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PONDICHERRY :News Archives 1

PONDICHERRY :News Archives 1

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Published by Nandhi Varman
The political issues raised by Dravida Peravai, a Pondicherry based political party on India's environment, refugee issue, interlinking of canals, land grabbing case that reached Supreme Court and the first ever successful struggle of a fishermen village of Narambai in driving out a multi-national that tried its best to evacuate entire village etc are recorded in this News Archives 1
The political issues raised by Dravida Peravai, a Pondicherry based political party on India's environment, refugee issue, interlinking of canals, land grabbing case that reached Supreme Court and the first ever successful struggle of a fishermen village of Narambai in driving out a multi-national that tried its best to evacuate entire village etc are recorded in this News Archives 1

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Published by: Nandhi Varman on Nov 18, 2011
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DRAVIDA PERAVAIDRAVIDA PERAVAIDRAVIDA PERAVAIDRAVIDA PERAVAI
News Archives 1 : Campaigns and Opinions :editor : n.nandhivarman
PONDICHERRY :FactPONDICHERRY :FactPONDICHERRY :FactPONDICHERRY :Fact----FileFileFileFile
N.Nandhivarman General Secretary Dravida Peravai 
Periyar-Anna, the two ideologues of Dravidian Movement laid down firm ideologicalfoundations for equality of all human beings and carryingforward a progressive rationalist global vision. Arignar Annaspelt out those noble ideals in the Annamalai Universityconvocation address.“A world without beggar's outstretched palm, the miser'sheartless stony stare, the piteous wail of want, the pallid face of crime, the livid lips of lies, the cruel eyes of scorn, a race withoutdisease of flesh or brain, a land where life lengthens, fear dies, joy deepens, love intensifies and man regains his dignity” iswhat Arignar Anna dreamt of and Annaism stands for.This noble goal set for Dravidian Movement to make its appeal universal was first incorporatedin the Manifesto of Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam in its formative period. In fact at thevery inception of that party two names emanated, one from Chennai and other one fromPondicherry. Anna DMK is the name given by Anagaputhur Ramalingam and DMK (Annaist) isthe name given by N.Nandhivarman from Pondicherry.(Source: Dinamani front page top banner news 18.10.1972). MGR accepted the formation of the party later. The reason for Annaism to be set as goal was prompted by an experiment inGhana by Nkrumah to create a scientific socialism suited to that soil.Anna DMK formed a committee under Nanjil K.Manoharan to formulate policies andprogramme for the party. In the report submitted to that committee Pondicherry unit of AnnaDMK had spelt out Annaism as the goal. ([Source: Indian Express 23.2.1973]Mr.N.Nandhivarman entered politics in 1959 and became the Secretary of Dravidian StudentsProgressive Federation of Pondicherry [DMMK] in 1962. In 1967 he became the Organizer Pondicherry District DMK Students wing [DMMK] and in 1970 State Convener of DravidianStudents Progressive Federation [DMMK].
 
 
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With this introductory remark New Times Observer, the only English weekly published since1966 continuously from Pondicherry elicited Nandhivarman's reply on what is Annaism?Annaism stands for universal affinity, equality, fraternity, liberty, honesty, purity, sincerity,morality and for socialism and democracy in their truest sense and meaning.Within 2 months of Anna DMK's inception N.Nandhivarman was suspended from PondicherryState Anna DMK leadership. The public reason in the first expulsion said it is for personalreasons. Later he joined DMK and remained in DMK till 1994. In 1996 when Dravida Peravaiwas floated "Annaism" emerged as the party's goal.In search of redefining the goals of Dravidian Movement the new party listed out certaineconomic goals. One such goal of the party is single global currency. No one who espousesglobalization will be ready to accept this because it cuts into the roots of speculative capitalism.The first struggle was for safeguarding the ground water. By joining hands with certainindividuals of Ashram, in the Supreme Court battle to relocate a water intensive distillery in thebeach we won and shifted the 100 year old Government Distillery from Beach. Then joininghands with Narambai Fishermen's Panchayat the long drawn struggle to prevent a MultiNational Corporation uprooting entire village to set up its shop followed. The list of strugglesand their successes will be given below.
FISHING VILLAGE FIGHTS AGAINST M.N.CFISHING VILLAGE FIGHTS AGAINST M.N.CFISHING VILLAGE FIGHTS AGAINST M.N.CFISHING VILLAGE FIGHTS AGAINST M.N.C
Narambai is a fishing village off the Bay of Bengal within the territorial limits of theUnion Territory of Pondicherry. There was an attempt to evacuate the entire village toset up an offshore LPG plant from their traditional homes where they were pursuingtheir profession for centuries. The Congress Government led by V.Vaithialingam gaveclearance to this project, which will hurt the fishing village. The Narambai fishingvillage Panchayat took up cudgels against this move which snow balled into a fightfor finish to both sides. We reproduce in verbatim a report from INDIAN EXPRESSdated 27.05.1995.
LPG PROJECT NEAR PONDY COAST-IVILLAGERS WAKE UP TO ECO PROBLEMS, TO PROTEST
 The residents of a cluster of villages in the Union Territory of Pondicherry are gettingready to take on a mega multi crore industrial project which they fear will sound thedeath knell of not only their livelihood, but also threaten their right to life. Whileenvironmental activists are jumping into the fray to stop this project, an encouragingsign is the manner in which these uneducated villagers are arming themselves withsimple technical knowledge on what environmental and health hazards this projectmay pose for them.
 
 
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 The 30 crore project to be put by the Southern LPG Limited, involves the setting up of an offshore floating terminal for importing LPG, taking the gas to the shore through apipeline and bottling it. A 40,000 ton capacity LPG tanker will be stationed 2.8 kmsoff the shore of Narambai, a village 17 kms from Pondicherry. What the villagers andthe environmental activists assisting them question is the clearance given to theproject by the Ministry of Environment in violation of Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ)of the Environment Protection Act of 1986. This stipulates that “no petrochemicalcomplex or petroleum refinery including crude and petroleum product pipelines"should be allowed within 500 meters of the High Tide Line. But the project proposeditself says that activity will be within 300 meters of the high tide line.Slowly Narambai is gaining the support of about 15 surrounding villages in its fight.On Thursday, Narambai Panchayat head A.Chandrasekar and representatives of hisand other villages met at Nagamuthu Mariamman temple to voice their fears.Interestingly the temple archaga not only played host, but also participated in thediscussion of the hazards this project will cause to the village when the only means of livelihood is fishing.According to Chandrasekhar 43 acres of cultivable land has been bought for theproject in the heart of Narambai. "A year ago land survey was done, and four monthsago when a huge ship came for another survey, we sat up, started asking questionsand came to know about this project.Defending the project Southern LPG General Manager K.Shanmugasundaram said“in a country which is short of LPG, this is a beneficial venture. Those objecting to itare ignorant and do not know that we are taking all safety measures. The LPG will betaken from the ship through submarine pipelines and the bottling unit will be locatedon the shore. The project should go on stream in four months time.About CRZ, he said “We are not violating any regulation and the law allows suchactivity beyond 200 meters from the High Tide Line in cases where the activity requires a water front and foreshore facilities.But Kishore Vangul, head of the Enviro Legal Cell of the CPR Environment EducationCenter, a center for excellence of the Ministry of environment points out that eventhough the CRZ regulations allow relaxation in such issues' several other parametersfrom Environment Impact assessment notification has to be satisfied. These relate tohuman settlements and displacement of population. The project report has falsely stated that the project is away from major human settlements and there will be nodisplacement of the population. Time and again the Supreme Court has come to the rescue of people when there is athreat to right to life and livelihood and both these dangers are very real in this case. The project proposal says 150 people will be given jobs. But for this, is it right to takeaway the livelihood of thousands of people?Director of The CPR Center, Nandita Krishna said “We will first appeal to thecompany as well as the Ministry to have a reappraisal of the project. If this does notwork we will help the people of the region to go to Court, but only as a last resort." The Environment Ministry cleared the project on January 19, 1995 but subject tocertain conditions. One of these is that "adequate distance should be kept from theNarambai village in consultation with the Chief Controller of Explosives." It has alsosaid for "safety reasons the tanker should be moved to high seas on receiving stormwarnings and a study should be done on the long term impact of the project onfishing activities and its report submitted to this ministry within a year". But onewonders whether the Ministry should ask for such an assurance after clearing aproject?
Environmental Hazards of LPG Project-Part IIKNOWLEDGE IS POWER, DISCOVER THE PEOPLE OF NARAMBAI
When a journalist goes to a fishing village to write about the concern of the localpeople against the ecological threats posed to them by a massive LPG project to comeup at Narambai village in the Union territory of Pondicherry, the last thing sheexpects to find there is local youth voicing his concern about environmentaldegradation in the place by reeling off acronyms like the EPA or CRZ.But then Ramachandran( name fictitious as he had applied for government job )though he belongs to the toddy tapping community of Pillayarkuppam has done his

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