- COMMITMENTS TO BASIC GREEN VALUES
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the India Greens Party (iGP) that met online on Zoom platform today, 18 November 2022, reiterates its commitment to the Global Greens’ Charter including its six core principles of ecological wisdom, sustainability, social justice and human rights, non-violence, participatory democracy and respect for diversity!
- The party reiterates its commitment to the progressive, secular, democratic and inclusive values with the purpose of building green politics in the country and to have a sustainable future.
- The iGP is of the strong belief that we depend on the Earth’s vitality, diversity and beauty, and that the natural environment provides the foundation for all human livelihoods and existence of all non-humans. Therefore, it is our responsibility to pass them on, undiminished or even improved, to the next generation.
- The party is aware that overexploitation of resources is causing extreme deterioration in the environment and leading to massive extinction of species and the search for maximum short-term profits is causing widespread human suffering. The party will work towards diminishing the dominant patterns of human production and consumption, including excessive and wasteful use of natural bounties, considering Earth’s carrying capacity.
- The party resolves to fight injustice, racism, poverty, ignorance, corruption, crime and violence and armed conflicts.
- The party is determined to close the gap between rich and poor, and build a citizenship based on equal rights for all individuals in all spheres of social, economic, political and cultural life.
- The party is of the view that without equality between men, women and other genders, no real democracy can be achieved. The party is determined to have equality at all levels and for all including the rights of the minority communities and those on the social margins. In a nutshell, the party is for social justice at all levels.
- POLITICAL SITUATION IN INDIA
The India Greens Party is concerned that the Constitution of the country is threatened. The party supports real freedom of speech; safeguards protecting from offensive new technology; media rights; paradigm shift in the perspectives of security; economic empowerment of common citizens; police reforms; and judicial reforms, etc. The party reiterates its commitment towards Federalism, especially in the non-Hindi states. Therefore –
The party demands from the government to restore autonomy of the institutions, ensure transparency and strengthen the RTI provisions.
The party demands that the institutions like the Supreme Court, the CAG, the Commission for RTI, the ECI, the HRCs, the PCI, Parliament, the UGC, the NCERT, universities, the science and technology related institutions, etc, are made stronger and enriched with the values of democracy and free-thinking.
It demands protection of civil and human rights; equitable new education policy; policies for the farmers and farming economy; protective labour rights and laws.
The party demands political spaces and political rights and political empowerment; good and common education for all and without discrimination; health and care rights without discrimination.
It opposes Militarism, development resulting from concentration of assets; Communalism and hate speech, etc.
It demands public property safeguards.
The party is against open economy which is leading to Consumerism and destruction of ecological heritage.
The present government is showcasing its responsibilities and duties as alimony from the prime minister. This is absolutely wrong. India is a Welfare State and it must remain in all circumstances and conditions.
The ruling party, BJP, and its parent organisation, RSS, are trying to distort the basic fabric of the Constitution and the Guiding Principles. All this is not good for the people, not good for democracy in the country. Therefore, all this must stop.
In a nutshell, democracy and nothing other than democracy can be our guiding light in India because only this can guarantee freedom of political opinion. We would also like to underline that this freedom does not include the freedom to wreck democracy.
- RIGHTS OF NATURE
An increasing number of court rulings and legislation worldwide have been recognising the Rights of Nature to be protected and preserved. Recognising these rights also entails the recognition that Nature has the right to stand in court and to be represented for its defence. This is still an incipient field and every step taken in this direction constitutes a precedent from which to learn and on which to base new rulings and legislation initiatives. Within this doctrine, rivers seem to be in the spotlight and court rulings on the rights of rivers are the ones setting precedent. These cases have taken place in New Zealand, Ecuador, and Colombia besides India.
iGP is aware of the emerging trend of championing the Rights of Nature which involves the realisation that the planet’s ecosystems encompassing trees, animals, rivers, oceans, and mountains too have rights like human rights.
It is the holistic understanding that all life on Earth and aspects of Nature are deeply interconnected.
It also involves the acknowledgment that as the scientists James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis formulated in the Gaia Theory, all the inanimate and living elements of Nature behave like a self-regulating living organism. The Rights of Nature concept means, rather than treating Nature as resources or property to be exploited for human benefit, Nature, in all its forms, has the right to exist, maintain and regenerate its cycles.
Humans can exercise the legal authority and responsibility to enforce these rights on behalf of ecosystems. The ecosystem itself can be named as the injured party, with its own legal standing in instances alleging rights violations.
The Madras High Court, this year, has given Mother Nature the status of a living person by declaring ‘parens patriae jurisdiction’. This will preserve all the respective rights, duties, and liabilities of Nature, just like a living person. An earlier judgement of the Nainital High Court had declared the glacier, including the Gangotri and the Yamunotri rivers, as legal entities to preserve it. There have been such judgments by courts elsewhere in the world too.
Also, in India and worldwide, indigenous Adivasi cultures recognise the Rights of Nature in tune with their tradition of living in harmony with Nature. Recognising the importance of this concept, iGP is planning to evolve a Rights of Nature Policy.
The India Greens Party demands that the government consider what all these rulings and legislation worldwide say about the Rights of Nature and what legal and systemic considerations should be taken into account such as the recognition of the Rights of Nature.
It demands revocation of the amendments in all those Acts, including in the mountainous states like Uttarakhand, that affected the environment, ecology and people.
We demand that the government declare all glaciers, rivers and freshwater bodies as endangered and protected and ensure all necessary measures are taken to restore the natural purity and balance of glaciers, rivers and freshwater bodies.
The India Greens Party is in opposition to the construction of more big dams in the country.
- PROTECTION OF FORESTS AND WILDLIFE
Forest and all wildlife to be declared endangered and protected treasures and ensure all necessary measures are taken to restore the natural purity and balance of forests. Make it impossible to change land and mining use of these last remaining Green Ecosystems.
The iGP is in favour of ensuring easy access of the wildlife to their natural habitats including sanctuaries, national parks and reserve forests. The government must find ways to end human-animal conflicts. The party also demands rehabilitation of animals in their natural habitats.
No waste/ garbage/landfill/ dumping grounds should be permitted to be set up near the forests. All necessary support including planting/growing of fruit trees, introducing lost prey and predator populations needed for the wildlife to flourish must be provided so that they do not have to enter the human habitation for food.
Roads/highways must be kept away from the forests, In the case of any unavoidable case, the road/highway must be constructed without dividing the forests, and should be elevated, covered with the noise barriers and no polluting vehicles allowed over them. All necessary and known effective measures need to be taken to prevent the forest fires, locals who are involved in such practices of grass/stubble burning too need to be educated about the ultimate destruction of forests and the irreversible damage to the plant and animal life, associated with it and be given alternate solutions.
Proper measures using the latest and best Green Technologies to combat natural or man-made forest fires needs to be put into place in every forest. The timber and land mafia who are involved in many forest fires to create barren lands that they could later sell and the semi burnt trees that could be sold as timber need to be curbed. All invasive plant and animal species must be ethically dealt with to stop further destruction.
- SINGLE-USE PLASTICS
The Government of India put in place the partial ban on the single-use plastics on 1 July this year. The party has always been of the view that only a total ban on all single-use plastics would bring the desired results.
India banned some of the single-use or disposable plastic products as part of a federal plan to phase out the ubiquitous material in the country. The ban came into effect despite companies extensively lobbying with the government to delay the transition, citing costly alternatives and their lack of easy availability.
The notification in this regard said national and state-level control rooms would be set up to check illegal manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of banned single-use plastic items which include earbuds with plastic sticks, plastic sticks for balloons, plastic flags, candy sticks, ice-cream sticks, polystyrene decoration, plastic plates, cups, glasses, cutlery such as forks, spoons, knives, straws, etc. The Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, will also prohibit manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of plastic carry bags having thickness less than 120 microns with effect from 31 December 2022.
The share of plastics used for these banned single-use plastic items is less than 2-3 percent; and the current ban covers only those items which have a low utility and high littering potential. These items are not widely used by large consumer companies and hence will have a limited impact for now.
After four months of implementation, we see that the ban has been just an eyewash. It proved to be a joke.
In fact, the ban has failed and the single-use plastics are back everywhere without any regret. We condemn this!
- WASTE WATER
No waste water from domestic/commercial sources via drains/sewers be allowed to enter the rivers or fresh water bodies. No waste/garbage/landfill/dumping grounds are to be permitted to be set up near rivers or fresh water bodies. Fresh river water can be used only for drinking and cooking. Non-critical usage of water should only be with the treated or recycled water, rainwater.
Education is one of the most powerful and proven vehicles for sustainable development. It is the foundation of democracy — preparing people to participate in society and be respectful of human values. It is a right and an entitlement and should be free for people of all ages. The vision of the India Greens Party is to create a healthy society with the help of life-long learning and training. The vision is to invest in the next generation and build a fair, successful and cohesive society.
The objective is to provide knowledge, learning skills, life-long learning opportunities, creativity and abilities to understand and use sources of information. We believe that every person is entitled to a high-quality, free, accessible public education that gives them the best possible start in life. It is a basic right of all and must occur in a safe environment for them. Also, the objective is to recognise learning as a lifelong and life-affirming process to which all people should have access; and, promote equality, inclusivity, social and emotional well-being and responsibility with democratic accountability.
Our action plan is to make education one of the highest priority areas to ensure universal, common and free education to all. All women should have access to education including secondary schooling and tertiary education as the socio-economically and culturally deprived and underprivileged sections of society should have without discrimination. Universal access to high quality education is fundamental to the economic prosperity, environmental sustainability, well-being and social fulfilment of society. Therefore –
The iGP demands that the education system be evolved from the rote learning to life, social and work/soft skill acquisition, using the most effective and advanced pedagogy that exists in the world today to achieve the same. Any advanced education must not be forced upon students and be taught on a need to know basis only and be separate from the core education.
Firstly focus on teaching how to learn and teaching students about and the different mediums/methods/techniques that exist to help with the process of learning and then be taught how to implement what they have learnt in an effective and economical way.
Focusing and developing human values – love, humanity, altruism, empathy and compassion.
Ethics, principles, responsibility, justice, green and civic sense.
Developing scientific temper, rational, logical, unbiased thinking.
Critical thinking skills
Cultivation of creative thinking, lateral thinking and intuitive capacities.
- LAND USE AND FARMERS’ SUICIDES
In India, land use is central to the livelihoods of the vast majority — ranging from those who depend on farming to those who depend on forests. A vast majority of the population is directly dependent on land.
The animal species are also dependent on land for their existence. The land use and access to other natural resources by implication is highly undemocratic in the country because it is either controlled by the government or by the corporate bodies. This results in a highly unequal access to natural resources, as well as facilitating the diversion and misuse for private profit.
As women are most often involved in activities related to gathering resources from nature, this means that the misallocation of natural bounties and resources impacts women the hardest.
The IGP is determined to change this. Farmer suicides in India are a glaring example of agriculture’s bad shape in the country. If we do not act in time, agriculture will also have climate-related environmental disasters.
The IGP demands from the Government of India to take immediate steps to save agriculture and farmers from climate-related environmental disasters and make policies to stop chemical fertilisers, genetically modified crops, etc at the national level. Such a move will save farmers from committing suicides.
- RIGHTS OF ADIVASIS & OTHER FOREST DWELLERS
India Greens Party is of the view that the Supreme Court ruling of 13 February 2019 has threatened the Adivasis and other traditional forest dwellers and have created conditions for their eviction. The ruling seems to be a complete annulment of the Forest Rights Act.
Not only this, the proposed amendment of Indian Forests Act, 1927 will be an attempt to capture the forests and the forest dwellers. The party would like to underline the fact that no one has carried out such an all-out assault on forest rights since colonial times as like the present central government led by the BJP.
The IGP believes that the two decisions that were taken by the central government in 2019 threaten the customary rights of Adivasis and other forest dwellers throughout the country. The party is of the view that the proposed amendment in the Indian Forest Act, 1927 is even more colonial and frightening.
It is to be noted that the Indian Forest Act, 1927 has been criticised over the years as it was introduced by the British who not only wanted to establish legal control over India’s forests but also to earn revenue from timber.
The proposed new amendment has far-reaching implications. Not only does it have provisions to override other forest laws, especially the hard-fought Forest Rights Act, 2006, and displace forest communities, it will also allow the forest department to use firearms to prevent offences.
If the proposed amendment becomes law, then forest department staff can end the forest rights of any Adivasi or forest dweller in the name of forest protection by just paying them a paltry sum of money [Section 22A (2), 30 (b)]. The IGP thinks that the plan is to remove forest dwellers from the forests so that the forests can be handed over to private companies for making huge profits.
The party demands that the central government take corrective measures.
The funds under the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act, 2018 should be utilised only through the gram sabhas so that plantation of the local varieties and species is ensured contributing to biodiversity.
In case the government does not do anything, the IGP will appeal to the people and organisations to come out in the streets all over the country against the draconian proposed amendment to IFA 1927 and the Supreme Court’s move to evict the Adivasis and forest dwellers.
- WOMEN’S SAFETY AND EQUITY
Women’s safety is among the biggest issues in our country. Day-by-day, an increasing number of rape cases and domestic violence have triggered the urgency of strong and practical action-plan to stop that or at least minimise the number as much as possible.
The women need to be protected from sexual and gender-based violence. First of all, we need some changes in-laws. We already have very strong laws against violence and harassment but they are just on paper.
Therefore, we need more implementation. We also need to create awareness about the laws that can help the victims. Strong support from the police as well as from the society is urgently required.
Also, a change in the thought processes of society and men through awareness programmes in schools is the need of the hour. This way, we can also teach our next generation and create a better environment for women.
It would be better if we made our women strong enough or prepared them to handle these kinds of situations by themselves. Running self-defence programmes in school, colleges, offices and in the neighbourhoods where women gather. Making such training mandatory for all women at the workplace, colleges and schools would benefit them,
The IGP is of the view that making it 50:50 will do, not 67:33 as proposed. There will be social balance only if we make it 50:50. This is a basic demand because the women have to face so much at the physical, mental and emotional levels. The point is that women want equality, not the majority. They want half of everything.
- BHARAT JODO YATRA OF CONGRESS PARTY:
The India Greens party has several ideological differences with the main opposition party, the Congress. For example, its leader, Rahul Gandhi, at a rally in Jaipur last December said that India was a country of Hindus, not Hindutvavadis. We understand that he was trying to differentiate their party’s stand from Hindutvavadis but the narrative caused another shockwave.
Also, it is like playing into the hands of the BJP and its attempts to channel even the opposition politicians into some traits of their religious fundamentalist or Hindutva agenda. The Aam Aadmi Party Convener Arvind Kejriwal has already towed the same Hindutva line and started soft-pedalling that ideology. So, the Congress and its leaders need ideological clarity on such issues.
The India Greens Party is of the firm belief that the country belongs to all its citizens without any discrimination and irrespective of race, colour, sex, language, religion, faith, caste, political or other opinion, origin, geographical location, property, birth or other status.
We would like to remind the Congress party that one of its tallest leaders, Indira Gandhi, had said that who would judge the quantum or quality of Indianness of any individual? To me every child born of Mother India is a good Indian.”
The party, however, is of the belief that the Bharat Jodo Yatra is a very positive and constructive contribution of the Congress to strengthen democracy in India, and showcase the country in oneness. We also note that Mr Rahul Gandhi has been able to garner wide support, both political and emotional among all sections of society, to strengthen the unity and diversity of the country. But we also note that the Yatra has caused inconvenience to the common people, and has deepened the carbon footprints.
The 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) began on 6 November and will conclude on 18 November, i.e. today. It seeks renewed solidarity between countries to deliver on the landmark Paris Agreement, for people and the plan.
Several Heads of State, ministers, and negotiators, along with climate activists, mayors, civil society representatives and CEOs are meeting in the Egyptian coastal city of Sharm el-Sheikh for the largest annual gathering on climate action.
The COP27 builds on the outcomes of COP26 to deliver action on an array of issues critical to tackling the climate emergency – from urgently reducing greenhouse gas emissions, building resilience, and adapting to the inevitable impacts of climate change, to delivering on the commitments to finance climate action in developing countries.
Faced with a growing energy crisis, record greenhouse gas concentrations, and increasing extreme weather events, COP27 seeks renewed solidarity between countries, to deliver on the landmark Paris Agreement, for people and the planet.
The UN Secretary-General António Guterres rightly said, “there is no way we can defeat climate change without a Climate Solidarity Pact between developed countries and large emerging economies. The Just Energy Transition Partnerships are an important first step.” He also noted, “The goal of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees is slipping away. We are dangerously close to tipping points at which climate chaos could become irreversible. Science tells us that global heating beyond that limit poses an existential threat to all life on earth. But global emissions, and temperatures, continue to rise.”
Polluting companies like Coca Cola sponsoring COP27 is nothing but the ultimate form of greenwashing. Such questionable corporate sponsorship that causes serious conflict of interest should be banned in all important climate and environmental conferences.
It is very regrettable that India at COP27 tried to push the agenda of the corporates, and called for phase down of fossil fuels, instead of their phase out.
We call upon the governments participating in the conference to take steps to undo the blunders done in the past, and make decisions in view of the safety of the planet, people and all other beings on the planet.
- PEACE AND NONVIOLENCE
The iGP is against all forms of violence and counter-violence in the state or elsewhere. The party’s national and state units stand for peace, nonviolence and respect for human rights; and will strive for these values.
The political discourse and debates in the country have become vicious with abusive language used against political rivals. iGP will aim to maintain nonviolent and non-abusive ways of communication even while strongly protesting against anti-green ideologies, and undesirable policies and practices.
- HEALTH AND PROSPERITY
The iGP is determined to make the country prosperous and healthy. Also, it is for good and common education, agriculture accessible to all, and strive for the economic policies that are in favour of farmers, workers and labourers.
The iGP wants the governments to make all tourist places neat and clean by taking measures to end single-use plastic materials there and also by promoting ways of eco-friendly travel and accommodation; the tourism policy must be made in a way that helps in strengthening the local economy as well.
The trend of illegal construction of resorts and other tourist facilities in ecologically fragile areas, violating coastal regulation zones rules governing forest reserves, has been increasing. Stringent implementation of laws is needed to curb such ecologically damaging practices in the name of tourism. The tourism industry must be made accountable to ensure that only sustainable tourism is practised.
- MIGRATION OF LABOURERS
The iGP demands from the government to provide employment to the labourers and daily wagers in the off seasons so that these are not forced to migrate to other places and they remain readily available in the cultivation seasons.
- MSP FOR FARMERS AND VILLAGE INFRASTRUCTURE
The iGP demands from the government to create a mechanism that will ensure fair prices for the produce. In other words, this means a fair minimum support price (MSP) system is required to do away with exploitation of the farmers.
The iGP demands from the government to ensure cleanliness in the villages and provide basic health and quality education facilities. The party also demands from the government to create conditions for strengthening the village economy.
- MINIMISING E-WASTE
The iGP demands from the government to ensure that all electronic products manufactured or sold in India are designed with focus on durability, energy efficiency, compatibility, affordable and easy repairability and serviceability for minimal E-waste generation, and massive saving for citizens and the country. That all products be allowed to be manufactured only with substances/ chemicals that are recyclable and do not pollute/damage the environment. Make it mandatory for companies to refurbish old/used products that could be bought at cheap cost and encourage reuse of old products
- RAINWATER HARVESTING
The IGP demands from the government to ensure that rainwater harvesting is made mandatory in all Cities. Excess/ unused rainwater to be treated and redirected to old borewells to help with restoring the rapidly depleting ground water.
- GREEN SOLUTIONS AND GREEN CITIZENS
Telling citizens to be green and clean is not enough. We also need to ensure that they are given all necessary education, technical and financial support, giving maximum subsidies for green energy products like solar cookers, solar water/room heaters, solar Lighting, E-vehicles and hydrogen vehicles.
- ZERO WASTE/RECYCLING AND REUSE
In India, we need to teach ourselves to recycle our waste. The young generation, which comprises a great part of the population, needs to take the lead in this. It is good that the young generation is aware of the land, air and water issues and is worried about its future. Therefore, the government must have mechanisms to teach the young to recycle their waste. Several developed countries are already doing that and we just have to follow them. We need not reinvent the wheel.
The iGP Demands from the government that all States study the cities/states in India (Like Thiruvananthapuram) and around the world that have achieved Zero Waste Status and implement similar strategies to make every City in the country to be Zero Waste.
Gandhiji had a great view of cleanliness. He gave it a very high status. The IGP demands that the governments do their best to make the country clean. They need to run awareness campaigns on a large-scale and ensure more dustbins in public places so that people can find them easily. Also, there is a need to have more and more and clean public toilets.
- RIGHT TO BREATHE CLEAN AIR
The India Greens Party is of the view that clean air is not only an inalienable human right but also fundamental to healthy human life. Yet, the vast majority of the population lives in places where they are exposed to poor air quality.
This has the potential to get significantly worse, as population growth, economic growth and urbanisation cram ever more people into increasingly polluted cities. The air pollution continues to take a heavy toll on health, causing millions of early deaths.
With air quality failing to meet legal standards in the majority of cities, people and environmental organisations are increasingly going to court to demand action. The party is at pains to say that at the heart of the problem is a lack of political will, a symptom of a legal and political order which puts private profit before public health.
The party demands from the government to consider banning diesel in cities in order to achieve air quality standards.
The government should also ban solid fuel, including stubble burning to tackle winter smog that see particulate matter reach levels many times higher than the limits.
- TREE PLANTATION – EACH ONE, PLANT ONE
Population-wise, India is the second biggest country and facing so many ecological and environmental issues. The iGP is of the view that if every person grows one tree there will be enough oxygen and a better environment. The party will create awareness about this need.
- BICYCLE-FRIENDLY INDIA
The IGP is of the view that we need to make our country bicycle-friendly. Right now, people do not ride bicycles because they cannot leave them anywhere. Also, there are no safe roads for bicycle riders. In several countries, bicycles have GPS and one can leave them anywhere and the lock will not open without paying through the card. India needs to think about it and make the country bicycle-friendly. It is not only a cheap system of transportation in comparison to cars and buses but also eco-friendly.
- AAREY FOREST IN MUMBAI
iGP demands a full stop to all the environmentally hazardous activities taking place in the entire Aarey Forest region in Mumbai. The party is determined to take all necessary measures to create awareness among the citizens of Brihan Mumbai. The party will also work with other like-minded organisations to work on various methods and plans for the protection and conservation of the natural ecosystem and the biodiversity in the Aarey Forest region, and for the protection of the Adivasi people there.
- THE ARAVALLI ECOSYSTEM
The new NCR Draft Regional Plan 2041 that is to replace the 2021 NCR Regional Plan which has been in force since 2005 threatens the Aravallis and other crucial natural ecosystems in four North Indian states. This regressive 2041 NCR Draft Plan, if implemented, will destroy more than 70 percent of the Aravallis and other crucial natural ecosystems in 25 districts of India’s National Capital Region consisting of Delhi, 14 districts in Haryana, 8 districts in Uttar Pradesh and 2 districts in Rajasthan. At a time when India is one of the most vulnerable nations in the world to climate change, it is the responsibility of our planners and government authorities to strengthen laws and plans to protect our carbon sinks, green lungs and critical water recharge zones like our mountain ecosystems, wetlands, forests, rivers, lakes, water bodies etc instead of diluting provisions that give these carbon sinks protection under the law.
Government should call for a stakeholder consultation to discuss and strengthen the NCR Draft Regional Plan 2041.Citizens should have a say in matters that directly affect them and it’s the government’s duty to ensure we are heard before going ahead with any plans. It is time to make ecological conservation a central part of our urban planning.
The India Greens Party recommends making a new NCR Regional Plan which incorporates all the suggestions by experts and does away with the environmental dilutions in the existing NCR Draft Plan 2041 to ensure more protection to our natural ecosystems so that quality of life for residents of India’s National Capital Region improves.
We strongly suggest that the term “Natural Conservation Zone” (NCZ) used in 2021 Regional Plan be retained in new Regional Plan 2041 and not be replaced with ‘Natural Zones’ as areas categorised as ‘Natural Zones’ in Draft Regional NCR Plan 2041 do not require mandatory conservation like ‘Natural Conservation Zone’ areas which the states are bound to conserve as the current NCR Regional Plan 2021 restricts any construction to only 0.5% of the total Natural Conservation area. The zoning restriction on construction in the NCZ of 0.5%, MUST be retained in the NCR 2041 plan.
We further suggest that the definition and provisions for the “Natural Conservation Zone” as present in the Section 17.4.2 of the 2021 NCR Regional Plan be retained in toto/as it is, in the new Regional Plan 2041.
The term ‘forest areas’ must be included in the new Draft Regional Plan 2041 and must cover all three categories of forest – notified, recorded, or deemed as per dictionary meaning, in compliance with the Godavarman (1996) and Lafarge (2011) judgements of the Supreme Court.
All Aravalli hills and forests and other natural ecosystems such as wetlands, rivers, lakes, water bodies etc irrespective of whether they are notified or not or mentioned in the revenue records or identified in ground truthing exercises, must get protection under the new Draft Regional Plan 2041.
The term “Forest areas’ which was included in the NCR Regional Plan 2021, but has been excluded in the new Draft Regional Plan 2041 should be restored back.
It should be further clarified in the new Draft Regional Plan 2041 that ‘forest areas’ include notified forests, recorded forests, and other forests.
Conservation of rivers and their tributaries and floodplains and flood prone areas must be included back in draft regional plan 2041.
We demand withdrawal of the proposed Safari Project in the Aravalli forest area.
- POLLUTING REFINERY PROJECT IN KONKAN, MAHARASHTRA
People of Konkan (Western Ghats) are already unhappy with the destruction following past polluting industrial projects that are affecting the biosphere of Konkan. These are: (1) Chiplun MIDC poisoning air of Chiplun daily, (2) Jindal coal power plant polluting air, soil & seas of Ratnagiri, (3) Reliance Petrochemical Patalganga plant polluting the Patalganga river along with other chemical factories, (4) JSW Dolvi steel plant polluting wetlands of Raigad, rice fields, dumping radioactive coal ash all along the Mumbai Goa Highway. There is now a permanent cloud of pollution hanging over several surrounding villages near the JSW plant near Alibaug, (5) Khed MIDC destroying Vashishti river, groundwater, soil and air. Chemical pollution causes blindness to the river crocodiles and destruction of river ecosystems.
Now, Nanar Refinery project is a 60-million tonne per annum refinery-cum-petrochemical complex estimated to cost Rs 3 trillion and will be constructed over 16,000 acres spread over 17 villages in Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts of the Konkan region of Maharashtra. In 2015, Saudi Aramco in joint venture with other Indian oil companies wanted to set-up the largest refinery in the world in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra in Konkan. The land from the villagers was surreptitiously purchased by agents from Gujarat without disclosing the real objective. When the villagers came to know that they were being hoodwinked, they started protesting against it. The Gram Sabha of the affected villages passed a resolution against the refinery which is the first such project in the world rejected on grounds of global warming and climate change. With tremendous pressure from the public, the BJP Government had to cancel the refinery project before the 2019 assembly elections.
This project has again resurfaced in Rajapur with support from Congress, MNS and other parties which is just next door to Nanar (previous site). Therefore, the people of the region feel they have been betrayed by political parties in order to benefit the private corporate interests. The people are fully aware that the refinery will destroy the eco-sensitive and biodiverse region of Konkan and pollute its soil, water and air forever in this era of irreversible global warming. People don’t want these jobs which will destroy nature, their current livelihoods and their sustainable way of living.
The India Greens Party supports citizens’ demand for cancellation of red-category highly polluting Refinery Project in eco-sensitive Konkan region of Maharashtra along with the world’s largest Nuclear Power Plant.
The party fully supports the Dhopeshwar Gram Sabha which had passed a resolution against setting-up of the refinery in April 2022 and condemns the Maharashtra Government intimidating the villagers with deployment of police and paramilitary forces, filing of false criminal cases and issuance of Tadipar (externment) notices which goes against the mandate of decentralised democracy and will of people.
There is similar resentment amongst villagers against the Nuclear Power Plant proposed in Jaitapur on a seismically active zone near the ocean shoreline susceptible to sea level rise, storm surges and cyclones. The India Greens Party demands withdrawal of the Jaitapur nuclear power plant.
- MEDIA AND FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION:
Media and freedom of expression are under threat in India. The sane voices are being muffled and muzzled, and behind the bars. Regrettably, there is a pattern of attacks on the media persons in several parts of the country. There are cases of persecution of journalists and targeting of them as well.
There is a virtual undeclared Emergency both on the journalists, co-workers and their rights and dignity and the go-slow approach in the courts. Scores of journalists, who lost their jobs on the pretext of the Covid-19 or the other, are unable to support their families, and are going through health and economic issues. The media organisations are being communalised and hate speech promoted. Therefore –
The AGM-2022 of the India Greens Party condemns the attacks on the media persons and witch-hunts against several independent media organisations, and the attempts to finish off some of them.
The iGP demands release of journalist Siddique Kappan, who is in jail for over two years now despite the Supreme Court bail. The Uttar Pradesh Government must drop the false charges against him and ensure his release.
We condemn the action of the Kerala Governor in targeting two Malayalam TV channels. He asked representatives of two television news channels — MediaOne TV, operated by Madhyamam Broadcasting, and CPM-backed Kairali TV — to leave from attending his news conference in Kochi. This is unprecedented and unbecoming of someone who holds a Constitutional post like the Governor. It is obvious that the central government is misusing the Governor to suppress the freedom of the press through such tactics.
The party demands withdrawal of the draft Telecommunications Bill, which is an attempt by the central government to legalise Surveillance Raj. We see it as an attempt to muzzle the freedom of expression through a variety of tools.
Stop the plight of journalists in several media organisations including the UNI and the Urdu press.
The central government must withdraw the new accreditation policy as it is discriminatory against the journalists and their bodies.
We demand fast track courts for implementation of the Majithia Awards and pending cases of victimisation of media and co-workers.
We demand that a permanent wage fixation machinery for the entire newspaper industry be in place.
We demand that a Media Commission of India in the lines of the earlier Press Commissions be formed under independent judges and with journalist representation from the wide spectrum of media.
Bring out a whitepaper for looking into use and abuse of media in the past six years.
Besides, the India Greens Party ratified the Global Greens Proposals/ Protocols/ Charter of Demands/ Statements/ Declaration at the COP27 in Egypt.