Isn’t it amazing how the rest of the world is falling over each other to grab a share of Himachal’s water and rock – the Jaypees, the Ambujas, the ACCs, all big time business honchos in toe.
I am told the Jaypees, the Ambujas, the ACCs are not naïve. If they are paying for it, they must have a good reason for this. They are buying rights to our water and rock so that they can sell it. They buy from us our water and rock, and they have the skill to sell these as electricity and cement and make money. Great! It seems like a win-win situation for all.
I really can’t say what they earn from selling these to others. I am just concerned about what do we get from selling our water and rocks to them. For that let’s try and fix a price to our water and rock. Both of these are abundantly available in Himachal and they come to us for free. Until the Jaypees, the Ambujas, the ACCs et al hadn’t eyed these, we were putting them to some use; the best being using them scarcely.
Many of us across the state are unhappy over the way they are using our rock and water. Sorry! I forgot, they’re not ours any more. And their unhappiness seems like an anti-development rhetoric. The accusatory pitch is so high and well managed that, one, the unhappy voices seldom escape the ravines which they haunt. And two, when they do escape to the world outside, they immediately get labeled as “anti-development”. It’s quite politically-incorrect to be “anti-development” in modern times for there is so much currency riding on development – not in terms of synergy between people’s awareness, expectations and choices, but in terms of growth and economic prosperity. Could we, for a moment, risk being labeled anti-development-wallah and ask if the oustees of the hydro-power dams, cement plants and SEZs would be happier with or without these?