Saturday, December 22, 2012

Conference on Environmental & Occupational Health in Patna on Dec 24

Conference on Environmental & Occupational Health in Patna

This is to cordially invite you for the Conference on Environmental and Occupational Health in Patna on December 24, 2012. 

The Conference on Environmental and Occupational Health is being organized in collaboration with A N Sinha Institute of Social Studies, Patna, Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA) and PEACE, New Delhi. 

Venue: A.N. Sinha Institute of Social Studies, near Golghar, Patna
Date: December 24, 2012
Time: 10.00 onwards

At the conference there will be presentations from eminent scientists and public health specialists including experts from India and aboard like Dr Qamar Rahman, Dr Barry Castleman besides eminent doctors from Patna. There will be case studies on environmental and occupational diseases from some Gujarat, Maharshtra, Rajasthan and Jharkhand as well.

Your presence will be of immense importance.

warm regards
Gopal Krishna
ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA)
Mb: 08002263335 (Patna), 9818089660 (Delhi)
Phone: +91-11-2651781
Fax: +91-11-26517814

Draft Agenda

Conference on Environmental and Occupational Health, Patna, December 24, 2012

Venue: A.N. Sinha Institute of Social Studies, near Golghar, Gandhi Maidan, Patna
Date: December 24, 2012
Time: 10.00 AM onwards
Registration & Tea- 10.00-10.30 AM

Welcome Address-Prof. D M Diwakar, Director, ANSISS, Patna
Inaugural Address
Opening Remarks: Prof. D M Diwakar, Director, ANSISS, Patna
Introduction-Gopal Krishna, ToxicsWatch Alliance (TWA)
Collegium Ramazzini Round Table on Environmental & Occupational Diseases
Session I (10.30 AM -12.00 NOON)  

Chair-Prof Ishwari Prasad, former Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)    
Co-Chair- Dr Satyajit Singh, Senior Urologist, Dr. Ruban Group of Hospitals & Vice- President, Indian Doctors for Peace and Development

Externalization of the cost of environmental and occupational diseases Chairperson’s address, Prof Ishwari Prasad, former Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)
Dr. Irving J. Selikoff Memorial Lecture, Dr Barry Castleman, fellow Collegium Ramazzini, USA, formerly with World Health Organisation and author, Medical & Legal Aspects of Asbestos   
Keynote Address on 'Toxic Legacy of carcinogenic fibers, environmental and occupational diseases for present generation and posterity' Prof. Qamar Rahman, Visiting Professor, Rostock University Germany, formerly with Institute of Toxicological Research Centre, Lucknow
Dr P N P Pal, ex-President Indian Medical Association, Bihar Chapter 
Dr Jitendra Kumar Singh, Director, Mahavir Cancer Sansthan and Research Center
Prof. Ashok Ghosh, Professor-in-Charge, Department Environment and Water Management, AN College Patna
Prof. D M Diwakar, Director, ANSISS, Patna
Dr Shakeel, National Secretary, Indian Doctors for Peace and Development
Interaction with participants
Purnendu Majumadar Memorial Round Table Session II (12.00- 3.15 PM)
Chair- Justice (Retd) Rekha Kumari, Patna High Court
Co-Chair: Dr Qamar Rahman, noted toxicologist

Compensation Regime for environmental and occupational diseases in India, Chairperson’s address by Justice (Retd) Rekha Kumari, Patna High Court

Case Study of Mines Labour Protection Campaign (MLPC), Rana Sengupta, Environmental and Occupational Health Diseases from Rajasthan

Lunch- 1.30 PM-2.15 PM  

Legacy of Struggle for Occupational Health Rights in Jharkhand, Samir K Carr, Occupational Safety and Health Association of Jharkhand
Case Study from Breakthrough Science Society, West Bengal  
Case Study from Bargarh and Sambalpur, Odisha, Amitabh Patra,   
Case Study from Maharasthra, Pralhad Malvadkar
Insights from the struggle in Bhojpur, Bihar 
Case Study from Khet Bachao Jeevan Bachao Jansangharsh Committee of Muzaffarpur and Vaishali, Bihar

Interaction with participants  

Dr M K Pandhe Memorial Round Table Session III (3.15 PM-5.00 PM)

Chair- Prof (Dr) Qamar Rahman, noted toxicologist 
Co-Chair: Shri Arun Kumar Singh, President, All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC), Bihar

Shri Chakradhar Prasad Singh, AITUC  
Shri Sarovodaya Sharma, CITU
Shri RN Thakur, AICCTU
Shri Arvind Sinha, All India Federation of Trade Unions (New)
Shri Nand Kishor Singh 
Shri Satish Kumar, CCI
Shri Jamiruddinji, MCPI
Shri Mahendra, NAPM

Interaction with participants

Communicating environmental & occupational diseases Session IV (5.00-6.00 PM)
Chair- Dr Barry Castleman, noted environmental health expert   
 Co-chair: Shri Arun Kumar, Member, Press Council of India
Media persons

Summing up and Resolution Prof Ishwari Prasad, former Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)
Valedictory Address
Vote of Thanks

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Beware of the mirage of 24X7 Ganga water supply for 25 Bihar towns besides Patna

The 24X7 safe water supply is an euphemism for privatization of water supply. Citizen groups  of Patna are wary of Patna water supply project that began as a Rs 800 crore Build–operate–transfer (BOT)  project. It was turned into a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) project of Rs 750 crore. The State Government changed the project into an Engineering Procurement Construction (EPC) contract and invited bids for the Rs 550 crore project. 
A SPV of Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation (BUIDCo) is executing the project under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). BUIDCo invited firms to design, build, operate, manage and maintain the new 24x7 water supply system in Patna.
The consortium of Geo Miller & Company Private Limited and Gammon India Limited has been chosen by the BUIDCo for the job. 
Geo Miller has been implementing water supply projects across the country, including water treatment plants in Hyderabad, Bhopal and Udaipur. Gammon India is the same company that has built the admittedly flawed Kosi Mahasetu whose adverse effects has already been recorded and in future too its victims will suffer its consequences.    
The promise of 24X7 Ganga water supply is a mirage, residents of Patna in particular and citizens of Bihar ought to be wary of given the fact that DPR for 24 X 7 water supply for 25 Bihar towns is in the offing. These towns are Bettiah, Motihari, Saharsa, Sitamarhi, Kishanganj, Katihar, Purnia, Ara, Chapra, Hajipur, Siwan, Aurangabad, Bhabua, Buxar, Sasaram, Bihar Sharif, Jehanabad, Nawada, Rajgir, Shaikhpura, Banka, Begusarai, Jamui, Lakhisarai and Munger 
The reported claims of Bihar Urban development and housing minister Prem Kumar about 24X7 supply of safe drinking water to all households in Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) area within the next two years merits rigorous scrutiny.
Water treatment plant, 25 tubewells and 72 water towers are proposed to be constructed to supply water to about 16.83 lakh people residing in 72 wards of Patna. A gauge would be used to measure the supply of 135 litres of drinking water per person per day and the scheme would ensure supply of 325 million litre of water per day (MLD).
The 47 wards of the northern part are to receive 220 MLD drinking water treated from the Ganga river from the water treatment plant that would be constructed at Digha. The 25 wards of South Patna are supposed to get 105.5 MLD of drinking water through tubewells.
It has been reported that the joint initiative by the central and state governments would see a total expenditure of Rs 548 crore, of which Rs 476 crore would be spent for infrastructure to supply drinking water and Rs 72 crore for maintenance over the next 10 years.
The execution of the project has been assigned to a special purpose vehicle (SPV) company Patna Water Supply Distribution Network Private Limited under BUIDCo. It is expected to complete the work before April 1, 2014 and the company would be looking after the maintenance of the project for the next 10 years.
Citizens' groups in Patna and other 25 towns will have to examine the track record of these companies and their performance in other cities of the country.

Mukhiya is an endangered species in Bihar

Mukhiya Rajkumar Paswan killed, so far 34 mukhiyas eliminated in 2 years 

Patna, Dec 15 (IANS) A village head (mukhiya) was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Bihar's Aurangabad district, police said Saturday. This is the fourth murder of a mukhiya from Aurangabad in the past few months.

Rajkumar Paswan, village head of Khudwa panchayat, Obra block, Aurangabad, was killed late Friday night while he was returning to his village, a district police official said.
Angry over his killing, Paswan's supporters protested, blocked roads and shouted slogans against the local administration.

In November, Sudesh Kumar Singh, mukhiya of the Karma panchayat in Aurangabad was slain by unidentified people.

In March, Chhotu Kushwaha, mukhiya of the Sonhattu panchayat under the Haspura block was shot dead. Before that, Arif Khan, mukhiya of Obra panchayat, was killed.

In view of the killing of village heads with such frequency, a group of mukhiyas approached the district administration two months ago demanding bodyguards for mukhiyas, a district official said.
Hundreds of elected representatives in rural Bihar have sought bodyguards, citing threats from Maoists, gangsters, criminals and rivals.

Since the panchayat elections were held in Bihar over two years ago, 34 elected heads of panchayats have been killed.

In Bihar, there are 8,442 village body heads, 8,422 sarpanchs, 1,15,542 panchayat members, 11,534 panchayat samiti members and 1,162 zila parishad members.