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Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)
Saturday, 02 December 2017 11:19

DHARNA AT PARLIAMENT STREET IN SUPPORT OF BHANGAR MOVEMENT

ON 22nd November from 12 noon a dharna was organized at parliament Street, New Delhi in which people of Bhangar, South 24 Parganas, W. Bengal, along with members of Delhi basthi Suraksha Manch and other supporters of "Committee for Protection of Land, Livelihood, Ecology and Environment" participated in large numbers. Comrade Sharmistha along ith two leaders of the Bhangar Committee went to the Power Ministry and handed over the memorandum, explaining the need for immediate by the central ministry to address the demands of the villagers.

Comrades Sharmistha, Zakur Ali from Bhangar Committee, Vimal (secretary of Delhi Red Star committee), Jyothi from Basthi Raksha Committee and others addressed the dharna explaining the one year old people’s resistance going on at Bhangar, appealing support of all progressive forces.

After dharna following memorandum was submitted to the Ministry of Power

THE Committee for Protection of Land, Livelihood, Ecology and Environment representing over 50,000 villagers affected by the 400/220 KV Rajarhat powergrid substation project undertaken by the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited.

We have been protesting against this project which was supposed to have been set up at Rajarhat in the North 24 Paraganas district of West Bengal, but which was shifted to the South Paraganas district and set up among fertile multi-crop farmlands and vast wetlands for some unknown reason, for many years now. However, all our representations to the PGCIL as well as the W Bengal govt. have fallen on deaf years. Instead, the West Bengal government has unleashed a reign of terror over the affected villages, arresting scores of people and even killing two villagers.

We would like to bring to your notice that the project has come up flouting every single rule and procedure related to the Right of Way and other safety measures. 440 KV transmission lines have been put up over brick kilns, schools, houses and other buildings, without any regard for ground distance. The SF6 gas insulated substation has been set up bang in the middle of a densely populated village. Dozens of transmission towers have been set up over wetlands and farmlands. The lives and livelihoods of the villagers as well as the ecology and environment are under risk of severe electromagnetic pollution. There has already been one instance of coolant leaking from the substation and spoiling crops of the adjoining fields.

PGCIL has not undertaken the mandatory process of consultation with the villagers. All land has been acquired forcibly and at gunpoint.

Under the circumstances, we have been demanding dialogue with the state government and the PGCIL authorities for over a year now. However, our demands have been answered by brute terror.

A vast range of experts suggest that the completion of this project will spell doom for all the villages over which the transmission lines run, because of zero compliance with Right of Way and Ground Clearance standards and because of the impending electromagnetic pollution. A project of this kind is not supposed to be set up over fertile farmlands and wetlands. It was supposed to have been set up in Rajarhat, but due to some unknown reason it has been shifted to the villages of South 24 Paraganas.

We oppose this project and demand dialogue. We seek your urgent intervention in the matter to facilitate dialogue between the villagers and the authorities. We also seek your intervention with the West Bengal state government to ensure a stop to the state terror to which we are subject. We look forward to speedy redressal

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