RGTIL : Victims United :11

RGTIL : Victims United : 011
My Case History : 05
*********
Hello World ,

Anxious inquiries are pouring in about RGTIL’s injustice to adivasi land owners and farmers of Pardi Taluka, Dist Valsad , Gujarat. Young voters are eager to know about Bhumi Satyagraha ( Kisan Satyagraha / Ghasiya Jamin Satyagraha ) by Shri Ishvarlal Chhotubhai Desai . They wonder what has happened to an adivasi who once rose against oppressive power and forces ! What made him meek and timid ?! They ask,”what is the remedy?”

Before searching the answers, i would like to take you to RGTIL’s office at Anand Mahal Apartment ,Anand Mahal Road, Surat 395009.
Wednesday,OCt.06,2010.
Yes, it was a working day. Sun of noon was about to turn the hour clock. Obviously Anand Mahal Road, otherwise one of the bussiest area had a deserted look .Scorching heat was ruling the road, so, obviously my friend got a safe parking place for his two-wheeler. He went upstairs to deliver my letters to The Court of the Competent Authority and RGTIL.

A group of eight to nine halfclad gentlemen were standing at the glass door of RGTIL not knowing the way to enter into. A watchman approached them in askance . One of the group members showed a letter from the Company. Suddenly the watchman noticed that all were barefooted .He inquired about the footwear of the group members.
( i quote original colloquial language in Roman Script.)
One of them said ,”taan niche chche”
Watchman asked “kahan rakhe?”
“dadarke niche”.
Watchman shouted ,”arey wahan footpathpe chhodke aaye ! Koi le jayega to ?Jaav jaldi, le aavo” .
One of them went downstairs, collected 05 pairs of rubber and raw leather slippers and came up stairs. Rest of them were barefooted. Reason? No money to by a pair of footwear.

They were given entry. Fearful, shocked ,dumbstuck ,they sat on the floor of the waiting room, not on the sofaset… they thought ..they are not meant for them.

Reliance patriarch Dhirubhai Ambani’s photograph was there on a corner teapoy. Yes, Dhirubhai Ambani’s smile was very disarming and the smile is a smile… what can it be else…! Poor group members thought that that was a photograph of their SARKAR . They bowed and sat down on the floor once again. My friend was witnessing everything . This was an unique and novel experience for him.

Hearing the watchman’s blirts , a gentleman came out from one of the inner cubicles in RGTIL’s office.

He said, “are, tyan niche kem betha chho? Ooper beso .Arey koi chheke , paani lao”.

Unbelieving what they heard, they continued sitting on the floor. My friend requested them to sit on the sofaset. He sat,then the group followed.

From the next moment the ‘ritual /procedure’ started.

A gentleman from RGTIL asked for the RGTIL’s official or ‘on contract’ photographer. He came. One of the names of the group members was called, he came forward. He was handed over the cheque in view of the camera. He was photographed. Then he was asked whether he can sign, he said, ‘no’. Next moment he was asked to put his thumb impressions on three papers. This ritual was also photographed.What was written on those papers, only RGTIL man knows!

One by one ,this procedure was continued ,completed and photographed . Meanwhile my friend submitted my letters and got the acknowledgment on my O/C and prepared to leave.

He asked the group , “aa badhun hun chhe?? aa hana cheque aaypa??”

One by one ,the group members said,
‘sarkare amaari jamin ley lidhi “.
“amne kain paisa aaypa ni”.
” ravdavi mayra”.
“maari laykha”

My friend asked in disgust , “to pachchi tame vandho kem ni lidho?”
” are bhai, SARKAR MAI BAAP jamin maange ,to tene naa kem karine kevay re?!”
” Pakdine puri dey to amaara to bayri poyraan ravdi jay”
My friend asked, “ketla aaypa, lav joun..”
“are bhai, Sarkar jaane to maari laakh he!”
“topan laavo joun”
It was a cheque of six thousand something.
In remorse, one of the group members said, “Navhaari, Gandevi ane Valhaad varane hara paiha chukayva.. amne j ravdayva ”

The last of the group members ,before getting out of the RGTIL office bowed to Dirubhai Ambani’s photograph in reverence.

While climbing down the staircase , my friend asked them a last question,
“kaanthi ayva?”
” Pardi talukethi………gamethI”

So they were adivasi land owners and farmers from Pardi . They were in Surat to get compensation cheques for the land they had to give to SARKAR !

See the difference. The RGTIL employees went to doorsteps of the land owners at Navsari, Gandevi And Valsad.
Why? There,every farmer/ land owner is literate and asks questions . Adivasies are illiterate, poor, backward, having no knowledge about RGTIL’s exact identity, no knowledge about SARKAR’s identity.

In a way they were correct.
DHIRUBHAI AMBANI ( RELIANCE,MUKESH AND ANIL ) constituted the de facto SARKAR from Indira Gandhi’s days. Today the players of SARKAR change as per the requirement of the day. Reliance is always there. Yes, DHIRUBHAI AMBANI is a trillion dollar coin and MUKESH is one side of that coin, ANIL being the other side !
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Ny Case History :05

Why did i send my friend there? i am not in a position to climb up the stairs. Thanks to ASARAM and JAIRAMBHAI PATEL , ex Minister of State for Home Affairs ,Gujarat , i almost lost my both knee joints!

What did he submit?

i quote,
“Date: 05-10-2010.
To.
The Court of the Competent Authority,
Reliance Gas Transportaion Infrastructure Limited,
First Floor, Anandmahal Apartment,
Anandmahal Road,
Surat 395 002.

Re : RGTIL East West Gas Pipe Line Award No.51 /2010/11 Date :17-08-2010 ,Village Padgha , Tal.and Dist Navsari

Dear Sir,

Please provide me a certified copy of the aforesaid award.

i am ready to pay the requisite fees as per rule.

Thanking you,
Yours Sincerely,
Dr.. Bankimchandra M. Desai.”
i unquote.

That is a request,i know, that will never be fulfilled.The C.A. of RGTIL is beyond all laws except P and MP Act, 1962 and Land Acquisition Act . Both acts make him the govt. within a govt.!

Another letter , i quote,

“Date: 05-10-2010.
To.

Reliance Gas Transportaion Infrastructure Limited,
First Floor , Anandmahal Apartment,
Anandmahal Road,
Surat 395 002.

Re : Damage Claim Village PADGHA, Tal.and Dist. Navsari : Block No.: 562

Dear Sir/ Madam ,

Apropos my letter dated 22-02-2010 regarding aforesaid subject ,i am sorry to state that the RGTIL has failed miserably to settle my claim. The company has successfully implemented and commissioned gas pipe line work.. The same speed is not visible any where in settlement and fulfilment of liabilities. i brand this attitude as a TYPICAL RELIANCE behaviour with which it has achieved global expansion and repute.

i expect your early reply.

Thanking you,

Yours Sincerely,

Dr. Bankimchandra M. Desai.”
i unquote.
**********************************************
What is the difference between remorse and agony of an adivasi land owner and an educated land owner??

Meanwhile i receive an e mail from a fellow victim from Vijaywada , Andhra Pradesh.

i quote ,
“Sat, October 9, 2010 12:26:08 AM
Reliance Vijayawada – Nellore – Chennai Gas Pipeline Victims
From: srinivas jagarlamudi Add to Contacts
To: desaibankim@yahoo.com

CH.VENUGOPALA RAO.pdf (27KB)

Respected Sir,
My name is srinivas. I go through your website in order to serching the irregularities done by the Competent Authority of “R G T I L” . I regret for damages/mental agony caused by Reliance to you. We have received 3(1) notices of Relogistics Infrastructure ltd , a susidiary of Reliance Ind Ltd in order to proposed new gas pipeline from Vijayawada -Nellore-Chennai. I observed so many irregularities done by the company to manage the situation and people.In the state of Andhra Pradesh so many victims of these so called “R G T I L” .It is a notable fact , 98 percent of the gas pipeline victims are small/marginal farmers. They don’t know how to tackle these people.
I herewith mention one person Mr.CH.VENUGOPALARAO. The person who is in confrontation with the company on the same issue..

Mr.CH.VENUGOPALA RAO ,Vice President,Federation Of Farmers Association,Andhra Pradesh , working on the same issue since last 3 Years from Andhra Pradesh. His Cell Phone NO. 9490206969. He is Residing near VIJAYAWADA City.

Regards
Srinivas ”

I unqote.

The pdf file sent by Shri Shrinivas,
courtesy Mr.CH.VENUGOPALA RAO ,Vice President,Federation Of Farmers Association,Andhra Pradesh is self explanatory .It speaks a lot. i will submit my analysis in forthcoming installments

i quote,

“A.P. INFORMATION COMMISSION
(Under Right to Information Act, 2005)
HACA Bhavan, Hyderabad.
Phones: 23230245 / 246 (O) / 23230592 (F)

Appeal No. 1033/CIC/2007, Dt. 02-11-2007

Name of the Appellant and Address : Sri CH. Venugopala Rao, Vice President,
Federation of Farmers Associations, A.P.,
H.No.1-191, Railway Wagon Workshop Road,
Guntupalli, Ibrahimpatnam Mandal,
Krishna District.

Name of the Public Authority :
1. The Public Information Officer /
Competent Authority, Reliance Gas
Transportation Infrastructure Ltd.,
D.No. 59-1-21-A, Opp: Stella College Road,
Ramachandra Nagar, Vijayawada-520 008.
2. The Appellate Authority / Member Secretary,
A.P. Pollution Control Board, 2nd Floor, HUDA
Complex, Maitrivanam, SR Nagar, Ameerpet,
Hyderabad.
3. Principal Secretary to Govt.,
Infrastructure and Investment Dept.,
A.P. Secretariat, Hyderabad.

O R D E R

Sri CH. Venugopala Rao, Vice President Federation of Farmers Associations, A.P. has filed on appeal dated: 17-02-07 which was received in this Commission on 21-02-07.

The Additional Registrar, Central Information Commission through his Lr. No. CIC/MA/C/2007/000269 dt:15-02-07 informed that the Appellant’s appeal dated 29-11-2006 was heard on 15-02-07 by IC Prof. M.M. Ansari and that during the course of hearing it emerged that the appellant had sought information from the A.P. Pollution Control Board, Vijayawada and other organizations, on matters relating to State subjects and that as the case falls under the jurisdiction of State Information Commission he sent it for necessary action.

In his application dt: 05-09-06 to the Competent Authority, Reliance Co, the Appellant requested for a copy of MOU. In his subsequent application dated: 10-10-06 to the same authority, Vijayawada he had sought information on the following points:-
(1) Whether the Competent Authority was appointed by Government or Reliance Company.
(2) G.O. according to which the compensation payable will be decided by the Central and State Governments.
(3) Details of members of State, District, Mandal and Village level Committees appointed by the Project Level Committee.
(4) On 21-03-2003 it was promised that 5 jobs will be provided for each village. Whether it will be done.
(5) It was decided in the meeting to pay compensation for 3 years for the loss that would occur due to changes in land.

Give a copy of the MOU.

In view of the communication from the Central Information Commission, the case was taken on file and notices were issued to the parties concerned directing them to appear before this Commission on 21-08-07 for hearing.

On 21-08-07 the case was called. The Appellant was present. The Respondent was absent and informed that he was pre-occupied in the Court of 1st Class Judicial Magistrate, Vijayawada on 21.8.2007 and requested that leave may be granted to him and permission be accorded to Sri P. Srinivasa Rao, AEE to attend the hearing on his behalf. The representative of the Respondent i.e A.P. Pollution Control Board has informed that they are responsible only for environmental issues and for issues relating to land acquisition and compensation the applicant has to pursue with the appropriate authorities. The A.P. Pollution Control Board has
informed that condition No. 10 of the CFE specifies that the recommendations/commitments made during the public hearings held on 15.3.2003 at Kakinada; on 6.3.2003 at Tadepalligudem; on 21.3.2003 at Vijayawada on 26.3.2003 at Kothagudem on 18.3.2003 at Nalgonda and on 4.4.2003 at the District Collector’s Office, R.R. District shall explicitly be followed. The appellant produced several objection petitions filed before the Pollution Control Board during the public hearings held. He stated that in the minutes recorded it was mentioned that their demands would be fully addressed but that no details have been furnished. He further stated that as per condition No. 4 of the conditions issued by the Pollution Control Board in their consent order, it has been stated that the conditions stipulated shall scrupulously be complied with and carried out and that legal action would be initiated as per the provisions of the relevant Acts in case of non-compliance of any conditions of the consent order.

The respondent produced the minutes of public hearings held at Sub-Collector’s Office, Vijayawada wherein several
objections were raised demanding that adequate compensation, to the lands acquired, must be paid and that there were also complaints of delay in payment. There is also a demand for publication of Serial Number-wise and village wise details of farmers through whose lands the pipeline is passing and the need for special compensation to be paid for the damage caused to horticulture crops. It was also demanded for restoration of land to pre-normal level as it was before acquisition. As per the minutes the representative of the industry assured the public that the work would be started only on payment of compensation and that adequate safety measures would be implemented while executing and operating the project.

As the representative of the Pollution Control Board was not familiar with the issues related to land compensation, Commission issued notices to (i) Executive Director, M/s Reliance Industrial Infrastructure Company Ltd., Mumbai; (ii) Prl. Secretary to Govt., Infrastructure and Investment Dept., and the Member Secretary, A.P. Pollution Control Board adjourned the hearing to 28-09-07.

On 28-09-2007 the case was called. The Appellant was absent and requested for adjournment. The Respondent from Pollution Control Board and the Principal Secretary to Govt., Infrastructure and Investment Dept., were present. As the Appellant requested for adjournment, the case was adjourned to 23-10-2007.

On 23-10-2007 the case was called. The Appellant was present. The Respondent represented by Sri Seshadri Naidu, the learned counsel was present. The Member Secretary, A.P. Pollution Control Board and the Principal Secretary to Govt., Infrastructure & Investment Dept., also were present. Arguments concluded.

The Appellant reiterated that during the meetings promises were made to pay market value, to provide employment to the villagers, to supply gas to the industries of the State and that valuation for crop loss for 3 years would be paid. He alleged that instead of fulfilling their promises the farmers are being harassed by the Reliance using police force. The Learned Counsel for the Competent Authority, RGTI Ltd., stated that the Central Govt., had appointed four Competent Authorities one for respective areas, and that the single person Competent Authority (CA) is a Quasi Judicial Authority, who is responsible for payment of compensation as per the provisions of the Petroleum and Minerals, Pipelines (Acquisition of Right of User Land) Act, 1962 (PMP Act 1962). He stated that every farmer has to file an application to claim compensation u/s 10 of the Act and that as an interim measure the Competent Authority was authorized to release 10% of the final compensation. He further stated that there was never any commitment recorded in the minutes issued after the public hearings at various places about providing jobs to affected villages or gas for the State etc. As a matter of fact, the allocation of gas will be made by the Govt. of India as per norms.

The Principal Secretary to Govt., Infrastructure & Investment also stated that there does not appear to be any mention either in the minutes or in the other record relating to the public hearings about providing jobs. He however stated that the Government of India are looking into the sector- specific allocation of gas for priority utilization to industries like the fertilizer plants etc., He stated that the State Govt., did not receive any complaints from the farmers so far. The Member Secretary, A.P. Pollution Control Board stated that they were mainly concerned with the aspects related to pollution control and that they are attending to those problems. He stated that the PCB is not concerned with the other issues related to payment of compensation or providing jobs etc.,

The Appellant herein stated that he was supplied the information by the Reliance Gas Transportation Infrastructure Ltd. Co., (RTIL) on 18-10-2007 and complained about the inordinate delay and that the Respondent (RTIL) has not supplied a copy of the MOU requested by him.

The Competent Authority RGTI Ltd., in his reply dated 18-10-2007 stated that compensation has to be awarded as per Section 10 of the PMP Act read with Rule 4 of the PMP Rules. He stated that though there is no statutory provision, the Competent Authority has been directing the RTIL to pay advance interim compensation to the affected Land owners and that the Company was meeting the said requirement. He also stated that there was no provision or promise to provide employment to 5 members of every village. He further stated that in the first instance advance compensation was already paid for the 1st crop to all the affected land owners and that presumptive crop compensation for the second crop is also now being paid to the land owners. He stated that the Competent Authority was not concerned with the MOU.
From the above it is clear that the Competent Authority is functioning under the PMP Act, 1962 and Rules made there under and is concerned with the payment of compensation under the said Act and that any farmer aggrieved with regard to payment of compensation made by the Competent Authority can file an appeal before the District Judge for redressal of the grievance. As far as the claim of the Appellant on issues relating to payment of market value, employment or allocation of gas, there was no commitment borne either in the minutes nor has it been confirmed by the representatives of the Govt. of Andhra Pradesh. In view of the foregoing, the Commission has come to the conclusion that the issues of crop loss, gas allocation and employment are extraneous and not germane to the RTI Act and its provisions and that grievances on these matters must be agitated before the Competent Authorities and Right to Information Act does NOT provide for remedies.

To the pointed query raised by the Commission whether the Appellant received the information sought by him i.e. appointment of Competent Authority, fixation and payment of compensation, the details of members of various committees etc., the Appellant confirmed that he had received all the information except the MOU. The Competent Authority submitted that he was not concerned with the MOU.
In view of the above and as the information sought for to the extent concerned to the PIO has been made available and as the remaining issues do not come under the purview of the RTI Act, 2005, this appeal is closed with the advice to the Appellant to approach the Competent Authorities for residual grievances.

C.D. ARHA
Chief Information Commissioner
Authenticated by:
(R.V.S. Paul)
Deputy Registrar ”

i unquote.

*********************************************

Mr.Srinivas or for that sake no one should address me as ‘sir’. For all practical purposes , i am a friend, fellow victim , comrade and first and foremost CITIZEN of INDIA having faith in the CONSTITUTION of INDIA and thereunder rule of law.

i will contact Shri Srinivas and Mr.CH.VENUGOPALA RAO tomorrow. i will let you know what we discuss.

Meanwhile i intend to send my personal representative ,an NRI , Acitizen of the USA to Forbes, New York Times and Washington Post to invite their representatives to tour the entitre area covered by RGTIL.

i post regularly my Blogs to US President Barack Obama .

i am preparing a document to stress upon them the reality of Indian Democracy vis a vis development la Reliance.

i don’t know how far i will be able to go. There is nothing wrong in trying.

( TO be continued)
Dr. Bankimchandra M. Desai
Navsari and Surat , Gujarat.
Cell phone : +91-9426187102
OCt.10,2010 ,EDITED ocT.11,2010
3192 words.

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