The World Bank has ordered an independent investigation into World Bank-funded water supply project in two villages of Jharkhand, following complaints from the local indigenous people that the authorities “failed” to consult them and the project, which impacts their cultural resources and land was imposed on them using force.
The moves follow inspection panel, a fact-finding agency independent of the Bank’s management, concluded the seriousness of the complaints, Indian Express reported.
The World Bank funds half of the Chhotagovindpur-Bagbera multi-village schemes under Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project (RWSSP) for the Low Income States, which is a $1-billion project being implemented in Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh.
While one complaint came from 104 people of Santhal (Adivasi) community from Giddi Jhopri village about the location of the water treatment plant (WTP), another was from 130 people from Santhal and Ho tribal communities from Sarjamda village, near Giddi Jhopri, about the construction of an elevated storage reservoir (ESR).
East Singhbum district is covered under the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 (PESA), which makes it mandatory to get the consent of the Gram Sabha before any development project.