Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thought of the day - 1st December 2010

Simplicity is your key to getting accepted everywhere and by everyone; while on the other hand holding a complex nature will make things difficult for you in all situations…



Ranjan Panda

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thought of the day - 30th November 2010

Not adversaries but our attitude to deal with those is important in pursuing our missions…


Ranjan Panda

Friday, November 26, 2010

Today's Pick - Economic Boom Worsened De-industrialisation of LCDs

Economic Boom Worsened De-industrialisation of LDCs

by Isolda Agazzi
GENEVA - Least developed countries (LDCs) in Africa did not use the commodity export boom of the mid-2000s to diversify their economies from commodity dependence to manufacturing value-added products. Significantly, the agricultural sector has also not benefited, with the result that LDC reliance on imported food has become even worse.

[A Burkina Faso rubbish dump. A UN report estimates that the number of people living in extreme poverty has doubled globally in the last 30 years. (Image: Marco Bellucci)
]A Burkina Faso rubbish dump. A UN report estimates that the number of people living in extreme poverty has doubled globally in the last 30 years. (Image: Marco Bellucci)
These are some of the findings of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), which released its 2010 report on least developed countries (LDCs), entitled "Towards a new international development architecture for LDCs", on Nov 25.
Dr Supachai Panitchpakdi, UNCTAD secretary-general, referred at the launch of the report to the average growth rate of seven percent per year that least developed countries (LDCs) experienced during the boom period of 2002- 2007.
"But higher commodity prices -- of mainly oil and gas -- have not solved the issues of price fluctuation and dependence on commodity export," he noted. This pattern of growth is "non-sustainable" and "non-inclusive".

"Globalisation has not treated everyone equally," added Zeljka Kozul-Wright, chief of the LDCs section at UNCTAD. "LDCs are on the losing side because of their dependence on commodities export. During the boom period, dependence on commodities export increased while manufacturing sectors declined.

"This issue of de-industrialisation is a major concern for us."

Panitchpakdi pointed out that one of the reasons for LDCs’ economic woes has been excessively rapid market opening: "In order to benefit from full liberalisation, governments have to implement industrial policies.

"In Africa, countries under structural adjustment programmes could not have industrial policies and therefore there was no preparation of industries for them to benefit from liberalisation. In Zambia, for example, there has been a complete demise of the textile industry. Liberalisation must be (correctly) sequenced," he added.

For Kozul-Wright, Asian LDCs have succeeded in diversifying more than African ones, especially with regards labour-intensive manufactures. But that approach also has its problems because today they cannot increase their value addition. "The promotion of a ‘one-size-fits-all’ development strategy has not helped," she said.

The consequence of these problems has been an increase in poverty. The report estimates that the number of people in extreme poverty in LDCs increased by three million annually during the boom years, reaching an estimated 421 million in 2007 – twice as many as in 1980.

This figure represents 53 percent of the total population of the LDCs, where one billion people are expected to be living in 2017.

During the same time, "food import dependence has been devastating", said Panitchpakdi, rising from nine billion dollars in costs in 2002 to 24 billion dollars in 2008.

Believing that "business as usual will not deliver inclusive growth in the LDCs", UNCTAD proposes a "New International Economic Architecture" that goes beyond aid and trade to include technology, commodities and climate change.

In the area of finance, UNCTAD bemoans the shortfall of 23 billion dollars per year in official development assistance and advocates a balanced distribution of aid between social uses and productive capacity.

It proposes innovative ways of financing and supports co-financing initiatives with the private sector, particularly in the field of infrastructure. Debt relief programmes will have to be enhanced in the post-crisis situation, as the number of heavily indebted LDCs is on the rise.

Regarding trade, UNCTAD reiterated the call for "an early harvest in the Doha Round for LDCs, with measures such as 100 percent duty-free and quota-free market access and conditionalities being minimised".

On the question of whether the Doha Round would not exacerbate de- industrialisation in LDCs, Panitchpakdi answered that it "depends on the ultimate composition of the final deal of the Round.

"In NAMA (the non-agricultural market access negotiations) we have to be able to maintain the (original) developmental perspective of the Round to help countries diversify; get value addition; deal with tariff peaks and escalation; and eliminate all trade distortions. We should not add and add agendas in NAMA."

As for commodities, the report suggests rethinking the way counter-cyclical financing is done to cope with the adverse effects of fluctuating prices. Counter-cyclical financing is financing that does not follow the current predominant economic cycle.

There is a need for transaction tax on trade in commodity derivatives (financial instruments linked to future prices of underlying assets) and for more schemes to deal with the stabilisation of commodity prices. Panitchpakdi indicated concern over the excess of liquidity driving up the prices of maize and wheat in 2010.

In the field of technology, the World Trade Organisation’s Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs) agreement should be carefully looked at, for it has not been implemented in a way that benefit developing countries.

Industrialised states have to adopt policies to incentivise technology transfer to LDCs. It is a moral obligation, not a legal one, but the agreement does not specify incentives, according to UNCTAD.

Finally, in the area of climate change -- where LDCs contribute only one percent of total greenhouse emissions, but suffer most heavily from the consequences -- an adequate financing of the already existing mechanisms is necessary.

"Cutting across all these measures is the need for LDCs to work more with fellow countries from the South," Panitchpakdi reiterated, like many times before.

"They should benefit more from South-South cooperation and triangular cooperation with the North. The new global governance cannot be dominated by powerful countries, like in the Group of 20. LDCs must participate in global governance."

Source: Inter Press Service.

Thought of the day - 27th November 2010

The journey from self to society is that from darkness to light...




Ranjan Panda

My Photos - 26th November 2010

Album: Different Strokes...


Appearance...


Tired...


Pointillism...


Inviolable...


Inept...


Edgewise...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Day to Day Life...

Day to Day Life...



Thought of the day - 26th November 2010

Inspirational gurus of our days motivate us to live today to the fullest as if tomorrow doesn’t exist.  Making this an attitude will be detrimental to our harmonious co-existence with nature; hence fatal…




Ranjan Panda

Profit from poor.

Dear All,


Please click the following link to read this reality piece on Microfinance companies and the devastating acts they are doing. The situation is same in Odisha too.


Thanks and regards,


Ranjan

Water Initiatives Odisha: Fighting water woes, combating climate change... more than two decades now !

http://www.downtoearth.org.in/node/2256

Profit from the poor
Author(s): Richard Mahapatra, Arnab Pratim Dutta
Source: Down To Earth, Issue: Nov 30, 2010
Fifty-four suicides in Andhra Pradesh have blown the lid off the social posturing by microfinance companies. Before the news of the deaths sank in, the country feted Vikram Akula, head of SKS Micro-finance, as the new messiah of microcredit. A 273 per cent growth in loan disbursement and returns to investors made him a national hero. India’s micro-finance institutions claim they followed the fabled Grameen Bank model of Bangla desh. In reality, they went against its principles. And the government did not do enough; regulations are fleeting and they don’t touch where it hurts most: the high interest rates.

Orissa high court blow for Vedanta | Down To Earth

Orissa high court blow for Vedanta | Down To Earth

Panel to review Posco project - Hindustan Times

Panel to review Posco project - Hindustan Times

Thought of the day - 25th November 2010

Ecology is the only religion and ideology that one can follow blindly.  For anything else on the earth, if we are blind followers, we cannot claim ourselves educated & conscious…


Ranjan Panda

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Climate Change News: Global.

Greenhouse Gases At Record Levels: UN Agency

Date: 25-Nov-10

Author: Jonathan Lynn
Greenhouse Gases At Record Levels: UN Agency Photo: Reuters/Kham
A sunset is seen in the background of a chimney of a concrete factory in Hanoi, Vietnam, April 19, 2010.
Photo: Reuters/Kham
Concentrations of the main greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have reached their highest level since pre-industrial times, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Wednesday.
Concentrations of the gases continued to build up in 2009 -- the latest year of observations -- despite the economic slowdown, the U.N. weather agency said in its latest Greenhouse Gas Bulletin.
Rises in the amount of greenhouse gases increase radiation in the atmosphere, warming the surface of the Earth and causing climate change.
"The main long-lived greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide have reached their highest recorded levels since the beginning of the industrial age, and this despite the recent economic slowdown," WMO Deputy Secretary-General Jeremiah Lengoasa told a briefing.
The findings will be studied at a U.N. meeting in Cancun, Mexico, from November 29 to December 10 to discuss climate change.
Total radiative forcing of all long-lived greenhouse gases -- the balance between radiation coming into the atmosphere and radiation going out -- increased by 1.0 percent in 2009 and rose by 27.5 percent from 1990 to 2009, the WMO said.
The growth rates for carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide were smaller than in 2008, but this had only a marginal impact on the long-lasting concentrations.
It would take about 100 years for carbon dioxide to disappear from the atmosphere if emissions stopped completely.
Carbon dioxide is the single most important greenhouse gas caused by human activity, contributing 63.5 percent of total radiative forcing. Its concentration has increased by 38 percent since 1750, mainly because of emissions from burning fossil fuels, deforestation and changes in land use, the WMO said.
Natural emissions of methane due for example to the melting of the Arctic icecap or increased rainfall on wetlands -- themselves caused by global warming -- are becoming more significant, it said.
This could create a "feedback loop" in which global warming releases large quantities of methane into the atmosphere which then contribute to further global warming.
These natural emissions could be the reason why methane has increased in the atmosphere over the past three years after nearly a decade of no growth, the WMO said.
Human activities such as cattle-rearing, rice planting, fossil-fuel exploitation and landfills account for 60 percent of methane emissions, with natural sources accounting for the rest.
Source: Reuters.
    

Climate Change and Agriculture.

Climate Kills 
Vegetable farming in Odisha is worst hit by the continuing heat.  As the winter is yet to set in, crops will have both retarded growth and increased pest attack.  


Ranjan Panda

Water Initiatives Odisha: Fighting water woes, combating climate change... more than two decades now!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thought of the day - 24th November 2010

The hundreds of justifications one cooks, in following the falsehood, are false.  On the other hand, one needs no justification to follow truthfulness...

  
Ranjan Panda

Monday, November 22, 2010

NDTV Green Awards.

Dear Friends and Well Wishers,

Greetings!

I am happy to share with you that the NDTV (one of India's premier news channels) just informed me that I am one of the finalists for NDTV's first national Greenies Award.  

The NDTV 24x7, their English news channel, is showing profile of our work through out the day today in most of their news.  

The programme narrates about the participatory approaches of water harvesting models we have been propagating at very low cost for drought proofing western Odisha.  It also shows the lobby and advocacy works we have been facilitating.

Hope you can find time to watch that and encourage us.

Thanks for all your love, support and good wishes which has helped us reach here.

With regards,

Ranjan Panda

Water Initiatives Odisha: Fighting water woes, combating climate change... more than two decades now!

Thought of the day - 23rd November 2010

A break is a good opportunity to build…


Ranjan Panda

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Yet another woman farmer ends life.

Dear All,

Adding to the shame on our state, another woman farmer ends her life.

Dileswari Patel, a 40 year old farmer from Purnapani village in Kuchinda block, consumed poison owing to crop failure.  Dileswari had taken up farming of paddy on 10 acres but due to failed monsoon she was hopeful of harvesting only on one and half acres.  Reports said she had taken loan from various sources including Microfinance and Kisan Credit Card. 

On 26th of August, not very far from Kuchinda, in Phalsabahal village under Jamankira block, another woman farmer Soudamini Naik had committed suicide earning the state a dubious distinction, of first women farmer suicide.  

It is high time the state and its machineries look towards the farmers and other distressed people rather than devoting energy defending environmental crimes of Vedanta, POSCO, JSPL and all such industries.  

Thanks and regards,

Ranjan Panda

Water Initiatives Odisha: Fighting water woes, combating climate change... more than two decades now!

Mobile: +919437050103
Email: ranjanpanda@gmail.comranjanpanda@yahoo.com

Skype: ranjan.climatecrusader

Thought of the day - 22nd November 2010

Deriving pleasure and deciding actions from listening to self-praise that’s undue is perhaps one the most self-damaging acts human beings do…


Ranjan Panda

Friday, November 19, 2010

Today's Pick - Shripad Dhamadhikary's article.

Dear All,


Please read the following link for Shripad's article on the Hydropower Sustainability Assessment Protocol in September 2010 brought out by the hydro power industry.  


Ranjan Panda


============== 
http://www.indiatogether.org/2010/nov/opi-protocol.htm

The Protocol of vested interests 
The hydropower industry's Protocol is an inside job - developed by the industry, to be administered by its consultants, who will work closely with project promoters, writesShripad Dharmadhikary. 

Thought of the day - 20th November 2010

At life’s cross roads, when you face tough tests, remember that God has already taken two decisions for you.  One, you can take only one path; and two, no one else but you have to take that…


Ranjan Panda

My Article - farmer suicides

Special Reports 
 Soudamini’s ultimate price for debt

On 26 August 2010, for the first time in Orissa, a 
woman farmer committed suicide. The reason was
 the fear of not being able to pay back the loans that 
she had taken for tilling her land, as her crop had failed. 
Ranjan K Panda brings to fore the issues underlying this 
case; issues that hold true not only for one case or state, but, perhaps, for the entire nation.


Source: http://terragreen.teriin.org/index.php?option=com_terragreen&task=detail&section_id=851&category_id=9&issueid=42

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Latest on ADB

ADB's private equity funds, the new enemies of our common water future
By Ranjan Panda

ADB’s latest announcement of its huge investment in private equity fund in water infrastructure is clear cut evidence of how it plans to hand over out water future to the private sector. Our government must critically analyze ADB’s investment game plans before succumbing to its IWRM mantra. We once again urge upon the government of Odisha to plan our water future with our people and not with external consultants hired by ADB and other such ambassadors of the private sector. 

ADB's private equity will spell doom for our common water future. Photo by Ranjan Panda/Water Initiative OdishaSAMBALPUR, 17 Nov 10 -- In pursuance with its aggressive water sector reforms agenda intended to help private sector and corporates seize control over water resources of our region, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has just announced a huge investment of up to $20 million for its first-ever investment in a private equity fund solely focused on supporting the development of water-related infrastructure in the People’s republic of China and Southeast Asia. 

We at Water Initiatives Orissa (WIO) expected this especially after going through the recent evaluation report of the ADB’s water sector programmes, which has advocated that the bank should aggressively push through reforms in the water sector through all such measures. Today, when the ADB announced that it is going to invest in the first fund on Water Infrastructure in Asia, our apprehensions came true. 

According to a release from ADB, Robert van Zwieten, Director of ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department has said that "By taking part in the fund, ADB will catalyze more private investment in mainstream water sector development in Asia, which in turn will help spur sustainable growth and improve living standards in the region." This is going to promote direct control of private sector over our water resources and restrict the welfare role of the nations and provinces, we allege.

Farmers and rural poor will be the losers. Photo by Ranjan Panda/Water Initiative OdishaThe ADB release reveals that the fund, to be managed by AmInvestment Group, is targeting investments in municipal, industrial and rural water and wastewater treatment plants, and water rehabilitation. The target fund size is $100 million, with an anticipated first closing of $40 million this year. It will inject around $5 million to $10 million per investment. 

"The fund will aim to mitigate risks through geographic and sector portfolio diversification, by contracting reputable engineering groups, by investing in companies with high corporate governance and financial management standards, and by seeking a majority ownership stake in each investment," said another representative M. Shin Kim, Head of Private Equity in ADB's Private Sector Operations Department. The release also says that the fund will seek out projects that engage engineering companies with strong proven track records in the sector and a willingness to invest their own equity, helping to generate both strong returns and greater private sector participation.

The opportunity for increased private involvement in water has increased over the past 2 years with government finances strained by the global crisis, and the regulatory environment in Asia gradually moving towards full-cost recovery, making such investments more cost-effective. In this new era of global control over water resources poor states like Odisha will fall easy victims of such designs and in the coming years the private sector players will emerge as masters of our water future, WIO apprehends.  

These are dangerous game plans of the ADB and will supplement to the evil designs of the corporate biased Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) plan that are being pushed through in undemocratic ways in the state of Odisha and elsewhere. We are opposed to this.

On 11 November, we had urged upon the government of Odisha to scrap the technical report submitted by consultants of ADB as it has not consulted the major stakeholders of water resources in the state; is technically flawed in assessing the water availability situation at present and in a climate change regime; and as it is biased towards the corporates. We apprehend that with such new game plans, which is just going to add to the current evil designs, the people of Odisha are going to have a doomed water future as most of water resources will go into the hands of private sector investors and corporates which are eying on the water resources meant for irrigation and other uses for their own profit.  

We therefore once again urge upon the government of Odisha to scrap the technical report submitted by ADB’s consultants and critically review its engagement with ADB. In water management let the people of the state matter and not any external agency especially the ones who propagate corporate control of water resources in the name of private sector investment.  


Ranjan Panda is the Convenor of Water Initiative Orissa. WIO is a state level coalition of civil society organizations, farmers, academia, media and other concerned, which has been working on water and climate change issues in the state for more than two decades now.



Source: http://www.forum-adb.org/inner.php?sec=4&id=195&b=1

Thought of the day - 19th November 2010

For workaholics, weeks end but weekends never come...


Ranjan Panda

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

U.S. food insecurity at record levels.

Dear All,


The US and its agencies such as the World Bank force us to formulate all draconian policies that increase poverty and insecurity in the name of poverty alleviation.  Time it introspects as poverty and food food insecurity is growing at alarming rate in the US.


Thanks and regards,


Ranjan Panda


=============


U.S. food insecurity at record levels
Narayan Lakshman


14.7 per cent of households faced food insecurity in 2009

— Photo: AFP 


Stark contrasts:A man holds a sign seeking food and work in Miami, Florida in this January 2009 file photo.


Washington: Food insecurity, for decades the bane of developing countries, has, post-recession, assumed worrisome proportions in the world's most powerful nation — the United States.

In a scathing report — Household Food Security in the U.S., 2009 — the U.S. Department of Agriculture revealed that 14.7 per cent of American households faced food insecurity some time during 2009, including 5.7 per cent with very low food security.

The report further said in households with “severe range of food insecurity”, food intake of its members dropped and eating patterns “were disrupted at times during the year”.

While the latest figures for food insecurity and very low food security showed only a slight increase from their 2008 levels of 14.6 per cent and 5.7 per cent respectively, they, nonetheless, hover at the highest recorded levels since 1995, when the first national food security survey was conducted.

Highlighting the significant inequalities in food resource availability across U.S. households, the USDA report noted that the typical food-secure household spent a whopping 33 per cent more on food than the typical food-insecure household of the same size and household composition.

Also, indicating a racial divide in food security, the report found the rates of food insecurity among African-American and Hispanic households were substantially higher than the national average. Further, such insecurity was higher among households with incomes near or below the federal poverty line and among households with children headed by single parents, the report said. The USDA report was based on data from an annual survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau as a supplement to its monthly Current Population Survey.

The USDA said the 2009 food security survey covered about 46,000 households and it asked one adult respondent in each household a series of questions about experiences and behaviours that indicate food insecurity, such as being unable, at times, to afford balanced meals, cutting the size of meals because of too little money for food, or being hungry because of too little money for food.

The food security status of the household was assigned based on the number of food-insecure conditions reported.

State flayed on water cess for industries

State flayed on water cess for industries

Staff Reporter


The Orissa Irrigation (Amendment) Rules, 2010 is heavily tilted in favour of the industries: rights activists


Dubious track record on collection of water cess from industries alleged
State told to ask industries to spell out limit for use of water



BHUBANESWAR: Even as allocation of water for industrial use causes raging controversies in the State, the government has amended the Orissa Irrigation Rules 1961 revising prices for water to be used for non-irrigational purposes.

Water rights activists and other civil society groups alleged that the State government was taking crucial policy decisions without bothering to solicit wider public views.

They said the Orissa Irrigation (Amendment) Rules, 2010 was heavily tilted in favour of the industries.
As per the rules, executive engineers would earmark the bed and off-shore lands of water source free from encumbrances and set it apart for the purpose when industrial, commercial or other establishment propose to draw or lift water from government water source.

A flow meter or measuring device certified and checked by authority concerned would be installed for accurate measurement of quantum of water for the purpose of collection.

As per price fixed by the government through the rules, Rs. 30 will be charged for manufacturing of every 1000 bricks or tiles, 25 paise per 1000 litre for bulk supply to municipalities and NAC, Rs. 7.10 per 1000 litre for construction of commercial buildings.

Meter monitoring

“The State government has left the use and monitoring of water metre to the mercy of industries or commercial establishment without bothering to put a robust monitoring mechanism in place on its own,” said Ranjan Kumar Panda, convenor of Water Initiative of Orissa.

Mr. Panda said given the dubious track records about collection of water cess from industries, it can easily be concluded that the State government gave the legal sanction on “irrational” use of water for industrial purpose.
“State government's sympathy for industries in the matter of water allocation can be gauged from the fact that a clause says government may consider granting concession on the payment of licence fee to any industrial, commercial or other establishment in pursuant to Industrial Policy Resolution,” he said.

The State government has not shown the aggressiveness in the new rules to protect and preserve it water sources which is vital for human consumption and irrigation purpose, the WIO convenor said.

The gazette notification itself admitted that no serious attempt was made to provide a platform for larger public debate on the issue. The notification says, “no objection or suggestion has been received on the said draft.”
Activists said the State government should have spelt out a limit for industries as to how much water they could use. Like electricity consumption, industries should have been asked to pay higher tariff for higher the volume of water they would use, they said.

State's Director of Hydrology and Water Planning, N. K. Mohapatra, however, said fixing price of water for industrial use would ensure water is used in efficient and rational manner. Moreover, fixation of price was meant to bridge wide gap between expenditure on maintenance and recovery of cost.

Photo Art - Flower - 17th November 2010

Photos - Nature Posters - 17th November 2010

Stray Thoughts - 17th November 2010

Everything has its uniqueness...


Ranjan Panda

Private equity funds, the new enemies of our common water future.

Dear All,

Greetings from Water Initiatives Odisha !

Please find below Water Initiatives Odisha's response to ADB's latest water investment game plans that going to give away all our water resources to corporates and private sector investors.

Thanks and regards,

Ranjan Panda

Water Initiatives Odisha: Fighting water woes, combating climate change... more than two decades now!

---------------------------------------------------------------------- 
Private equity funds, the new enemies of our common water future

  • ADB’s latest announcement of its huge investment in private equity fund in water infrastructure is clear cut evidence of how it plans to hand over out water future to the private sector.
  • Our government must critically analyze ADB’s investment game plans before succumbing to its IWRM mantra
  • We once again urge upon the government of Odisha to plan our water future with our people and not with external consultants hired by ADB and other such ambassadors of the private sector.
Sambalpur, 17th November 2010 – In pursuance with its aggressive water sector reforms agenda intended to help private sector and corporates seize control over water resources of our region, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has just announced a huge investment of up to $20 million for its first-ever investment in a private equity fund solely focused on supporting the development of water-related infrastructure in the People’s republic of China and Southeast Asia.

We at Water Initiatives Orissa (WIO) expected this especially after going through the recent evaluation report of the ADB’s water sector programmes, which has advocated that the bank should aggressively push through reforms in the water sector through all such measures.  Today, on 17th November 2010, when the ADB announced that it is going to invest in the first fund on Water Infrastructure in Asia, our apprehensions came true.  According to a release from ADB, Robert van Zwieten, Director of ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department has said that "By taking part in the fund, ADB will catalyze more private investment in mainstream water sector development in Asia, which in turn will help spur sustainable growth and improve living standards in the region." This is going to promote direct control of private sector over our water resources and restrict the welfare role of the nations and provinces, we allege.

The ADB release reveals that the fund, to be managed by AmInvestment Group, is targeting investments in municipal, industrial and rural water and wastewater treatment plants, and water rehabilitation. The target fund size is $100 million, with an anticipated first closing of $40 million this year. It will inject around $5 million to $10 million per investment. "The fund will aim to mitigate risks through geographic and sector portfolio diversification, by contracting reputable engineering groups, by investing in companies with high corporate governance and financial management standards, and by seeking a majority ownership stake in each investment," said another representative M. Shin Kim, Head of Private Equity in ADB's Private Sector Operations Department.  The release also says that the fund will seek out projects that engage engineering companies with strong proven track records in the sector and a willingness to invest their own equity, helping to generate both strong returns and greater private sector participation. The opportunity for increased private involvement in water has increased over the past 2 years with government finances strained by the global crisis, and the regulatory environment in Asia gradually moving towards full-cost recovery, making such investments more cost-effective.  In this new era of global control over water resources poor states like Odisha will fall easy victims of such designs and in the coming years the private sector players will emerge as masters of our water future, WIO apprehends.  

These are dangerous game plans of the ADB and will supplement to the evil designs of the corporate biased Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) plan that are being pushed through in undemocratic ways in the state of Odisha and elsewhere.  We are opposed to this.

On 11th of November we had urged upon the government of Odisha to scrap the technical report submitted by consultants of ADB as it has not consulted the major stakeholders of water resources in the state; is technically flawed in assessing the water availability situation at present and in a climate change regime; and as it is biased towards the corporates.  We apprehend that with such new game plans, which is just going to add to the current evil designs, the people of Odisha are going to have a doomed water future as most of water resources will go into the hands of private sector investors and corporates which are eying on the water resources meant for irrigation and other uses for their own profit. 

We therefore once again urge upon the government of Odisha to scrap the technical report submitted by ADB’s consultants and critically review its engagement with ADB.  In water management let the people of the state matter and not any external agency especially the ones who propagate corporate control of water resources in the name of private sector investment. 

Thanks and regards,


Ranjan Panda
Convenor, Water Initiatives Odisha
Cell: 9437050103/9937561700
=============
Water Initiatives Orissa (WIO) is a state level coalition of civil society organisations, farmers, academia, media and other concerned, which has been working on water and climate change issues in the state for more than two decades now.