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The Water Wars [India]

Author: Babu Kumar, Tehelka [India], Published on: 31 January 2011

Rivers belong to nations. But, in Chhattisgarh they belong to corporations...You can lease a river in Chhattisgarh for 22 years. At just Rs. 1 per annum...[The lease of one river] denied villagers water for drinking, washing and irrigation, stopped fishermen from casting their nets and prevented locals from taking sand from the riverbed…Shanti Bai and her husband Shauki Lal, both daily wagers, were living happily in Bonda Tikra...until a check dam and intake well were constructed by Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL)…THE JSPL management says the people’s anger should be directed against the government and not at the JSPL, because “we only work under government rules”.…In southern Chhattisgarh, a large portion of Sabri, which flows through Dantewada district, is under the operation of Essar Steel Chhattisgarh Ltd and Tata Steel…“Our intake of water does not affect local availability in any manner,” says Parikshit Kaul, joint general manager, corporate affairs [at Essar]. [also refers to Radius Water Limited (RWL), Chhattisgarh State Industrial Development Corporation (CSIDC), National Thermal Power Corporation]

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Related companies: Essar Group Jindal NTPC Tata Group Tata Iron and Steel (TISCO) (part of Tata Group)