Staff Reporter

New relief and rehabilitation policy on the anvil: Lok Satta chief

  • Lok Satta for giving tribals equity in bauxite mining
  • Feels none has the right to take up the gun
  • Averse to blanket ban on World Bank recommendations
  • Opposed to privatisation of power distribution

    VISAKHAPATNAM: Lok Satta founder N. Jayaprakash Narayan has unequivocally supported big projects to harness water that is going waste into the sea.

    In a country dependent on monsoon for its water needs, every drop should be utilised, he said.

    However, alternatives should be surveyed and kept before people because displacement was taking place.

    Salient feature

    Dr. Narayan, who is on the Committee for the Narmada Displaced appointed by the Prime Minister, said that a new relief and rehabilitation policy at the national level incorporating land as compensation for land acquired for projects was on the anvil.

    He was answering questions after elaborating on the new political culture the party would bring in, how it would be different in its functioning and how it intended to provide equal opportunities in health, education and productive employment by doing away with the inequality thrust upon people by birth in the name of caste, at a public meeting here on Wednesday.

    Focus on eco protection

    To another question on the misgivings of tribals over bauxite mining in the agency area of Visakhapatnam district, he replied that equity should be given to tribals in the project and if required more money should be spent on reducing environmental pollution caused by the project.

    While eliminating a few naxalites would not bring peace, none had the right to take up a gun since the Indian Constitution was a great one giving opportunities for everyone to raise issues, he said in reply to a query on the Maoist movement.

    In a similar manner, there could not be a blanket opposition to World Bank recommendations though privatisation of power distribution was not acceptable.

    Lok Satta had shown at Kallacheruvu in West Godavari district by running a sub-station bringing down distribution losses, eliminating corruption and making farmers go in for meters.

    Similarly, RTC must continue as a public transport organisation while allowing private vehicles to ply as competition.

    Consensus needed

    On Telangana, he said the process for forming a State was to pass a resolution in the Assembly and pass a bill in Parliament by bringing about a consensus.

    But it would be dangerous to rouse passions.

    Also, merely having a new capital would not change the processes of ruling and solve people's problems, he said.