ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN RIGHTS RISK ASSESSMENT
World Bank documentation states that [t]he physical interventions are targeted to rehabilitate and modernize the irrigation and drainage system largely in 16 districts, which have been identified by the Government of Uttar Pradesh as priority areas. However, the environmental impact assessment on which project approval relies has examined an overall project area that is split between two major regions. According to the EIA, the first region is the Lower Ganga Canal [LGC] Command Area [which] lies between 27deg 20' 27.31N, 25deg 18' 50.18N and 80deg 36' 47.06E, 83deg 55' 35.99 E. It comprises of 12 districts of Uttar Pradesh with a total area of 30, 619 sq. kms, about 12.7 % of the total geographical area of the State. Geographically, LGC Command Area is a part of Ganga Basin.
The second area known as Bundelkhand region includes Lalitpur district of Bundelkhand region, three districts, Shahuji Maharaj Nagar, Barabanki & Rae Bareli district under Sharda Sahayak Command Area and twelve districts, Kashiram Nagar, Etah, Firozabad, Manipuri, Farrukhabad, Etawah, Kannauj, Auraiya, Ramabai Nagar, Kanpur Nagar, Fatehpur & Kaushambi under Lower Ganga Canal system. According to the EIA, [t]he project interventions are in Bundelkhand and focus on Lalitpur District. The District lies between Latitude 24deg 11' N - 25deg 17'12'' N and Longitude 78deg 11' E - 79deg 00' E. The area of the district is 5039 km2 with total population of 835,790.
The following analysis is based on an eight-volume environmental and social impact assessment spanning the aforementioned regions.
World Bank documentation states that [a]dverse impacts could arise due to poor construction quality and unsafe construction practices over the course of the project.
The following questions therefore may be relevant to determining whether you or your community's labor rights have been adversely affected by the investment project:
- Can all members of your community apply for jobs in the context of the investment project?
- Are your wages sufficient to meet your basic needs and those of your family?
- Have you been forced to work against your will or without adequate compensation?
- Are your working conditions safe and healthy?
- Are there children under the age of 15 working on any aspect of this development project?
- What opportunities (legal or other) are available if you consider that your working conditions are not just and favorable?
RIGHT TO FOOD
World Bank documentation states that India has the largest area under wheat, rice, and cotton, largest producer of milk, pulses, and spices and is also home to the largest number of cattle (buffaloes) in the world. with nearly three quarters of Indian families dependent on rural incomes. Despite this fact, according to the 2012 Human Rights Status Report in India, 21% of India's total population remains undernourished, with women, girls and older persons being the most affected [as] 42% of children under five are underweight and 59% are stunted.
The environmental impact assessment emphasizes that in particular Uttar Pradesh is one of the most important states from a food security perspective. In 2002/3, over 44 million tons of food grain (i.e. rice and wheat) w[ere] produced over an area of about 20 million hectares.
As such, the EIA recognizes that [a]griculture will continue to play an important role in alleviating poverty in the State. The major economic activity in the state is agriculture. The sector accounts for about 30 percent of the state GDP and 60 percent of the total employment. The rural population where most of the poor live is especially dependent on the sector as a source of labor and livelihoods.
Additionally, [r]eservoirs in project area are sources of fishes used for local consumption. As the project includes the rehabilitation of dams and river infrastructure that may have negative effects on fish spawning and breeding grounds, it may result in a detrimental effect on fish populations in the area.
The following questions may be relevant to determining whether you or your community has suffered a violation of your right to food as a result of the project:
- Has your ability to subsist on your own land been affected since the beginning of the investment project?
- Has your access to good and affordable food in sufficient quantity been affected since the beginning of the investment project?
- What opportunities (legal or other) are available if feel that your right to food has been affected?
RIGHT TO WATER
The project EIA states that in the project area, [d]rinking water supply is based on hand pumps and tube wells. In urban areas piped water supply is used to provide drinking water whereas in rural areas there are 26 piped water supply schemes and hand pumps (IM II) covering the entire district. This is to prevent water borne diseases. However, some habitations are not covered with water supply schemes and some hand pumps become dysfunctional every year. This indicates lack of services in potable water supply. There is an average of [o]ne hand pump available for every 70-90 families of rural area [t]herefore, any decrease in ground water level is a major cause of concern.
In the Lower Ganga Canal Command area, [a] total of 57374 samples of groundwater in the area indicates that Fluoride, Chloride, Iron, Magnesium, Calcium, Nitrate, Sulphates, Turbidity, Copper, Arsenic, Residual Chlorine & Alkalinity were found high in the area. Fluoride contamination is found high in maximum samples in Etawah; Chloride was found high in Kanpur Nagar; Iron is found high in Firozabad; Magnesium is found high in Etah; pH is found high in Etawah, Nitrate in Etawah, as compared with the prescribed limits.
With regards to sanitation, [t]here is no centralized plant for water treatment. The Lower Ganges EIA states that the sanitation facilities in rural area of LGC districts were found to be very poor.[m]ore than 80% of households except Farrukhabad district were not having toilets facilities in their houses. Additionally, the Bundelkhand EIA states that [m]ore than 70% of families do not having toilets within their house in [the project area] except the Banda and Jalaun districts of UP Bundelkhand. This is especially concerning, as according to the 2012 Human Rights in India Status Report, the combined effects of inadequate sanitation, unsafe water supply and poor personal hygiene are responsible for 88% of childhood deaths from diarrhea. Additionally, 21% of the communicable diseases in India are related to unsafe water. The project EIA specifically notes that [w]aste water needs to be treated and used for irrigation instead of letting it out to the rivers or other water bodies. This will help avert health related problems as well as solve the issue of inadequate water availability for irrigation at least in certain regions.
Additionally, World Bank documentation states that [p]lanned investments on strengthening irrigation and enhancing agricultural production could lead to increased cropping intensity in project areas. This could indirectly result in increased dependence on groundwater and increased use of agro-chemicals in future. This could have some adverse impacts on groundwater quantity and quality as well as issues related to increased use of pesticides. According to the bank, the proposed investments on improving irrigation water service delivery, if implemented properly, would reduce the chances of increased withdrawal of groundwater in project areas.
The project EIA further states that, in order to address the critical issue of groundwater depletion, quality and dependence environmental mitigation measures have been mainstreamed in the project design. However, the EIA indicates that although, [i]rrigation and drainage infrastructure rehabilitation and modernization are unlikely to have any direct impact on groundwater quality and quantity, it is likely that [p]ossible increase of pesticides from agricultural development would result in degradation of groundwater quality. Any further degradation of the quantity or quality of groundwater may exacerbate an already vulnerable groundwater system that is used as a domestic water source for local populations.
The following sources may be relevant to determining whether you or your community has suffered a violation of your right to water as a result of the investment project:
- Has your access to good, affordable, clean and safe water in sufficient quantity been affected since the beginning of the investment project?
- Has your access to appropriate sanitation facilities been adversely affected by the project?
- Does India or the Government of Uttar Pradesh have a policy or program in place to ensure that the project activities do not affect people's right to water?
- What opportunities (legal or other) are available if you feel that your right to water has been affected?
RIGHT TO HEALTH
According to the Food and Agricultural Organization, [w]ater-borne or water-related diseases are commonly associated with the introduction of irrigation. The diseases most directly linked with irrigation are malaria, bilharzia (schistosomiasis) and river blindness (onchocerciasis), whose vectors proliferate in the irrigation waters. Other irrigation-related health risks include those associated with increased use of agrochemicals, deterioration of water quality, and increased population pressure in the area. The reuse of wastewater for irrigation has the potential, depending on the extent of treatment, of transmitting communicable diseases. The population groups at risk include agricultural workers, consumers of crops and meat from the wastewater-irrigated fields, and people living nearby. Sprinkler irrigation poses an additional risk through the potential dispersal of pathogens through the air.
With regards to the current investment project, the EIA indicates that, the most common diseases which affected a significant proportion of men and women in [the project] area were related to quality of drinking water, sanitation/ environmental pollution. According to the EIA, [w]ater borne diseases are infectious diseases spread primarily through contaminated water. Though these diseases spread either directly or through flies or filth, water is the medium for spread of these diseases and hence they are termed as water-borne diseases. These diseases are more prevalent in areas with poor sanitary conditions The pathogens travel to water sources through various routes and infect susceptible persons directly through consumption of food and water.
The Lower Ganga Canal Area EIA indicates that local people were not particular in dumping garbage at some specific place. They were, therefore, throwing it wherever they desired. Most of them were however, throwing it on dump site in the village.throwing it near their home. throwing it in the field [as well as] dumping it in pond. This was thought to result in breeding of mosquitoes / flies dirty environment. foul smell and prevalence of Malaria.
According to the household survey, Hepatitis, Cholera, Dysentery, and Typhoid are the common water-borne diseases that affect considerable population in the project area. The project EIA reflects that, in the village Koson alone, [a]round 90% of the village population is affected by malaria due to water logging. [During the EIA] it was informed that there have hardly been any steps taken by the health or any department to control the menace. People do not remember when was the last disinfection / spraying done in the village.
According to the 2012 Human Rights in India Status Report, India spends only 4.4% of its budget on health, which is far below the global median of 11.5%. As a consequence, India's health-care infrastructure is sub-standard and inadequate, lacking doctors and hospital beds. There are six doctors and nine hospital beds per 10,000 people. Only 15% of the population has health insurance, making quality healthcare in private hospitals inaccessible for a vast majority of the population. The project EIA also indicates that [a]ccess to health services is poor in villages across Ganga River. In a household survey, project-affected families were asked to identify a critical situation that they faced due to poverty. About half of the sample in Command (52%) and non-command (51%) [areas] mentioned that they could not arrange medical treatment of family member.
If over the course of the rehabilitation and modernization activities, additional stress is placed on local health resources, or local residents are exposed to more standing groundwater water-logging, the already vulnerable health situation in the area may be exacerbated. The following questions may be relevant to determining whether you or your community's right to health has been adversely affected by the investment project:
- Has your health been affected since the beginning of the investment project?
- Have you experienced an increase in either respiratory or water based-illness?
- Has your access to good, affordable and acceptable health services been affected since the beginning of the investment project?
- What opportunities (legal or other) are available if you feel that your right to health has been affected?
RIGHT TO A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT
According to the project EIA, recent statistics on human development shows that the socio-economic and human development in UP has fallen behind India's better performing states. Growing population coupled with poor human development indices started exerting pressure on the resources base and the environment in the state.
World Bank documentation notes that implementation of proposed components of the Project may result in adverse impacts on people and land, if not identified and appropriately mitigated. Increased water logging along rehabilitated canals leading to formation of sodic soils is often seen as a long-term impact (over one to two decades). According to the bank, this is unlikely in this project as seepage along canals would decrease once they start carrying irrigation water as per their design discharges and with effective irrigation control structures in place. Planned investments on the drains and spillways/escapes would also improve overall drainage in the command areas and reduced chances of water logging. The participation of Water User Associations (WUA) would further ensure improved maintenance of irrigation infrastructure and thereby reduced seepage and water logging.
The Project EIA specifically states that [s]ustainability of agriculture is threatened by water-logging and consequent soil salinity-sodicity in canal command areas, whereas groundwater depletion is also occurring in some other areas, resulting in reduced productivity. Further, during monsoon period, the rivers cause flooding of large areas, particularly in Eastern [Uttar Pradesh], resulting into considerable loss of crops, life and property. According to the FAO, Waterlogging and salinization of soils are common problems associated with surface irrigation. Waterlogging results primarily from inadequate drainage and over-irrigation and, to a lesser extent, from seepage from canals and ditches. Waterlogging concentrates salts, drawn up from lower in the soil profile, in the plants' rooting zone. Alkalization, the build-up of sodium in soils, is a particularly detrimental form of salinization which is difficult to rectify, resulting in 2 to 3 million ha going out of production worldwide each year due to salinity problems.
According to the FAO, with respect to irrigation projects, [d]amming the river and creating a lake-like environment profoundly changes the hydrology and limnology of the river system. Dramatic changes occur in the timing of flow, quality, quantity and use of water, aquatic biota, and sedimentation in the river basin. The area of influence of a dam project extends from the upper limits of the catchment of the reservoir to as far downstream as the estuary, coast and offshore zone. While there are direct environmental impacts associated with the construction of the dam (for example dust, erosion, borrow and disposal problems), the greatest impacts result from the impoundment of water, flooding of land to form the reservoir and alteration of water flow downstream. These effects have direct impacts on soils, vegetation, wildlife and wildlands, fisheries, climate and especially the human populations in the area.
Indeed, the project EIA suggests that in the creation of irrigation canals, tanks, dams, reservoirs, etc. has also increased the number of artificial wetlands across the State. The primary purpose of these wetlands is to provide local people with water for irrigation and domestic purposes and to produce hydroelectric power. However, in course of time, they have begun to attract wildlife as well, and therefore their conservation value has increased. These wetlands, however, are now vulnerable to degradation and ecological deterioration resulting from human population pressures and related increases in the demand for natural resources.
Additionally, [t] he Lower Ganges EIA reported that [i]n the district almost at every 10-12 km there is mining activity which has serious impact on environment, on productivity of agricultural crops and on the health of people. Additionally, there are 29 authorized mining locations which are located in 5 districts of Bundelkhand Area where [e]xtraction of minerals based lease allotted in each district as well as operation of mineral based industries is suggestive of alteration of drainage system, erosion and siltation of river system and air and water pollution. Specific impacts included deterioration in air quality.
With regards to the current investment, the World Bank states that the proposed investments on irrigation infrastructure and water management activities could have adverse but geographically limited environmental impacts but qualifies that [t]he physical works of the project are rehabilitative in nature and since no new canals are proposed for construction, significant adverse environmental or social impacts are not anticipated. Specifically, [a]dverse environmental impacts may arise due to certain planned activities, like disposal of silt during rehabilitation of irrigation infrastructure, construction and installation of irrigation control structures, small bridges over canals, increased used of agro-chemicals for increasing crop productivity etc.
However, the FAO states that, [l]arge irrigation projects which impound or divert river water have the potential to cause major environmental disturbances, resulting from changes in the hydrology and limnology of river basins. Reducing the river flow changes flood plain land use and ecology and can cause salt water intrusion in the river and into the groundwater of adjacent lands. Diversion of water through irrigation further reduces the water supply for downstream users, including municipalities, industries and agriculture. A reduction in river base flow also decreases the dilution of municipal and industrial wastes added downstream, posing pollution and health hazards.
Pesticides and Environmental Health
According to recent literature on pesticide use in Indian agriculture, [p]esticides can contaminate soil, water, turf, and other vegetation. In addition to killing insects or weeds, pesticides can be toxic to a host of other organisms including birds, fish, beneficial insects, and non-target plants. Insecticides are generally the most acutely toxic class of pesticides, but herbicides can also pose risks to non-target organisms. Additionally, [p]esticides can reach surface water through runoff from treated plants and soil. Contamination of water by pesticides is widespread.
The World Bank states that [a]lthough the project does not plan to finance
any pesticides, there is a possibility of induced impact of greater pesticide use due to increased agricultural intensification and diversification. The project EIA however, notes that the project will result in increased usage of fertilizers, chemical pesticides & biopesticides. World Bank documentation states that [a]n environmental management plan on pest management has been prepared that provides for enhancement of integrated pest management activities. Banned pesticides and those included in the WHO Scheduled Lists would not be financed.
The World Bank provides that no significant impacts are anticipated due to
inclusion [in the project area] of three dams in Bundelkhand under the project. A Dam Safety Cell in the State of Uttar Pradesh would be suitably strengthened to ensure issues of dam safety are addressed. An independent safety assessment of the three dams was completed and the findings reveal that there are minimal risks in relation to dam safety. The selected dams would be supported, as required to address any safety issues under the World Bank financed Dam Rehabilitation and Improvement Project (DRIP) under implementation in parallel. The Uttar Pradesh is a participating state in DRIP.
According to the NGO International Rivers, dam construction and rehabilitation can result in [d]ownstream impacts [that] can include fluctuations in water flow, degradation of water quality, and sedimentation, which has already been observed in the area (The project EIA indicates that currently, the [d]ams [in the project area] have large amount of silt and are deteriorating but their restoration and maintenance was not possible due to serious shortage of funds.).
The World Bank further states that [a]lthough the project is in an international river
basin (Ganges), no significant impact is anticipated upstream or downstream on water
quality or quantity given the nature of interventions, which are rehabilitation and modernization of the existing irrigation infrastructure. Given the nature of this project, though the OP is triggered, an exception to notification has been granted similar to the one granted in Phase I.
However, according to International Rivers, dams [even for flood control] have had a profound negative impact on communities and ecology upstream and downstream. Further, downstream impacts do not stop at a certain pre-defined distance, but depend on various factors like the geomorphology and sediment load of the river, and patterns of settlement and the size of the river-depend[e]nt population. With regards to upstream effects, the FAO reports that [u]pstream land uses affect the quality of water entering the irrigation area, particularly the sediment content (for example from agriculture-induced erosion) and chemical composition (for example from agricultural and industrial pollutants). Use of river water with a large sediment load may result in canal clogging. This is especially troubling in situations dealing with international rivers. Rehabilitation of the currently existing dams may compound any adverse impacts arising from the operation of the dams.
The project EIA indicates that, Uttar Pradesh consists of vast extent of water resources. As such, there are 2508 wetlands in the State of which 1193 are larger than 56.25 hectares. The area covered by these wetlands is 328689 hectares in post monsoon and 266731.61 hectares in pre-monsoon. The wetlands in [Uttar Pradesh] occur mainly in the vast Gangetic plains. Of these, twenty-five wetlands have been identified as fragile ecosystems. However, the FAO indicates that [d]espite their importance, wetlands are under threat, in particular, from direct conversion of wetlands for agriculture and projects which affect the hydrology of a wetland, such as construction of dams, flood control, lowering of the aquifer drainage, and irrigation and other water supply systems.
Additionally, there are five protected areas near the project area, and two within the project area, a mere 1-2 km away from the zone of intervention (Lakh Bahoshi & Saman wildlife sanctuary are located inside LGC project boundary. Bahoshi wildlife sanctuary is located more than one km away (aerial) from project intervention area of Ganga Canal Kanpur branch. Similarly, Saman Wildlife sanctuary is located more than two km (aerial) from the project intervention area.).
The EIA states that [c]anals rehabilitation, while required to ensure the objectives of irrigation service delivery, may result in localized adverse impacts on such minor wetlands and their associated biodiversity. Extensive periods of waterlogging and poor drainage could also result in creation of sodic lands in some areas. Improved canal working with reduced seepage would help address the issue of generation of sodicity. Specifically, the EIA highlights that Uttar Pradesh supports the largest population of Sarus Cranes in India. A total of 1019 Sarus Cranes were counted from 46 sites in 20 districts in 1999 accounting for 50% of the India's total. The EIA provides, however that [m]ost of the other population, however, is found outside the protected area network with protected areas currently, not contributing significantly to the protection of the species as a whole.
World Bank documentation further states that [t]he project may introduce the use of biodiversity offsets as an innovative safeguards mechanism in the state. This would ensure no net loss of biodiversity, as some spatially limited impacts could arise along canals on wetlands and associated biodiversity. The project may set aside funds as an offset to increase biodiversity in other wetlands (equivalent to the losses in biodiversity observed through project investments) so that no net loss of biodiversity is recorded due to project investments.
The wide range of works, including the rehabilitation of dams, that could be financed by the investment have the potential of creating significant adverse ecological impacts that could impede on the right to a healthy environment. The following questions may be relevant to determining whether you or your community has suffered a violation of your right to a healthy environment as a result of the investment project:
- Has the government provided information to you regarding the disposal of solid waste, hazardous waste, and other waste products, and what impact is this likely to have on the local environment?
- Has the government informed you of an environmental action plan in place for reducing adverse ecological effects on local communities?
- What options do you have (legal or otherwise) if the environmental impacts of the proposed operations become a problem for local communities and/or the local ecosystem?
RIGHT TO PROPERTY
Displacement from development projects can result in both physical displacement and livelihood displacement of local communities. According to the 2012 Human Rights Status Report for India, experts estimate the number of those displaced by such projects since 1947 is between 60 and 65 million.
The FAO further provides that, with respect to irrigation projects, [c]hanging land use patterns may have other impacts on social and economic structure of the project area. Small plots, communal land use rights, and conflicting traditional and legal land rights all create difficulties when land is converted to irrigated agriculture. Land tenure/ownership patterns are almost certain to be disrupted by major rehabilitation works as well as a new irrigation project. Similar problems arise as a result of changes to rights to water. Increased inequity in opportunity often results from changing land use or water use patterns. For example, owners benefit in a greater proportion than tenants or those with communal rights to land. Access improvements and changes to the infrastructure are likely to require some field layout changes and a loss of some cultivated land.
The World Bank states that [e]ven though it is unlikely that the rehabilitation and modernization of the irrigation systems in the UPWSRP Phase 2 Project area would call for any involuntary resettlement, this policy is triggered to provide for any such requirement that might arise and to ensure that remedial action incorporates the requirements of OP 4.12. The Bank further provides that a Resettlement Policy Framework (RPF) that outlines the resettlement principles, organizational arrangements and design criteria to be applied for conforming with the OP 4.12 on Involuntary Resettlement has been prepared as part of the ESA. Sub-projects that may require involuntary resettlement would be screened to ensure their compliance with OP 4.12.
The following questions may be relevant to determining whether you or your community's right to property and adequate housing has been adversely affected by the investment project:
- Have you and your community had an opportunity to input on any resettlement plans and provide suggestions about alternatives to relocation to the government?
- Has the land and/or housing provided following relocation been adequate and of an equal or better quality than the land and/or housing previously occupied?
- If you were resettled, do you feel that you received adequate compensation for your land, housing, or crops?
- What options do you have (legal or otherwise) at your disposal in the event that you feel that your right to property or adequate housing has been compromised?
RIGHT TO CULTURE
The Bundelkhand project EIA indicates that the district has a large number (approx. 50) of medicinal species in the forest area. The variety of small medicinal trees are Bhangraj, Bhum amla, Shankh pushpi, Safed Musli, Shatabar, Harjor, Ashwgandha, Arusa, Thuar, etc. The tall varities of trees are Gulmarg, Amla, Bel, Beejasal, Mahua, Duddhi, Neem, Jamun, Arjun, Reetha, etc. In the event that the canal rehabilitation or modernization has adverse affects on the local forests due to alterations to the ecosystem, the right to culture of people relying on traditional medicines for their health or livelihood may be jeopardized.
The following questions may be relevant to determining whether you or your community's right to culture has been adversely affected by the investment project:
- Were you informed and asked to provide input prior to the destruction of any valuable cultural heritage sites or relics for construction of any components of the project?
- Has your access to cultural institutions been affected since the beginning of the investment project?
- Has your ability to maintain and use your traditional customs, including your use of traditional medicines, been affected since the beginning of the investment project?
- What opportunities (legal or other) are available if you feel that your right to take part in cultural life has been restricted or denied?
- Has your community has been discriminated against because of its culture?
RIGHTS OF MARGINALIZED AND DISCRIMINATED AGAINST GROUPS
With regards changes to the patterns of livelihood, the FAO indicates that [c]hanging land patterns and work loads resulting from the introduction or formalizing of irrigation are likely to affect men and women, ethnic groups and social classes unequally. Groups that use common land to make their living or fulfill their household duties, for example for charcoal making, hunting, grazing, collecting fuel wood, growing vegetables, etc. may be disadvantaged if that same land is taken over for irrigated agriculture or for building irrigation infrastructure. Women, migrants groups and poorer social classes have often lost access to resources and gained increased work loads. Conversely, the increased income and improved nutrition from irrigated agriculture may benefit women and children in particular. As the Lower Ganga Canal area is populated by 213,108 below poverty line families (about 50% of total rural families) as of the 2002 census, the area is already vulnerable in terms of socioeconomic status.
The following questions may be relevant to determining whether you or your community's rights have been adversely affected by the investment project:
- Are you at a disadvantage or have you been disproportionately affected by the project due to your sex, race, religion, or socioeconomic class?
- Have you received appropriate information and were you allowed the opportunity to provide input regarding your special needs in the planning or operational stages of the project?
- What options (legal or otherwise) do you have if you feel that you have been discriminated against or marginalized in the project decision-making process?
RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE
In India, it is reported that almost 40% of displaced persons in the country are from the tribal communities. Many of these tribes have been displaced from the forests without any proper compensation and legal procedure, and the replacement infrastructure, land, and facilities for farming that are available and accessible to the tribal communities are not insufficient. Furthermore, most of these communities' livelihoods and cultures are inextricably linked to the land, rendering them disproportionately vulnerable to negative social effects of displacement.
According to the EIA, in the Lower Ganga Canal Command area, the scheduled tribe population is minimal though the scheduled castes population is comparatively significant. The project EIA indicates that, the proportion of (scheduled caste) SC population in the districts as a whole ranged from 16.83% (Kanpur Nagar) to 35.10% (Kaushambi) in 1991 with approximately similar proportion in 2001. There was actually a wide variation in the proportion of SC population at the block level. It ranged from 14.33% in Jasrana block of Firozabad district to 41.57% in Chail Block in Kaushambi district. In Kaushambi district most of the command area blocks had very high percentage of SC Population (nearly 30% or more) while in other command area Blocks of each district it was about 15% only.
According to the EIA, [s]cheduled tribes families do not represent indigenous people as per OP 4.10 because they have been mainstreamed into the local culture; [t]hey do not differ in nature considering social, culture, economic & political institution's perspectives from the dominant community; [t]hey do not have attachment to geographically distinct habitats or ancestral territory in the project intervention area; and [t]hey do not have an indigenous language.
Specifically regarding the current investment project, the EIA declared that [t]he tribal populations in the project area are negligible and do not represent indigenous population; therefore they do not warrant the triggering of the OP 4.10 on Indigenous People. The project shall keep track of the tribal families that do exist in the project area and use every opportunity to support their special livelihood and allied service support requirements should any interventions be taken up in the vicinity of where these families exist. In the event that the project affects a wider area or greater adverse effects than initially projected, the rights of schedules castes in the area may be infringed upon.
The following questions may be relevant to determining whether you or your community's rights have been adversely affected by the investment project:
- Have you been discriminated against as an indigenous community?
- Has the project interfered with your ability to maintain your political, economic and social structures in accordance with your cultures, spiritual traditions, histories and philosophies?
- Have you been able to participate in decision making regarding the development and sustainable management of your environment?
- If relocated, was this after you had given your free, prior, and informed consent to be resettled?
- Were you given adequate compensation as part of the resettlement action plan for the project?
- If your rights were violated, do you have clear information on ways (legal and otherwise) of seeking justice, remedy, or compensation?