The village of Barpali , Korba, Chhattisgarh was once a agrarian land, where people flourished in their lush green fields. But today, the tentacles of industrialisation has sunk deep into the surrounding of the village, sucking it dry of its’ groundwater. With failed rains and rapidly declining groundwater, Barpali village and 100 residents, who primarily depend on agriculture, are faced with survival problems. To confirm the residents’ claim, Rajesh Gupta, VV correspondent Chhattisgarh went and spoke to the manager of Navdurga , who confirmed it by saying, “We operate 10 bore wells on our factory premises to use groundwater in our entire operations.” With negligible produce, the farmers are worried about sustenance of their family and children, who are yet to be compensated by the state.
While agriculture is the chief source of livelihood for the population, Chhattisgarh is on an industrial roller-coaster with more & more coal-based power stations, mines, cement production and storage companies popping at every other turn. In the rush to industrialize, the state is diverting land and forests – that sustains more than 80% of the population- to industries and not once has the state stopped to take stock of the cumulative impact of so many projects on agricultural land, livelihoods and environment on the whole.
Chhattisgarh, the ‘Rice Bowl of central India’ witnessed 309 farmer suicides between January 2013 and January 31, 2016 because of crop failures, rising debts and rapid land acquisitions. “There is food insecurity in the state already. The rapid industrialsation is adding to this insecurity,” Gautam Bandyopadhyay of Nadi-Ghati Morcha, an NGO working on land and water in Chhattisgarh said . According to this article, the state government has diverted 10,200 ha of paddy area for industry and other uses in 2009-10
The battle is not just for water or land alone, it is also a battle against hunger. Help the residents of Barpali get compensation for their harvest. Call Shri Sharma, the Environment Officer, Raigarh on +9! 9682509442