the environment ministry is working with the airport developer at Navi Mumbai to ensure the airport takes off with the damage to the environment minimised. Why cant this approach be used all the time
Fortunately for her, just the day before, Ramesh had sent a notice to the Congress-ruled Andhra Pradesh government on the Pollavaram dam, which displaces more people and submerges more land than the Sardar Sarovar project. Since there were no public hearings on the project till now, and Ramesh had cancelled projects like Vedanta, and likely Posco, on these very grounds, his activism looked very one-sidedBJD MP Jay Panda wrote as much in The Financial Express (http://www.financialexpress.com/ news/column-different-strokes-for-different-folks/ 689618/0). Panda argued that while the AP governments word had been accepted that it would get the relevant approvals from affected communities, the Orissa governments word that it would do the same had not been accepted in the case of Niyamgiri.
Interestingly, while the environment formed one part of Gandhis speech, other parts were reserved for other entitlements the UPA was offering like job guarantees and subsidised food. None of Gandhis speechwriters saw any connection, certainly none worth talking to the larger political audience, between growth and employment or poverty reduction. It is probably a coincidence then that the areas which have the poorest economic growth have the largest number of poor
Equally interesting, as was highlighted by most reportage on the AICC session yesterday, the word corruption was conspicuous by its absence in any leaders speech even though the Adarsh episode is still playing out and it was just a few days ago that judges in the Supreme Court asked why telecom minister A Raja was still part of the Cabinet despite his giving away licences at bargain-basement prices; the Shunglu probe into the CWG is also something that has just about begun. One newspaper, Mail Today, had a picture of the AICC delegates splashed across two pages, highlighting some of the tainted persons in the picture such as Maharashtra CM Ashok Chavan and ex-CM Vilasrao Deshmukh.
Given his carefully crafted image as a protector of the downtrodden (Ramesh cancelled the Niyamgiri project just in time for Rahul Gandhi to go and proclaim that he had saved the tribals mountain), Congress scion Rahul Gandhi gave his Bharat-India speech, talking of an India of the rich, which was progressing, and that of the poor, which was closed (bandh) or not functioning. This sounded really good and so got the most cheers but its difficult to understand what the young Gandhi was talking about.
If you look at Bihar where he has spent his last few days running down the Nitish Kumar government, you sense a disconnect. Bihars GDP growth, it is true, was a low 4.72% in 2009-10, but this was on the back of a stupendous 16.59% the year before (the year in which India grew at 6.7%). Five years ago, Bihars GDP was Rs 65,995 crore (at 1999-00 prices) while Haryanas was Rs 76,012 crore; in 2009-10, Bihar was Rs 1,09,420 crore versus Haryanas 1,20,407 crorethat is, in the Nitish period, the erstwhile Bimaru state grew at a rate which was faster than that of Haryana. Ironically, Congress-ruled states like Andhra Pradesh have grown very poorly in the last few years. Even Uttar Pradesh, which the Gandhi heir would likely to classify as bandh or closed, has grown faster in the last few yearsat 7.21% in 2008-09, it grew faster than Maharashtras 3.39%, Karnataka and Tamil Nadus 4.55%; its 6.56% in 2009-10 was also higher than Tamil Nadus 5.53% and Karnatakas 5.54%.
When it comes to rural India as a whole, which is termed Bharat and generally seen to be a stagnant pool, it actually accounts for 40-50% of demand for scooters and motorcycles. NCAER-CMCR data show that in 1994-2005, Indias Net National Product rose 6.2% per annumrural NNP rose 5% and urban 8.1%. In 2005-10, rural rose 6.9% and urban 10.2so the differential fell. In 2010-15, while overall NNP growth is projected at 8.8%, rural is likely to grow 7% versus 10.5% for urban India. So hows Bharat getting left behind
Right now it looks as if the only part of India that is not working is the political class. Surely the young Gandhi wasnt alluding to this