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Infrastructure Connectivity and Setting up of Heavy Industry Is Essential for India’s Development Even If It Comes at the Cost of Displacement of Local Residents

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Infrastructure Connectivity and Setting up of Heavy Industry is Essential for India’s Development even if it comes at the cost of displacement of local residents

The topic reminds me of Pandit Jawaharalal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister who had said “Industrialize or Perish”. As far as development is concerned none would dispute Nehru’s words. India, indeed registered tremendous progress thanks to the rapid industrialization that took place after Independence. The industrial growth brought along with it own perils.

In the garb of development, forests and environment suffered extensive damages at the same time displacing a vast number of people from their homes. Roads were laid to pave way for connectivity; jungles were cleared for drawing power lines at the cost of flora and fauna. Unrestricted felling of trees resulted in the alteration of climatic pattern. It prompted youth from the rural areas migrate to towns and larger cities in search of greener pastures by giving up traditional agricultural practises.

Setting up of Heavy Industries denuded the pristine forests of the country much to the alarm of the people. It wrought havoc on the environment due to Industrial pollution. Effluents from the Industries defiled the precious water bodies rendering drinking water difficult. However, what caused major destruction of environment and dislocated people was the construction of major reservoirs in the country. While on one hand these developments are ushered in progress on the other is devastated the life of people.

The modernization process increased the demand for land and water to an alarming extent. Cities witnessed haphazard growth throwing live out of gear. Skirmishes increased between people leading to societal unrest due to unethical competition among the people to get a foothold in the urban centres.

For instance, the drawing of 400 kV power line from Kaiga in Uthara Kannada District to Kerala via Kodagu (Coorg) District drew widespread criticisms to the local populace in Kodagu. There was a huge hue and cry as people complained that more than 50000 trees were felled to facilitate the project. However the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) which is executing the project claimed that environmental destruction was minimal and that it had the clearance from the forest department. The power distribution is certain to be made use for heavy industries other than domestic consumption.

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