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Volume 4 Issue 3 October 1.996 For Private Circulation Onlv Peoples Initiatives .' Countering the Establishment
Volume 4 Issue 3 October 1.996
For Private Circulation Onlv
Peoples Initiatives .'
Countering the Establishment
EQUATIONS has constantly been reinforcing its commitment
to create a space for democratic involvement and allowing
concern of the "hosts", only of business, the foreign investor,
and the Government.
subaltern groups like Dalits, tribals, women, children and
economically marginalised communities to find a voice in a
We have an essay on the dehumanising effect of globalisation
on the value system of an individual and the cultural heritage
discourse that is increasingly controlled by the power elite.
In the post 96 election scenario,
we are haPPy to note that the
that forms the collective resources for a community. Tourism,
in its present form gives us a threatening illustration of such
homogenising tendencies
coalition
of the subaltern forces have found some
representation in the United Front Government that has been
The CRZ Regulations and their violations indicate a similar
formed at the Centre. Despite the criticism of the power elite
that such a coalition lacks stability, we would like to assert that
pattern, where the State in its drive towards economic reforms,
ignores the traditional rights of individuals and communities,
two critical changes have emerged, which we feel will have an
important bearing on the manner in which tourism develops
in the country. The first is the emergence of a Federal Front,
representing the regional political movements which seek to
as it changes land use patterns to the disadvantage of those
whose survival strategies are being pushed down to significant
levels of pauperisation. Given the ruling elite's pre-occupation
with "development", reform and stability, which in practice
find financing for State development schemes rather than
have resulted in one scam after another, peoples issues have
routing finances from the Centre to the Panchayats for central
projects. Perhaps, the State will now also look at the issue of
foreign exchange earnings from tourism being retained for the
been pushed further away from resolution. The government
and the travel industry can no longer look at sustainable
tourism as the management of quality tourism. They will have
benefit of the people who live at tourist destinations rather
than being repatriated to the Centre. Secondly, we see the
to look at issues of displacement and human rights in tourism,
the greatest impact of which is felt by women and children.
"instability" factor as the only way for the electorate in the
Our project on Women & Tourism hopes to highlight gender
present framework to recall an M.P. who does not deliver the
promises made at the time of elections. When a Government
has to face the electorate, it has to be accountable. We hope
that in the future, we would be able to lobby with all political
exploitation in all regional
and national projects
within the
overall perspective
of value conflicts that tourism has
generated in its developmental process. Where women have
parties to include tourism development as a part of their
political manifesto.
led and participated in land, wage, sex tourism, anti-arrack,
anti-aquaculture, handloom weavers struggles and opposed
the liberalisation policies and have also stood up to Dalit
In this context, we would like to highlight the peoples
oppression and violence in the form of rape
and dowry
deaths,
initiatives that have taken up tourism and development issues
in critical areas across the country.
we see women and their organisations as a force in
strengthening people centred tourism.
The Shimla workshop on Sustainable Tourism brought rural
and urban response groups and scientists, academe, the
Similarly, vast areas are being notified as STAs and EPZs,
which are being excluded from the jurisdiction of Panchayats,
bureaucracy
and
politicians together in a dialogue where the
Zilla Parishads and Gram Mandals. These processes which are
demand
was for a "transfer of
power" from the state
being revived to re-establish grass roots
democracy
are
machinery to the peoples representatives and local/
apparently to be limited to the economically backward
community groups and organisations.
From Keralam, we had a response survey on tourism impacts,
regions, whilst foreign investors are to be allowed a supra-
national system of taxation and governance. The need for a
which pointed out that State machinery took for granted the
acceptance of development plans
by
the resident
population.
National Policy on Relocation and Rehabilitation needs to be
debated. The erosion of our sovereigtrty, in which tourism also
Tourism was even further
removed. It was not to be the
seeks to be a role player, also needs to be debated.
L

It is interesting to learn that the usurpation of peoples rights and sovereignty is not only our concern in India, but also the

concern of the Dutch people who are alarmed at the 30 billion

guilders expansion of Schiphol Airport. We support their

concern as we are in the process of expanding and upgrading

20 airports in India, to cater to the charter tourists as well as to

the silently growing Time Share Resort Movement.

We are concerned that the media, controlled as it is by big

business interests, has continued to be insensitive to the issues

that concern the small, the invisible, the marginalised, what

we consider to be of vital interest to our constituency, finds a

place in the hidden corners of newspapers or magazines and

at the worst viewing time in the electronic media. fust as our

interventions with the

family, the

government .bodies, State machinery

community, local

and

the

Central

government have made some headway,we would now like to

work on intervening in the print and audio-visual media so

that the media also enters the dialogue with the dispossessed, to re-orient their priority issues.

N;.,*P,a,

Dear Readers,

Greetings from all of us at EQUATIONS. Firstly, apologies to you for the almost a year long wait that you have

had to experience to get this issue of ANletter. There have

been several reasons for this delay

in the production

of this issue. As you will notice that Ms Sarayu Siva who was the co-editor of this newsletter is no longer with EQUATIONS. She got married in February and Ieft a void in the publications activity which we are now slowly

and collectively handling. Another marriage that took place was that of the Editor himself in |une.

Marriage was also the theme for the organisation with EQUATIONS negotiating with our

funding partners for

renewal of funding support for the immediate future. While the core activities now have support, it is the

Publications of EQUATIONS which have experienced the biggest budgetary cuts. The rationale for this is that

these publications need to be increasingly supported by the readership and not subsidised. Therefore, we appeal

to you to directly support this and other publications of EQUATIONS through your contributions/donations.

Nina Rao is the Guest Editor of this issue of the ANletter. She teaches tourism at

the College of Vocational

Studies,

Delhi University. She is also very keenly

associated withEQUATIONS for the last several years.

Presently she is the member of the Programme Sub-Committee, which is a policy-making body within

EQUATIONS.

This issue is

making-up for the time that we have not been publishing

i.e., December '95 to October '95. The next

issue will be in year.

December after which we will svncronise the volumes of the ANletter to that of the calendar

One of the pleasures that all of us at EQUATIONS experience is your suggestions about the issues that we raise

in the ANletter. Do write to us.

K .T .9'"*,tl

Dear Friends,

This is to inform vou that we have shifted our office

Please make a note <if the addresses for EQUATIONS.

from the above mentioned address to the

following new premises.

New Address

:

No. 198, tr Cross Church Road (Behind old KEB Office) New Thippasandra

 

Bangalore-560075 INDIA

Telephone Numbers

+91-80-528 2313

+91-80-529 2905

E-mail Address

ADMIN @ equations.ilban.emet.in

Fax Number

9r-80-5282313

Telegraph Address

EQUATIONT Bangalore 560 075

For your convenience, we are reprod

2

I N DUSTRIALISATION, LI B E RALISATION AND VIOLATION OF CRZ REGULATIONS By YATNA: PIRC Bangalore
I N DUSTRIALISATION, LI B E RALISATION
AND VIOLATION OF CRZ REGULATIONS
By YATNA: PIRC Bangalore
Prelude
In terms of big industrial units, Mangalore tops the list with
62"/o of the units. (This has reduced
to
50 o/" r
1993-94, because
The impact of industrialisation on the coastal eco-system is a
of the gradual emergence of Buntwal into the arena). Udupi,
matter of grave concern. This impact has an obvious tendency
to increase proportionately with an increase in the pace of
growth of the industrial units, particularly those which are
environmentally hazardous. In addition, matters concerning
Belthangadi and Karkala are other Taluks which are catching
up with Mangalore. (By t993-94, Karkala has receded to the
background with Kundapur emerging as the contender). The
land-use, ownership rights, water management, effluent
treatment and depletion of natural resources get enmeshed
concentration of big industrial units can be taken as yet
another proxy for violation of CRZ by default.
with the issue of protecting
the fragile eco-system. In the
ultimate analysis,
industrialisation would leave lasting
There has been a stupendous growth of small scale units h the
impressions on the renewable natural resources, on the bio-
district. These units grow either in response to an export-
diversity and on the human settlements all along the coastline.
oriented policy regime or as ancillaries to big industrial units.
Needless
to say that their'concentration is felt more at
Dakshina Kannada - A Case Study
Mangalore. It
may be argued that these units grow in
Of the eight taluks in the district, Sulya is not a coastal Taluk
and hence may be avoided for our discussions. However, the
tables presented here do contain details pertaining to Sulya for
identifiable clusters, making optimum utilisation of the coastal
infrastructure. Thus, it is not uncommon to find groups of
food processing factories, job work units and wood industries
in separate and identifiable clusters. This clusterwise growth
the sake of consistency and averages. The following analysis is
based on the data for the year 1989-90 as furnished by the Zilla
leads to typical
problems
of industrial
concentration resulting
in related irritants like pollution, human displacement,
Parishad bf Dakshina Kannada.
extensive alterations in the patterns of land-use and water
management.
We may begin our analysis by looking
at the pattern of land
use in the district. Of the total
8,33,595 hectares of land
available in the district,2T percent has been declared as forests
and 35 percent is shown as grass sown area. 25,888 hectares of
A listing of those units which comprise 5 % and above of the
total units would provide us with a list of largely concentrated
land is being held in holdings which are under the category
industrial groups. In this case, they are : food processing,
glass, job works, mechanical engineering, printing, textiles,
"10 hectares and above".
Aview of
the contmtious
MRPL plant
This aspect merits considera- tion. Land holdings which are
larger than 10 hectares
indicate a tendency
of concentration of
wood and others. The situation has remained the same even in
1993-94. These clusters have a tendency to grow by the sheer
land-use for non-agricultural purposes. Belthangadi,
strength of their established capacity. Hence they may be
Kundapur, Udupi and Mangalore (in that order) top the list of
regarded as an important indicator of CRZ violation by
large average holdings. This average can be used as one of the
default.
proxies for possible violations in CRZ.
3

It has already been identified "fast growing group of

industries" in Karnataka, namely, leather and leather products, transport equipments, non-electrical machinery, other textiles,

beverages

and tobacco, food products, wood and wood

products, ready-mades, plastic, rubber and petroleum,

electrical machinery and others. Industrial units belonging to these groups have a potential to grow at faster pace than the

rest of the uhits. They are also a major suspects in terms of pollution, effluent discharge, capital intensity and excessive land and water use. Thus the clustering of these industries in

the taluks of Mangalore, Udupi, Kundapur and Puttur needs

to be studied with concern. This subject of industrial units has

been taken as yet another indicator while arriving at the

comprehensive index of violation of CRZ regulations.

By assigning relative weights to the above proxies, namely,

land holdings, industrial units, concentration of small scale

clusters and

concentration of "fast track" industries, the

ranking of the taluks in Dakshina Kannada was arrived at.

Mangalore tops the

list with the index of violation pegged

at 11, followed by Udupi (4), Belthangadi ( ) and Kundapur

(3). Thus we can assume with the fair degree of confidence that the degree of violation of the CRZ regulation is more in

those taluks where the index is relatively high.

with high incidence of the index. Karkala provides.a case for low incidence of index, but relatively higher levels of literacy. Buntwal and Puttur are two taluks wherein literacy rates and incidence of index of violation are both low.

Uttara Kannada - An Exploratory Study

The database of Uttara Kannada is not as robust and broad-

based as that of Dakshina Kannada. For example, Zilla

Parishad has not published any data pertaining to small scale units. In spite of this, an attempt has been made to assess the

index of violation for different taluks of the district. Kumta, Karwar, Honnavar, Haliyala, Mundagod and Bhatkal show

relatively higher incidence of index violation. This precludes Ankola which is the only remaining coastal Taluk. The results are to an extent vitiated because of numerous non-coastal

taluks in the sample. Thus, the results presented here should

be interpreted more carefully. This asks for an in-depth study

of the situation in the district supported by more data on

relevant variables.

Conclusions

The above analysis provides certain guidelines for setting up

it *uy

shows

be pertinent to ask whether this index of violation

watch towers to monitor CRZ violations. It is not enough to

any sensitivity to the socio-economic status of the

raise objections to an MRPL here and a Cogentrix there.

community living

in the Taluk. In this study, we have made

Industrialisation has a dynamism of its own by which the

use of rate of literacy as an indicator of social well-being. It

balance of ecological pax gets vitiated. A holistic view of the

may be argued that literacy do not reflect such complex issues

situation tends to contextualise the issue within the policy

as poverty, inequalities in income and wealth, malnutrition,

framework. Perhaps, solutions too, may emerge by making the

infant mortality and couple protection rate which are better

necessary changes in the policy framework. Apparently, the

indicators of social well-being. However, it is our opinion that

activists and the public at large have not considered this option

literacy provides a near approximate estimation of accepted

seriously.

sbcial standards of living. In terms of literacy, Mangalore tops

the list of taluks where 63.30 T" of the total population were Iiterate in 1981. Udupi, Karkala, Sulya are the other Taluks

where the level of literacy is above the district average. This makes us to conclude that violations of CRZ regulations may

take place where people are socially better off as well as in

places where they are worse off.

To elaborate, Mangalore and

index of violation and

Udupi have high incidence of

high levels of literacy. Whereas,

Belthangadi and Kundapur have low levels of literacy coupled

For instance, the draft National Fisheries Policy which has

been accepted by the Central Board of Fisheries in its 20th

meeting held on 02.'1,t.1995 does not even mention about the

CRZ violation. It is surprising that the policy during its

formulation has not evoked enough response from media or

otherwise. As such, CBF was the right forum for initiating

required

number

changes in the

policy framework, for CBF has a

of concerned citizens and activists as invitees.

Perhaps, it is time that we pick up the right course of action before it is too late.

identified "fast growing group of leather products, non-electrical machinery, other textiles, beverages products, and wood
identified "fast growing group of leather products, non-electrical machinery, other textiles, beverages products, and wood
H. M. Manjunath Dr. Muralidharan
H. M. Manjunath
Dr. Muralidharan

4

\p ANANNilTNN G a q TO x DA\|ALOPIMNT? 6 ourism promoters view "Tourists as our guests".
\p
ANANNilTNN
G
a
q
TO
x
DA\|ALOPIMNT?
6
ourism promoters view "Tourists as our guests". In his
-f t
criticism to the recent 'Kovalam March' organised to
-L bring public awareness to the deterioration of Kovalam
village after it became a tourist centre, the former tourism
,
After Kerala fell easily within the trade calculations of the
colonial powers, the nature of the trade changed - revenue
flowed out of the country. New ports of Bombay, Calcutta and
Madras in 18 and 19 centuries were centres which depleted
department director has written an article titled 'those who
battle their guests'.
our wealth. Their prosperity also meant the decline of the ports
of Kovalam, Allepey, Purakkad, Kochi, Ponnani, Beypore,
Kozhikode, Panthalayani, Dharmadam and Kannur(some of
Who is a guest (Athithi in the local language)? It is said that a
guest is "the one who would not stay for more than a day",
these ports were world famous). Kerala was reduced to a poor
area dependent on the cultivation of a few food grains. During
the post independence era, Kerala with its background of land
"the one who has come tired and hungry", or "the one who
reforms, estate money, money from
smuggling, gulf money,
comes uninvited." This term has evolved out of the old
blade companies (financing firms that
charge
exorbitant
practise of people travelling to far off places on foot. It was
interests), took major strides in the education and health
considered virtuous to treat these tired and hungry travellers
arenas/ and created the 'Kerala Model'. Although, we are still
with kindness and respect and it is out of this concept that
guests were considered worth worshipping. There is a long
a backward state compared
to
many
other states.The
Government (of both fronts) is
opting for tourism
distance between guests and tourists.
development at this difficult juncture. It is discovered that our
Today, tourism is business. Like any other business it also
involves profit and loss. One needs to take these factors into
consideration in order to avoid problems in future. Any party
making a deal without it is sure to land in trouble .
forests and coastal areas can be utilised for tourism purposes.
Can tourism be a solution to our backwardness?
Isn't the stand that, tourism is the only solution for
development and employment generation, stemmed out of the
pressures of election politics?. "Kovalam was a politically
Tourism is one of the biggest, comparatively Iess polluting
sensitive village, which thrived on coconut based agriculture
and industries. When tourists throw dollars for their pleasures
industries in the world today. With minimum industrialisation
on the one hand, the Kovalam village is becoming more and
and with a nature which is prone to great environmental
perils, tourism development is officially considered to be a
more poverty stricken on the other" says a note by the
great boon to Kerala. And both the major political. fronts here
organisers of the Kovalam March and Agitation. Will anyone
who knows today's Kovalam say there is no truth in it? It is for
in Kerala agree on this.
the American soldiers'Rest and Recreation' that Thailand won
fame for employing the oldest profession in the world' in a
Kerala is h state where there is large scale unemployment and
modern way. In the wake liberalisation and
globalisation,
least industrialisation. But this situation is not due to lack of
many industries would come up all over Asia and the
natural or human resources. Many areas in Kerala became
executives of these industries would undergo a lot of tensions
prosperous through marine trade during the 15, 'J,6 and 77
due to the competitive nature of their jobs. Could a situation
centuries. Local customs did not enable the locals espebially
where Kerala becomes an ideal "centre of relief" for them
the more prosperous ones to get directly involved in the trade.
They received only duties on the goods and such other levies.
Farmers here received a meagre share, as is the case elsewhere
solve our problems?
in the world. Middlemen and ferrymen got just enodgh to
survive. The chieftains and kings of small areas spent their
Translation of Dr.
M .Gangadharan's article in Malayalam
published in the Mathrubhumi
Weekly,
a widely circulated
earnings on festivals and other celebrations.
Malayalam joumal (April 21-21 7996Issue)
5
The land required for Bekal project will be nearly 450 hectares, and 90 hectares had already
The land required for Bekal project will be nearly 450 hectares,
and 90 hectares had already been acquired.The second phase
of
land acquisition programme include 260 hectares. The
project will displace thousands of people including nearly
25,000 fish workers. (See also pg L5-Bekal Project Scaled down)
The infrastructure plan of the project prepared at a cost of
nearly Rs 70 lakh was submitted to the government during
Kennhm Dinny
fune 1995.
The authorities allowed the people to have a look at the project
document only after considerable pressure from various
quarters, including media people and groups like Equations.
Meanwhile, the government established the Bekal Resort
ft '
he hst few years had witnessed a concerted propaganda
,
by the government to prombte tourism at a massive
r
Development Corporation Limited with offices at Trivandrum,
the State Capital, and at Uduma in Kasargod district, which is
the closest small-town to Bekal. The Managing Director of the
scale in the state of Keralam, lying at the Southern tip of
Corporation is on repeated foreign tour with begging bowl to
the Indian sub-continent. While inaugurating the Malabar
plead with the "gods" to come to Bekal to invest. The multi-
Mahotsavam
(a festival with no roots in traditions of the
coloured brochure prepared by the Corporation, spending
Northern parts of Keralam, invented
by the tourism
lakhs of rupees, make the "dependency model" inherent in
bureaucracy of the state) at Kozhikode, the Governor of
tourism very clear through the statement that "our guest is our
Keralam said that tourism would be the only industry suitable
god"-
for Keralarn. His assertion that tourism could bring-in
tremendous prosperity to the state is just a repetition of the
orchestrated propaganda by politicians and bureaucrats who
failed to lead an otherwise wealthy area into the required level
of prosperity because of a high level of mismanagement
Dr K K N Kurup, Head, Department of History, Calicut
University, said in his article published in Mathrubhoomi, a
leading Malayalam weekly, that the Bekal tourism project
would pose a major threat to national security since it has been
during the last four decades.
planned at a strategic location close to the Ezhimala Naval
Academy.
The trumpeting for tourism promotion carried out by the
political parties, mainstream media and the bureaucracy need
Visit Wayanad Carnival
to be recorded by juxtaposing the'development experience'of
the state. The 'Keralam model of development', hailed by all
There has been a tendency all over India to organise instant
and sundry, including the World Bank and many critical
carnivals and festivals with no history behind them exclusively
economists for its
achievement of indicators of development'
for promotion of tourism which is a fallout of the
proposal in
as prescribed by Western preachers of 'development', had
already proved beyond doubt the rnany trappings of such a
the
National Action Plan for Tourism, 7992
(of
the
Government of India) that 'fairs and festivals will become big
'development paradigm'. Since those who managed the state
attractions for tourists'.
during the last four decades failed to utilise the high quality
human and natural capital of the state for a balanced socio-
economic growth, the rate of unemployment had shot up to a
dangerous level along with other evils associated with the
'western paradigms of development. The planners found the
easiest way to contain protest by promising yet another bout of
Wayanad, the hill district in Northern Keralam, with no
tradition of carnival witnessed a government-sponsored
carnival which had expended a lot of money from the public
coffers. Interestingly, Wayanad is one of the most bactward
progress through tourism, which would, infact, increase the
districts in the "highly developed" state though it possess one
of the most richest land in terms of productivity. Expending
already dangerous level of "dependency" of the state.
huge amounts of public money to attract "gods" by a state
which had closed its treasury a number of times in the recent
The government
of the state
has been engaged
in articulation
past may be the strangest thing ever happened in the country!
of the doom
which would fall upon the people of the state, if
they don't jump into the tourism bandwagon now. It has been
The Visit Wayanad Carnival organised by tourism authorities
planning to sell anything that have the minimum appearance
to attract the leisure class. The State's cultural diversity, its
witnessed the commodification of folk culture and even the
indigenous people of the area. During the camival, the various
people and natural resources have been made into things to be
gazed at and consumed only by "guests" which even pose
threats to the survival of the "hosts". "Guest is our god" is the
new mantra chanted by the government and the mainstream
tribal people were forced to parade with their traditional
artefacts and cultural symbols in front of those who came just
to gaze at them for a few seconds.
media.
On27thJan7996, the state's minister for Devaswam (Temple
Administration) inaugurated a five star resthouse in Thirunelli
Temple complex in Wayanad which is a major sacred ground
of the tribal people of the district. The tourism department and
Oppose Bekal Proiect - Medha Patkar
industry lobby is on a frantic search for beautiful places in the
While addressing a public meeting at Kasargod, the Narmada
district to create exclusive paradises for the "gods", which
Bachao Andholan Leader, Ms Medha Patkar, said that projects
like Bekal Special Tourism Area which violate human rights in
could be any place in the district with its lush green forests,
plantations and healthy climate. Interestingly, the district was
large scale should be rejected fully. She exhorted the people of
Keralam to put up a united fight against the project.
declared long back as an industry-free area because of its
ecological peculiarities but now the government itself is
6
violating its own decision by promoting tourism industry. The poor majority of tribals and farmers were
violating its own decision by promoting tourism industry. The
poor majority
of tribals and farmers were traPPed through the
callrpa
propaganda
of "economic development" unleashed by the
government through all channels of communication.
Beautifying Kochi
The madness of development planning by the 'highly
developed' state could be witnessed
in
many areas. The
project to
beautify
Fort Kochi is
a good example of the dramas
of
'development' played by the
tourism officials. The
beautification programme commenced a couple of years ago
with a plan out-lay of Rs 35 lakhs .The Beach Development
Society has been looking out for private agencies to finance the
beautification through lease of the three kiosks on the beach at
a 'high contribution' though it was stated that the kiosk space
On December 3L,L995during new year eve, the Keralam
could be used free of cost.
Samskara Samrakshana Samithi (Keralam Culture Protection
Committee) held a march to Kovalam and staged dharna (sit-
The high contribution for beautification to be provided by
in-strike) at the beach to protest against the unplanned and
those who take the kiosk assured that only big operators in the
tourism circles get the spacq. One such kiosk has been let out
uncontrolled tourism development in the state.They alleged
that in the name of tourism promotion , the government has
to Tata Tea Limited, the plantation company of the Tata Group
which control the Taj Hotels and many other tourism related
been promoting prostitution and drug business, apart from
wanton destruction of the environment.
activities. The Society has been trying to give the other two
kiosks to Taj Hotels, and another to the Casino Group of
Hotels which run a chain of hotels including the one at the
Meanwhile, the tourism authorities and the industry lobby
exclusive tourism location in the Lakshadweep Islands, the
organised a 10-day village festival called "Gramam"(meaning,
Village) at Kovalam to culminate in the new year revelry. In
Bangaram Island.The argument put forward by the Society is
this festival, the traditional form
of a Keralam village
was
that giant hotel groups are the only ones able to provide
recreated by the Keralam State Tourism Development
quality food which acted as the lever to give the kiosks to Tata
Corporation on the Hawwa Beach at Kovalam, which is
Tea, Taj and Casino Group. Another idea formulaied by the
notorious for nudity and drug joints. It is proof enough for the
Society is that to set up small gardens along the beach and each
lack of self-respect of the tourism authorities towards the
garden to be maintained by private companies. Local citizens
living close to the beach see these attemPts as a method to
people and their culture. The tourists are fooled into believing
that what is set in the small-pavilion is a typical Keralam
transfer the beach land and its control to private companies for
village which , in fact is a distortion of reality.
making easy profits after expending huge amount of public
money for beautification.
Gajamela (The Elephant Festival)
The Gajamela regularly organised, during the last few years,
Kovalam - The drug bureau for the'gods'.
by the tourism authorities had wasted lakhs of rupees from
public coffers to provide elephant-rides for a few "gods" who
The only fully blown paradise for "gods" in the "God's Own
land there and the dark gods
(
local politicians and
Country"
has become
a full-fledged
drug b.ureau for them
bureaucrats
who go around the globe in search of the white
)
long back. It continues
unabated even after repeated
statements by
the Tourism
Special secretary
that "tourism is
not merely
drugs and nudity".
Both are the main
"gods" with begging bowl.
While holding the Gajamela (Which is in fact a distortion of
characteristics of Kovalam Tourist Centre, lying just under the
nose of the Secretary.
the famous Thrissur Pooram-festival-held annually under the
auspices of the temples there) at Thrissur this time, protest was
registered by an unexpected quarter which gave a shock to the
Recently, the police unearthed a massive racket of drug deal
organisers. The Elefriends, a group of, Europeans threatened
involving Rs 20 crores in Kovalam and many of them involved
were arrested. There is no doubt that a number of foreign
tourists
in Kovalam are drug
dealers, apart from the large
number of drug users, yet another indulgence in drug
the authorities that they would publicise the cruelty towards
the elephants practised in the festival. The founder of the
group, Mr Richmond , who witnessed the festival, pubticly
made the statement that the Gajamela is a worse form of
trafficking remain to be established, according to a senior
police. In addition, it has recently came out that a number of
single foreign women who regularly land there during season
animal abuse and should be stopped.
are high-flying prostitutes.
Kappad Tourist Resort
The important locality in colonial history of the country,
It is interesting to note that the state's police and the special
tourist police also are forced to see the tourists as "gods" and,
Kappad beach in Kozhikode district of North Keralam, where
Vasco Da Gama landed in 1498, has been converted into a
therefore, whatever they do get the silent permission of the
beach resort by wiping out the customary rights of fisherfolk
authorities while local people who have been forced into drug
peddling due to economic pressures have been made culprits.
and local villagers to use the beach. The resort structures built
at Kappad beach are a clear violation of the Coastal Regrrlation
A large number of young people of the Kovalam area are in
Zones Rules passed under the Environment Protection Act
jails under drug charges while not a single foreigner is behind
1986 since they are so close to the High Tide Line. The same
the bars.
pattern has been emerging in the entire coast of the state since
7
Peoples Response Garrrpa One of the interesting features of the present level of tourism development in
Peoples Response
Garrrpa
One of the interesting
features of the present level of tourism
development
in
Keralam is that
along with intense
propaganda for consent building, there are counter actions
undertaken by peoples groups and individuals. None of the
major political parties are ready to question the tourism path to
progress because of the poverty of their ideologies and lack of
vision with long-term perspective .
Dr M G S Narayanan, a noted historian, while writing in the
Indian Express Daily on the role of intellectuals in the general
elections held during April-May, categorically stated that
parties who ruled the state since independence of the country
failed to effect a proper industrial growth and he sees tourism
as an industry which only helps to increase the dependency of
the state which has already reached a dangerous point.
many private beach resorts have been coming up apart from
the government sponsored ones like Kappad. However, the
Dr M Gangadharan, another noted historian criticised the
recent verdict of the Supreme Court which had upheld the
CRZ Rules, which limited development activity within 500
attempt of the government to promote tourism in his article
appeared in Mathrubhoomi, a leading Malayalam weekly.
metres of the High Tide Line, would act as a deterrent in many
(Seb pg. 5)
cases. But the entire coastline of the state is under danger of
destruction by tourism development.
Protest marches and campaigning against unjust tourism
development projects has been gaining ground at localities
Meanwhile, peoples groups in the country decided to launch
identified for intense tourism promotion though the struggles
anti-colonial campaign to mark the 500th year of Vasco Da
Gama's arrival in 1.998 for which Kappad would be the major
point, while the state government had been planning to
are fragmented and lack cohesion due to the peculiar socio-
political and economic realities existing in the state today.
celebrate it as a festival. However, since there is a change of
government, there appears to be a minor policy shift.
Research byM. Ilameed
:
uO O Oc---
@wffi@#@KM
Shirley Susan
nvironmental groups and concerned individuals have
the notice of the Union Environment and Forest ministry
consistently
held that the East Coast Road
project being
which then suspended the clearance granted to the project on
built from Madras to Kanvakumari was not in
September 75, 1.995. The Tamilnadu government in October
conformity with the Coastal Regulations Zone (CRZ) and was
also environmentally, economically and socially unsound. The
1995, wrote to the Ministry to revoke the suspension order. In
East Coast Road Action Committee (ECRAC), INTACH
December 1995, the Madras High Court, by an interim order
restrained the government from implementing the project by
(Pondicherry) and other environmental organisations have
cutting
the
trees. The government prayed for
vacating
the
stay
approached the Madras High Court by filing a batch of writ
on
the ground that it
had fulfilled the environmental
petitions seeking an interim injunction and challenging the
conditions and that the alignment of the road had been
implementation of this project.
changed. The petitioners'counsel submitted the State PWD's
letter dated April 4 to the chief engineer asking him to stop the
The Union ministry granted clearance for the project subject to
work. The advocate general also submitted that instruction
the conditions that the State government should not fell the
trees while widening the road and that there should not be
had been given to the contractors not to proceed with any
work. In view of this, the Madras High Court has stayed the
further displacement of persons and those already displaced
should be adequately compensated and rehabilitated. There
should be no industrial or hotel construction activities on the
implementation of the East Coast Road project
following
an
interim order of the Union Ministry of Environment and
Forests suspending the clearance granted to the State
seaward side of the road. The State Government accepted the
government in February 1994.
conditions and based on this, the
Madras High
Court
permitted
the
government to implement
the project.
The Government of Tamil Nadu has requested revocation of
Unfortunately though the
Government
of Tamil Nadu
environmental clearance. With regard to this, the ECRAC,
accepted all the
conditions in writing it did not intend to
INTACH (Pondicherry) and the other
environmental groups
adhere to
any of the conditions. The ECRAC and the other
have submitted
suggestions
to the Union
ministry
as a
environmental groups alleged that the government
precondition for
consideration of the application for
deliberately violated the conditions and this was brought to
revocation.
I
According to the letter dated 15.9.95, the salient features of the revocation of the suspension of
According to the letter dated 15.9.95, the salient features of the
revocation of the suspension
of
environmental clearance given
by I K Kamboj, Additional Director (S), Ministry of
SCHIPHOL IN DUTCH
Environment and Forests, New Delhi to the Chief Secretary,
Government of Tamil Nadu, are as follows:
Expansion oI Schiphol
o
All the conditions stipulated in the Ministry's letter dated
11th February,1994 must be complied with;
The Dutch Government has recently decided on one of
o
Progress of avenue plantation must be hastened and it has
the largest infrastructural projects in history. Thirty
billion guilders are to be spent on the expansion of
to be ensured that the
plantation work in the territory of
Schipol, the national airport. This decision will have an
o
Pondicherry is properly carried ou|
The total road width of new constructions should be 10.5
enormous impact on the environment. Not only at the
national level, the number of people affected by noise
metres with 7 metres bituminous surface and at locations
hindrance, local
environmental pollution and health
of overlays, the widths of the road and bituminous
problems will increase
considerably.
Expansion
of
surfacing should be in accordance with the existing widths
Schiphol will also have severe impact on the global
and thickness of pavement be restricted to 50 cms where
construction has not begun;
In order to minimise felling of trees, shoulders may be
environment. At the moment air traffic is responsible for
3.8 % of total Dutch emissions
of Nox . By the yedr 2010
.O
it might grow to as much as 37-74fo. Nox contributes the
omitted, with the provision of railings on either sides of
the bituminous surface which should be 7.5 metres wide
depletion of the ozone layer
and the greenhouse effect.
Moreover, expansion of Schiphol will
bring about a
instead of 7 metres and lengths of such sections should not
radical growth of CO, emissions. This percentage is
be more than 200 metres at a stretch;
expected to more than double within relatively short
period of time This forecast is in sharp contrast with the
At points where road alignment has been changed, the
area along
the previous alignment
have remained
necessity to reduce the CO, significantly, mainly in the
rich industrialised countries. The alarming messages
unattended. Such sites need to be reclaimed and
coming recently from the International Panel on Climate
developed to provide amenities for the public using the
road.
Change about the dramatic consequences of the growth
of world CO, emissions are clear enough. Nevertheless,
Wherever the bridges are under construction or to be
the Netherlands is increasing its claim on environmental
contrusted, footpaths
for pedestrians be provided if
space. According
to Friends
of the Earth,
Netherlands,
feasible, and
the decision to
expand Schiphot is therefore in
contradiction with commitments made during the
The report on implementation of these conditions shall be
submitted to the Ministry an
a quarterly basis.
O
UNCED Conference in 7992 and Dutch Environmental
Plans for a reduction of CO, emissions with 3% by the
near 2000.
Environmentalists assaulted
Arguments of Friends of the Earth Netherlands
Madras, May 29
The members of the East Coast Road Action Committee
@CRAC)
and INTACH, Pondicherry,
accompanying the Central
team to
Expansion of Schiphol will result in a considerable
increase of CO, and Nox emissions and is therefore
in contradiction with the Dutch Environmehtal Plan
and international agreements signed by the Dutch
examine issues relating to the
EaSt CbasT Road proiect, were
assaulted last evening-in Kadapakkam village by a'group of
Government, such as the United Nations Climate
Treaty (signed during the UNCED Conference in
Persons.
Brasil, 1992)
According to the ECRAC, for over four hours, Mr.Raiendran,
Convenor-, ECRAC,
Mr.
Aiit
Kouialgi, architect from INTACH
An Environmental
Pondicherry and Mr. Srikumar andMr.Venkateswaran of the
Tamil Nadd Science Forum and the members of the ECRAC were
illeeallv detained bv the sans outside a shed. The members of the
made in order to
Impact Assessment has been
describe the environmental
ECRAC and INTACH i,r'eie assaulted and a statement was
consequences of the expansion plans. However, the
global impact of increased air traffic from Schiphol,
extorted from Mr.Aiit Kouialgi that he would withdraw the
obiections
to the ECR. They wele threatened that if they did not
i.e. the additional contribution to the greenhouse
wiihdraw the writ petition
or if they appeared before the Union
Environment Minidtry Committee ai tliri
public
hearing today dt
Pondicherry, their
faililies would face diie consequences.
As a result of the assault and detention, environmental activists
effect and the hole in the ozone layer, has not been
taken into consideration at all. Therefore Friends of
the Earth Netherlands argue that the Environmental
Impact Assessment has not been done properly.
could
not reach Pondicherry with
the committee, thereby
depriving
them
of an opportufriW to demonstrate to the Central
tedm the-ecoloeical, soiiil and e6onomic damase that would be
caused
by buildins a hiehway in
contraventiori'of the orders
of
the Madias Hishtour[ and-the conditions laid down bv the
Union Ministrv-of Environment and Forests. The ECRAC has
Uou'v a.ter tpc,lcanzt h, @
at gt a/
condemned the attempts of certain vested interests using violence
to prevent environm-ental activists from putting
forriard their
&zz tna,te,o,ia/,itu t/ufu ttz,tu/e,tte'u. ?lwt
daL
uu
vie-ws to the Union Ministry
and to "stifle the conititutional rieht
q/r/'ra/nfahq, arna, &'n& ro.y a/ oa/,y, o/ il.p,
to
resort to litisation." Ttie ECRAC has appealed
to the Ch-ief
Minister, Mr.M.'lGrunanidhi to take immediaie action against the
,r.alprril
aarv in/a,rrneti4ru. g/t?/
assailants.
rt,v
aic'rui, q/.?a4e, i'n, t/r4/
a/otial€t a/r?/ ilradet al U,"t
\ry"Egys!IWps6
a,a,tlaw anal nof nztpd4at t/g, o/ il,?4&6/r4/24rt41
I
DEGLARATil@N@[F meagre income. For example, in this respect Uttarkashi district has the first right to get
DEGLARATil@N@[F
meagre income. For example, in this respect Uttarkashi
district has the first right to get a share from Maneri-Bhali
Sove Himoloyos Movement z
Hydel Project Stage I.
Land use survey of all unirrigated hill slopes including
reserve forest and civil forest land be done. Water should
be provided to grow fruits, fodder and more trees on this
land. Till these trees give returns, people should be
A
ggressive development policy has created the crisis of
provided employment, to plant and look after these trees.
f
\
survival for both - the Nature and the Man - in
These trees will be the private property of the people and
Himalayas. It has not only adversely
affected the
,tu&U
by giving them permanent employment the economy will
g
B people of this area, but ten times more people have
strengthen. The plains will get fertile soil from the hills.
been affected on account of disaster in Himalayas in the shape
of floods, soil-erosion and drought.
This great mountain touches the boundaries of rnany countries
The flow of the rivers will be regularised and the water
problem will be solved.
3.
Local people should be given liberal land to construct
and controls the climate of a large region. Besides material
houses of local type for the convenience of pilgrims, and
prosperity, Himalayas is the symbol of cultural inspiration and
nature lovers.
emotional integration.
For human kind Himalayas has been
4.
Reclamation of slopes and land damaged by mining, road-
the source
of spiritual inspiration and peace. It has today
construction and debris of Tehri dam.
become the centre of ecological crisis, human misery and due
to this of discontent and chaos. This has become an issue of
We declare
a Himalayas
policy in which the inspiring
aspect
global concern.
of Himalayas is maintained. The wounds of this great
mountain system be healed up, there should be economic
Policies based upon the material civilisation instead of healing
up the seriously ivounded Himalayas, have accelerated the
pace of opposed continuously for last twenty years. This is
development of the people
and the natural resources of
Himalayas should be
utilised in a way in which future
economically bankrupt, socially disruptive, kind of culture and
ecologically dangerous. So to protect
the economic,
social,
generations are benefited in a sustained manner without any
harm to its fragile eco-system.
cultural and ecological values
we will leave no stones
The main objectives of this policy should be:-
unturned to stop it forthwith.
L. Himalayas should remain a living space for its permanent
We are disturbed with a number of such dams, which are
proposed to be constructed in Himalayas. Some of these
projects are to supply power and water to big industries and
cities (although for a very short period) by destroying the
ecology of Himalayas and uprooting its inhabitants. The
residents. spiritual seekers. pilgrims. and tourists visiting
for peace and enjoying scenic beauty.
2.
Resources should be used for regional economic self-
export
of water - a basic resource for survival - from this poor
sufficiency. Ban on indiscriminate exploitation and export
of resources (e.g. mining, deforestation and construction
region is a grave injustice which will increase the regional
of big dams etc.)
imbalance. This is legalised robbery, Stop. This is the primary
3.
To maintain the local landscape for a number of economic
duty of every citizen.
activities, specially for tourism connected with scenic
We in Himalayas are
facing the crisis of survival due to
beauty.
suicidal
activities being carried out in the name of
4.
commercial exploitation of the
Some of the flora and fauna species of Himalayan region
development. These are
forests, mining,
construction of dams, which inundate vast
displace a large number of people, mechanical
have become scarce; to preserve the genetic bio-diversity of
these.
areas and
heavy explosions
creating artificial tremors, construction of
S. tvtore autonomy for the development of local institutions
five star
hotels for luxury tourism and multi-storeyed
buildings. We call upon the people of Himalayas, lovers of
which is essential for the protection, utilisation, carrying
capacity, sustainability and cultural development. In this
Himalayas and those who believe in the dignity of human life
context, the formation of a separate hill state of Uttarkand
to come forward to oppose these activities for their survival.
The Uttarkashi earthquake was a warning to stop tampering
with Himalayas, which fell unto deaf cars.
should be done immediately.
Women bear the burden of hardships of hill life. Top priority
should be given to lessen their miseries. For this:
There is need of a new and a long term policy for the
1.
protection of dying Himalayas. Following steps need to be
Easy availability of fodder, fuel and water near the villages
should be assured.
taken forthwith to heal up its wound and the development of
the people.
1. Power generation from each and every stream, rivulet and
2.
There should be prohibition, because liquor is destroying
the health, happiness and prosperity of the hill-life.
river without flooding the cultivated land, forests and
3.
habitats, so that power may be easily available for lifting
up the water and for ropeways without reliance on central
grid,,20 per cent of power generated from big projects (as
In order to revive the family life, employment to all should
be provided by lifting and conserving water on the hill
tops, planting food, fodder, fibre trees on slopes and
generating electricity from all rivulets.
the five components in the production process - land,
labour, capital, management and enterprise should get
their equal share) should be given free of cost to village
(Passed in the Conference held nearTehd Dam site on May 13th,
14th and lSthand attended bymorc
than l00delegatestrdm
U,P.
(Gram
Sabhas), block committees and District Boards in
hills and other States of India, as rcuised on Nov.2fith, 26th 1995
the Catchment area, so that it may be added to their
atKltadi and Lalcshmi AshnA Kausani on Feb. 15th 1996.)
L0
S*r*u**n* € \i:: w* ff****-*##w Lalita Panicker t' I I fter much agonised debate on the
S*r*u**n*
€ \i::
w*
ff****-*##w
Lalita Panicker
t'
I
I
fter much agonised debate on the issue of
paedophilia, especially in the aftermath of the horrific
child abuse scandal in Belgium, most western experts
have been forced to admit that thev are still uncertain
as to why a person becomes a paedophile. It has been
homes which are definitely noi equipped to deal with the
enormous physical and mental problems that they suffer.
suggested that one of the reasons for the proliferation of these
offenders is that the consumer culture sexualises children. They
Many of them contract STD or HIV and are unable to come to
terms with the sufferings
they have had to endure. It has often
are used to promote adult products like lingerie and cosmetics.
Supermodels in the West today have to perforce look like pre-
pubescent children in order to be successful - anorexic, flat-
chested, emaciated women who peddle highly eroticised
products. Howeyer, this is only one reason, a background of
been known that such a child will lie about its name and
background, an attempt to pretend that he or she is someone
else in order to lessen the pain.
Despite the fact that the child enjoys all the rights of an adult
abuse in childhood is another.
before the law, these rights are rarely evident when an abused
Studies have shown that people from perfectly well-ordered
child is brought to court. Although the government is a
background turn into paedophiles later in life irrespective of
class or culture.
signatory to the Convention of the Rights of the Child, yet it
has made no effort to prevent the utterly callous manner in
which a child prostitute is treated in the courts. The child,
Gone too Far
shattered by repeated abuse, is made to relive its trauma as it
is subject to merciless interrogation. Clients who seek out these
But one thing is certain, according to them, a paedophile cannot
children get away scot-free as the focus is always on the
victim. Various means by which the child will be able to start
be cured - the Florida senate has gone so far to pass legislation
life afresh were proffered at the recent World Congress against
for the chemical castration of such offenders. Even as the West
the Sexual
Exploitation
of Children in Stockholm and earlier at
tightens laws to curb the activities of such people, poorer
the meet organised by End Child Prostitution in Asian
countries have become favoured destinations. The discovery
that a foreign national was running an orphanage in Goa for 17
years in order to provide defenceless children to western
paedophiles, all of whom are comfortably ensconced in the
safety of their own countries, is clearly the tip of the iceberg. In
the desperation for tourist dollars, no thought has been given to
Tourism and the YMCA in Delhi.
Telling Comment
Regrettably none of them have been taken as seriously as they
should. It is a telling comment on the helplessness of govern-
the fact that some of them find India so attractive because of the
easy availability of children and its Iax laws.
ments that the stress is on rehabilitation rather than creating
conditions which would prevent children from going into the
trade.
Sri Lanka, for instance, has seen a proliferation of these
offenders in the guise of tourists with even rich elderly women
Rehabilitation efforts are hampered not just by lack of
preying on young needy boys. The demand for children is
growing with the increase in AIDS - the child is thought to be
resources, but the attitudes of society which places a high
premium on virginity. Therefore, a child prostitute can rarely
safe and the younger the better. But India is unfortunately in
no position to be self-righteous about the depredations of
hope to lead a normal, leave alone married life. She is
depraved tourists from the West given the fact that a thriving
child prostitution industry exists here. Fifteen per cent of
prostitutes in India are under the age of 15 and 24.5 per cent
considered soiled forever. The victim already broken in spirit
has then just a dark and lonely future. A study conducted by a
Bangalore based organisation on 375 victims of chil.d abuse
found that they suffer from conflicting emotions of sadness,
between the ages of 16 to 18. The political will to help these
anger/ shock, disgust, frustration, worry, fear, shame guilt,
children lured to cities with promises of a better life by
helplessness, humiliation and confusion. The long term effects
organised gangs has been sorely lacking. So far all efforts to
are equally frightening the hurt almost never goes away. Many
curb child prostitution have been confined to highly publicised
try to commit suicide, suffer depression and are unable to ever
police raids on brothels following which the children are
have normal physical relations again.
escorted
home. They are rarely accepted back into their
original environment and languish in state rehabilitation
Soutre - Times ol India. 9 September 7996
1_1
Eco-tounsm - a boon or rff bane ofEnwronment 'b; Harsh Dobhal Minister of State for Environment
Eco-tounsm - a boon
or
rff
bane ofEnwronment
'b;
Harsh Dobhal
Minister of State for Environment and Forest, Capt
]ai
Narain Nishad says tourism should have a balanced
approach so that it does not lead to adverse impact
on environment. Tourism industry should take
ecology and indigenous traditions into account
as tourism cannot sustain without healthy and
beautiful natural surroundings, he says.
"The tourists should take the minimum belongings
with them while
visiting the fragile
spots and foot
marches
should be encouraged
in far flung
and
ecosensitive areas. If a sound balance is struck between
environment and tourism, it will open up avenues for
ourism industry which generally thrives on the
employment and economic growth," Capt. Nishad says.
conservation of beauty, heritage and ecology, is today
being blamed for polluting the environment.
It
is imperative that proper regulatory mechanism
Tourism officials contend that the only way out is to educate
everybody towards ecosensitivity, promote local craft culture,
food festivals and involve locals in tourism promotion.
accompanies promotion of tourism to protect the ecology.
However, nafure enthusiasts contend that the experiences have
Failure to realise this will bring devastating consequences on
shown otherwise. Adventure and pilgrimage tourism is not
the people and the country.
harmful and should be promoted while pleasure tourism has
As an agent of transformation, tourism had once been
demonstrated negative effects.
friendlier to the environment than other industries, but today,
environmentalists argue, environment has become a casualty
to the increasing impact of the 'burden' of tourism.
Says Poornima Joshi, general secretary of International
Federation of Indo-Russian youth club, "I have been a nature
lover and associated with trekking expeditions for 10 years. I
have seen pristine areas getting spoilt in the absence of a
Says noted environmentalist Sunderlal
Bahuguna
"our tourism
industry
is constantly hunting for newer, unspoilt and
proper monitoring mechanism."
ecosensitive areas for pleasure tourism. Mass tourism has not
only led to concentrition of visitors both in spatial and
seasonal terrns but on excessive burden on communities'
physical capacity."
Capt. Sudesh Kumar. president of Adventure Tour Operators'
Association who has been active in organising trekking and
expeditions in the Himalayas for 27years, says, "although our
aim is commercial, we are very strict about ecology of the
regions we go. Last two decades have witnessed a mind
Tourist infrastructure and superstructure
which
comprise
boggling ecological and cultural degradation." Fortunately an
roads, railway lines, electricity,
hotel construction in
the
interior areas,
water supply, entertainment and shopping, have
awareness among people for last four-five years is gradually
building, he adds.
brought in drastic
changes in habitat of species and
communities and the impact is dangerous on culture and flora
Says Mr Bahuguna, in the name of promoting culture we have
and fauna, he says.
led to its
trivialisation and the aspects
of host culture tend to
become a
degraded and commercialised form of
Agrees Arun Pant, a wildlife enthusiasts and trekker, " apart
entertainment.
from other devastating effects on ecology, trees have been
felled to make way for tourist facilities, skislopes and skilifts."
Pilgrimage and adventure tourism can lead to greater
understanding among people of diverse cultural background
Unchecked and unmonitored tourism leaves an impact on the
and promotion of peace and brother-hood provided it is not
local populace as they try to imitate their lifestyle which could
have both negative and positive effect on them Mr. Pant says.
treated as a commodity for entertainment, he says.
"Preferential employment of female workers over male
According to environmentalist tqbal
Malik, "the current
tourism industry has devastating
practice similar to 'jhum
workers in various tourist services has been a major problem
and their subsequent exploitation in countries like Thailand,
cultivation'where there is a constant search for'fragile' areas.
The once 'A' grade tourist spots after their '15 minute fame'
Singapore and HongKong has led to prostitutioni' Mr.
Bahuguna warns.
remain negelcted reminder of burden."
The concept of eco-tourism insists that the tourist and tourism
industry should imbibe the concept of ecology and wilderness
before embarking on the idea of promoting tourism. However,
the concept today seems to be meant for seeking more and
"Certain spots are recognised for sex, drug pedalling and other
forms of crime which attract many tourists," Malik says. There
is a general consensus among that environment must be given
the care it deserves.
more hitherto unreached and pristine areas, Ms. Malik says.
Soutte: TIMES OFINDI{ 75 September 7996.
L2
Tribals oppose comme rcialisation of forests Vijaykumar Patil fr t he struggle of the Adivasis (tribal
Tribals
oppose
comme rcialisation
of forests
Vijaykumar Patil
fr t
he struggle of the Adivasis (tribal people) of the
,
Nagarhole
forest in south Karnataka along the border
I
with Kerala against setting up of a holiday
resort by the
Govt. ridiculed
Taj Group of hotels at Moorkal, within the
limits of the
National Park, has raised doubts over the
Dr. Sharma ridiculed the Government for considering tourism
Nagarhole
Government's commitment to environment Protection,
as an industry
women
into
ignoring its potential to turn large number of
sex workers. To substantiate this, he drew
ecological balance and wildlife conservation and the proposal
attention to the increasing cultural unrest in Thailand and
to declare tourism as an industry.
Last week, the Nagarhole forest,
other countries where tourism was a major source of revenue.
He said nearly 40 per cent of women in these countries were
maintained forests
in Asia,
said to be one of the well
reverberated with slogans
engaged in flesh trade.
opposing commercialisation of natural forests by tribal people,
who asserted their right to live in these forests' After years of
He said several forests were facing danger due to
exploitation and oppression,
about 25,000 Adivasis living in
commercialisation. As far as Adivasis were concerned, he said
Nagarhole forests have
joined the Adivasis living in other
they had the right to live in forests and were capable of
parts of the country to fight for their rights over forests and
appear to be prepared to carry on their fight.
managing them much better than the Forest Department. The
proposition that the presence of Adivasis in forests would be a
threat to environment and ecology, would not be accepted at
Holiday resort opposed
any cost, he said.
Adivasis throughout the country have organised themselves to
fight for their rights. Says Dr. B.D. Sharma, the president of the
Bharatiya fan Andolan (BJA) and Chairman of the National
The Adivasis all over the country were being organised to
establish gram swaraj as per Article 40 of the Constitution,
Front For Adivasi Self Rule (NFFASR),
"the
question is not
which enunciates that every gram should function ad an
participate in the two-day
independent
republic based on the Gandhian model of village
negotiable." He was here to
republics.
The objective was to establish community
convention and workshop that formed the end of the second
phase of their struggle against the holiday resort.
ownership over land, forest and water. Such a system would
not have any place for police and court. let the gram sabha
To assert their rights, the tribals from Karnataka. Kerala and
have the authority, as they enjoy traditional rights since ages,
Tamil Nadu, who had converged at Moorkal, planted bamboo
to decide good and bad for its people.
saplings (which is identified as. an important Part of their
socio-economic and cultural life) in forest land leased out to
the Taj Group. They burnt an effigy of the Taj Group in front
of its office besides blocking the vehicles carrying construction
material for the holiday resort.
"Self-rule is our goal. If the Government wants, let it change
Acts and rules. As far as an Adivasi village is concerned, the
Government is an outsider and will have to obey and follow
the rules that prevail there. We waited for 50 years to realise
our birth rights, we cannot wait any longer," Dr. Sharma said.
Dr. Sharma spoke about the concept of 'our village-our rule'
The movement of tribal people had been building up, the
and devastating effects of commercialisation
of forests in the
Adivasis were being trained and educated at camps and
guise of tourism development. He described as'dubious' the
workshops on
how to carry on their agitation without
Government policies on forests and their protection. He
resorting to any offence but through defensive methods.
sought an explanation from the Government as to whether the
forests faced threat from the Adivasis or the others ?
Meanwhile, the hotel management has stopped the
He alleged that the first poachers were the Government
officials and forest officials for whom jeep and gun came in
construction work at the moment with the local Adivasis
handy to kill animals. He said the Adivasis used their weapon-
deciding not to allow movement of any construction material
to the site where the police had been stationed for protection.
bow and arrow- for self-defence while the Government
While the Adivasis were preparing for their future course of
officials used the gun to kill wild animals. The forest officials
action, the Taj Group appears to be keeping its cards close to
shoot at animals and put the blame on the tribal peoples. The
chest.
danger to forests
came from the interference
of the
Government. Depletion of forests wealth, which are crucial for
ecological balance, was due to the irresponsible attitude of the
Government and not the Adivasis, he said.
Source: TIIE IIINDa. fi September 1996
1.3
THE OTHER SIDE OF KOVALAM B. V ij aykumar, T ria andrum Based on a survey
THE OTHER SIDE OF KOVALAM
B. V ij aykumar, T ria andrum
Based on a survey conducted among 150 households in
Kovalam in 1,993, the following conclusions were made. The
survey was mainly intended to study the impact of tourism
development at Kovalam.
o Traditional occupations in this area are agriculture, fishing
and coir industry.
o
Out of the 150 respondents,63 are indifferent towards the
question on tourism development. They feel that they are
taken for granted and, tourism is the business of the
Government and big shots.
r
Only a handful of people were absorbed
in the ITDC that
too in unskilled section.
Tourism failed to provide a reasonable and stable income
to the 'locals'.
Prices of essential commodities are high at Kovalam. An
ordinary man finds it difficult to get a meal which suits
his purse.
There is displacement
of people,
mainly fishermen from
their original place. Some of
them were given
compensation, but inadequate.
There is considerable fall in fish catch near Kovalam
compared to olden days.
Some fishermen manage to get supplementary income by
taking the tourists to sea on their "Kattamarem".
There is change in land use pattern. Agricultural land is
used for non-agricultural purposes.
Price of land has shot up that the local are helpless in the
land market.
o
Drug abuse and anti-social activities are increasirrg
e
Poor house wives find it difficult to get a match for their
young daughters, simply because they belong to Kovalam.
r
Average man is exploited at Kovalam and outside.
He is in dilemma. Outsiders consider that people of Kovalam
are wealthy. In hospitals they are charged high because they
are coming from an "affluent area"
Excerpts from the thesis prepared by Vijay Kumar,
Ec on o mi cs D ep a rtm e n t, Wom en's CoI I ege, Tiru va n th ap u ram
for his Ph.D
1.4
Behal Propct construction will be allowed up to 2000 metres from the high tide line (HTL).
Behal Propct
construction will be allowed up to 2000 metres from the high
tide line (HTL).
As the CZMP permits construction of hotels and resorts aimed
at tourism development within the 200 metre to 500 metre
from the HTL in CRZ-III areas with the permission of the
Scaled [orun
Environment and Forest Ministry, the new plan has relocated
the spots for construction activities, he said adding that it also
d
he Bekal tourism project, which was earlier billed as a
scaled down the total project area to 250 hectares from the
t
,
massive scheme to develop the area as a destination for
original 500-odd hectares earmarked in the masterplan. The
l-
the jet-set, has been revised in the light of the stringent
BRDC now plans to develop separate spots at Bekal for setting
provisions in the proposed Coastal Zone Management Plan
up seven deluxe type resorts, as against eight
in the
(CZMP) being finalised by the Ministry of Environment and
Forests as per a Supreme Court directive.
masterplan, within the ambit of the CRZ norms. Dr. Venu said
the new plan earmarked more than one-third of the projected
capacity of the project as budget properties to make Bekal an
The revised plan prepared by the Bekal Resorts Development
Corporation (BRDC) has not only reduced the project area and
attractive destination for domestic tourists. Describing the
the total cost from that in the original masterplan prepared by
the Kozhikode-based N.A.Salim & Associated in 1995 but has
concept of chartered tourism as "freaky', he said the revised
plan would help Bekal retain its traditional character.
also made
drastic changes in the
concept
of tourism delineated
in it. The original masterplan has invited the wrath of
environmental and social activists.
Only 20 per cent of the projected capacity was set apart as
delux properties. While the masterplan set apart 265 hectares
for developing housing areas for the migrant population once
the project materialised, the new draft plan reduced the
The revised plan, which has been submitted to the Tourism
housing area to 85 hectares.
Finance Corporation (TFCI) of India for appraisal, is aimed
more at upcountry domestic tourists. The TFCI is expected to
complete the feasibility appraisal of the revised plan by the
The sewage system in the project area has been decentralised
to suit the revised project, drastically scaling down the
month-end. It will be finalised after it gets clearance from the
proposed cost of Rs. 40 crores for developing the centralised
Ministry of Environment and Forest.
sewage system, he said. With the overhauling of the project,
the total estimated cost for developing the Bekal area, covering
The BRDC Managing Director, Dr. V. Venu, told a group of
the four panchayats of
Uduma, Pallikkare, Ajanur and
reporters on Thursday that the earlier masterplan, prepared at
Chamanad, could be scaled down from Rs. 265 crores in the
a huge cost of Rs. 55 lakhs, was shelved as it became irrelevant
in the wake of the Supreme Court order on April 18, directing
masterplan to about Rs. 165 cores, he pointed out. He said the
the Centre to submit a report on the implementation of the
equity component of the estimated cost for infrastructure
development would be shared by the State and Central
Coastal Regulation Zone norms."
Governments and about Rs. 100 crores would be raised as
The Supreme Court order has overturned the masterplan. In
loans from financial institutions.
the revised plan we have identified new sites after demarcating
construction zones and no-construction zones as per the
CZMP,'he said. He expressed the hope that the revised plan
would not only follow the provisions in the CAMP but would
also allay the fears expressed by environmental and social
The Plan was to mobilise about 50 per cent of the total cost
within the country, he said. Moreover, the total number of
families to be rehabilitated from the project area was no more
activists in the region. Dr. Venu said the masterplan became
obsolete as areas earmarked in it for constructing resorts and
hotels now came under CRZ-III category, where no
than 20 under the revised plan. Dr. Venu said the acquisition
proceedings in the 1lO-hectare notified land has begun. The
displaced families would be rehabilitated, as far as possible, in
areas just outside the project area, he said adding that the CRZ
norms banning permanent construction
other than hotels and resorts within the 200
to 500 metre area from the HTL would be a
major obstacle for rehabilitating the
displaced families near the project area itself.
Another
bigger problem
that the
project
would face would
be water supply.
According to the projection in the revised
plan,
the area would
require 38 million litres
a
day by 2001, when
the project was
expected
to be completed, of
which 12
million litres, was for hotels and resorts and
the rest for domestic consumption
in the
four panchayats. At present the maximum
availability of water by tapping all sources
was between five and six million litres. Dr.
Venu said that the BRDC has initiated efforts
to identify water sources in the area with the
help of the Kerala Water Authority.
Source: The llindu, 7 September 1996
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A CULTURAL ENCOUNTER ?
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