Saturday, April 14, 2012

Gujarat Chief Minister sends letter objecting to Centre’s move to ‘Create a State within a State’



on April 14, 2012

Narendra Modi warns Prime Minister Manmohan Singh against giving wider powers to BSF to arrest and search anybody, anywhere in India

Ahmedabad, Saturday: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today warned Prime Minister Manmohan Singh against amending the Border Security Force Act, 1968 to give wide powers to BSF to arrest and search any body in any part of India.
In a strongly worded letter, Mr. Modi objected to the unwarranted move, especiallywhen the Chief Ministers of different states are meeting  in New Delhi on April 16, 2012.
Mr. Modi described it as yet another systematic move to ‘Create a State within State’ or a ‘Second State’. He recalled that he had sent letters to thePrime Minister earlier too, opposing the Centre’s unilateral and arbitrary move to create National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) and give wider powers toRailway ProtectionForce (RPF) to interfere into states’affairs and jurisdiction and curtail their powers.
As mentioned in the agenda of  NCTC, Mr. Modi pointed out that similar provisions are already available to CAPF like SSB, ITBP (Indo Tibetan Border Police) and CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force). Some state governments have expressed their views and favoured the move.
He said that BSF has been created to guard our international borders with powers under Criminal Procedure Code to arrest offenders in border areas and investigate.
As per the existing provisions, he said, services of Armed Forces and Para-Military Forces are requisitioned to assist the civil authorities during natural calamities and other emergencies to maintain law and order. And these forces have stood up to the expectation in performing their duty. He said that Para Military Forces like State Reserve Police (SRP) also perform their duty with respective State Governments, but have not given any power to arrest or investigate.
On the one hand, he said, the Union Government expects better coordination among different intelligence units with the Forces maintaining internal security, and on the other hand attempting to axe the powers from the State Police creating distrust and demoralize the police, which could not be accepted in any circumstances.

Just Foreign Policy News 13 April 2012

Go Straight to the News Summary in this Email

Switch to the "Short Email" Version of the News

I) Actions and Featured Articles

Welcome to Palestine: "Even Prisoners Are Allowed Visits"
What difference will it make to the lives of Palestinians in the West Bank when the world meets their demands for freedom and self-determination? One difference it will make: like other peoples of the world, the Palestinians will get to decide who they can invite to visit them.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-naiman/welcome-to-palestine-even_b_1423773.html

A Contrarian Optimist View of the Upcoming Iran Nuclear Talks
When President Obama nominated global health superhero Dr. Jim Young Kim to lead the World Bank, Harvard development economist Dani Rodrik remarked, "It's nice to see that Obama can still surprise us." Is it possible that Obama could pleasantly surprise us in the upcoming talks with Iran over its nuclear program? Much of the media coverage would suggest otherwise. Nonetheless, there are actually quite a few positive signs we can point to.
http://truth-out.org/news/item/8456-a-contrarian-optimist-view-of-the-upcoming-iran-nuclear-talks

Juan Cole: Why Washington's Iran Policy Could Lead to Global Disaster
Economic war led by Washington (and encouraged by Israel) will not take down the Iranian government or bring it to the bargaining table on its knees ready to surrender its nuclear program. It might, however, lead to actual armed conflict with incalculable consequences.
http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/04/12-3

II
) Summary:
U.S./Top News
1) A majority of Republicans say for the first time that the war in Afghanistan has not been worth fighting, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll, the Washington Post reports. The poll findings are likely to present a challenge for Republican front-runner Mitt Romney, who has said that the goal in Afghanistan should be to defeat the Taliban on the battlefield, the Post says.

2) At negotiations this week between Iran and six world powers, the U.S. and its allies hope to make enough progress to take some of the urgency out of the confrontation over Iran's nuclear program, the New York Times reports. The U.S. has made clear that 20-percent-enriched uranium and the Fordo site are matters of urgency, and Iran has hinted it may be willing to suspend enrichment to 20 percent, at least temporarily, in return for concessions - which may include, for instance, suspending the EU oil embargo, scheduled to begin July 1, or even of some sanctions against Iran's Central Bank. Reciprocal suspensions of some kind, experts say, might be enough to buy time and get both sides to another round of talks.

3) The White House said it was "deeply concerned" about growing polarisation between the monarchy and the majority Shi'a community in Bahrain and the welfare of a jailed human rights activist who has been on a hunger strike since early February, Inter Press Service reports. The immediate cause of the statement appeared to be a response to growing pressure from a large number of human rights and labour groups for Obama to intervene in the case of Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, the report says. But it also reflected increasing concern over the increase in clashes between the kingdom's security forces and youths in predominantly Shi'a communities, and in the absence of movement toward serious dialogue between the government and the main opposition party, al-Wefaq.

4) Recent claims from some economists that Jim Yong Kim, President Obama's nominee to be head of the World Bank, is "anti-growth" are based on a willful misreading of passages from Kim's co-edited volume "Dying for Growth: Global Inequality and the Health of the Poor," write Paul Farmer and John Gershman in the Washington Post. Any reasonable reading of the book indicates that "Dying for Growth" is pro-growth, raising questions about particular policies and patterns of growth that exclude the great majority of people living in poverty.

5) The A.F.L.-C.I.O.'s president has sent him a toughly worded letter saying that he should not officially certify that Colombia has done enough to stop a decades-long series of killings of union leaders and supporters there, the New York Times reports. Richard Trumka, the A.F.L.-C.I.O.'s president, wrote that it would be wrong to grant such certification because Colombia had done far too little to stop the killings. Trumka also maintained that Colombia had not fulfilled many of the promises it made as part of a "labor action plan" that it embraced last April to help persuade Congress to ratify a trade accord.

6) President Obama will be on the defensive on Cuba, drug trafficking, and immigration heading into this weekend's Summit of the Americas, with the U.S. stubbornly clinging to positions opposed by most Latin American and Caribbean leaders, AP reports. Leaders including Colombian President Santos have said they will permit no more future Summits of the Americas without Cuba's participation. Obama can also expect to be in the minority in his opposition to Argentina's claim to the British-controlled Malvinas Islands, AP says.

Pakistan
7) Pakistan's government and opposition joined on Thursday to present the U.S. with a list of stringent demands, including an immediate end to C.I.A. drone strikes, the New York Times reports. "Now two things can happen," a Pakistani defense expert said. "If the drone strikes continue, it will embarrass the government. The other option is for the U.S. and Pakistan to evolve a new framework for the use of drone aircraft."

Bahrain
8) Despite the Bahrain authorities' claims to the contrary, state violence against those who oppose the Al Khalifa family rule continues, and in practice, not much has changed in the country since the brutal crackdown on anti-government protesters in February and March 2011, says Amnesty International in a memo to journalists. In recent months, the Bahraini authorities have become more concerned with re-building their image and investing in public relations than with actually introducing real human rights and political reforms in their country, Amnesty says.

Syria
9) Kofi Annan's spokesman described the cease-fire in Syria as "relatively respected," the New York Times reports. An advance team of up to 30 UN observers was due to be dispatched as soon as the Security Council approved it; the full mission would reach 250 observers.

Haiti
10) A year and a half after cholera was introduced to Haiti by UN troops, a tiny portion of the population on Thursday began getting vaccinated against the waterborne disease that has infected more than 530,000 Haitians and killed more than 7,040, the New York Times reports. The organizers - Partners in Health and Gheskio, which also collaborate on H.I.V. and AIDS care - had hoped to beat the spring rains that spread the cholera germ. But they ran into an unanticipated roadblock and the rains have already started to drench the country, causing flooding and a spike in cases. "It's the ethical and equitable thing to do," said Dr. Paul Farmer, a co-founder of Partners in Health. "If cholera had exploded in the United States like it did in Haiti, everybody would have gotten the vaccine by now."

Contents:
U.S./Top News
1) Post-ABC News poll shows drop in Republican support for Afghan war
Scott Wilson and Jon Cohen, Washington Post, April 11
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/post-abc-news-poll-shows-drop-in-republican-support-for-afghan-war/2012/04/11/gIQAfl5oBT_story.html

A majority of Republicans say for the first time that the war in Afghanistan has not been worth fighting, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll that comes as the continuing U.S. presence in that country is emerging as a key point of contention in the presidential race.

The poll findings are likely to present a challenge for Republican front-runner Mitt Romney, who has said that the goal in Afghanistan should be to defeat the Taliban on the battlefield.

President Obama stepped back from that goal during his 2009 strategy review and has set the end of 2014 as the departure date for all U.S. combat forces. [Note that this statement is technically correct: any U.S. troops which remain after 2014 will not be called "combat forces" - JFP.]
[...]
Since the 2001 invasion, almost 2,000 U.S. troops have been killed and more than 15,000 have been wounded in Afghanistan. [That is, according to the Pentagon definition of "wounded" - JFP.] According to the poll, two-thirds of Americans think the war has not been worth fighting, equaling the most negative public assessments of the U.S. war effort in Iraq.
[...]
But Romney, whose résumé is thin on foreign-policy experience, has criticized Obama's management of the Afghanistan war.

In particular, the former Massachusetts governor has said that he would have listened more closely to his commanding generals, who have urged Obama to keep troops in place longer, and not set a specific timeline for withdrawal. Romney says that Obama's doing so has allowed the Taliban to simply wait out the U.S. military.
[...]
For Romney's campaign, the slip in Republican support for the war could pose political difficulties, placing him outside the majority view of his party. For the first time, more Republicans and GOP-leaning independents oppose the war than support it, with 55 percent saying it has not been worth the costs.
[...]

2) At Nuclear Talks, Hopes That a New Iranian Attitude Will Reduce Tensions
Steven Erlanger, New York Times, April 12, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/13/world/middleeast/us-hopes-iran-nuclear-talks-will-reduce-tensions.html

Istanbul - At negotiations this week between Iran and six world powers, the United States and its allies hope to make enough progress to take some of the urgency out of the confrontation over Tehran's nuclear program, to reassure Israel and to arrange a second round of talks soon.

For the first time in years, both Iran and the six powers - the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany - seem interested in serious negotiations that both sides have agreed will take a "step by step" approach and be "reciprocal." And both sides say they are coming to the talks here in Istanbul with proposals on the nuclear issue in discussions that may begin over dinner on Friday night and will continue formally on Saturday. Iranian state media said Tehran's delegation arrived in Istanbul on Friday morning.
[...]
But the context is different now. Iran has produced a much greater quantity of enriched uranium, some of it at 20 percent purity, just a few technical steps from bomb grade; it has placed many more centrifuges deep inside a protected mountain at Fordo, near Qum; and it is facing increased sanctions that are causing severe economic distress. So there is more of a sense of urgency on both sides, with Israeli leaders talking openly of bombing Iran's nuclear sites before it becomes too difficult to do so.
[...]
The United States has made clear that the 20-percent-enriched uranium and the protected Fordo site are matters of urgency, and Iran has hinted that it may be willing to suspend enrichment to 20 percent, at least temporarily, in return for concessions - which may include, for instance, suspending the European Union's oil embargo, scheduled to begin July 1, or even of some sanctions against Iran's Central Bank. Reciprocal suspensions of some kind, experts say, might be enough to buy time and get both sides to another round of talks.
[...]

3) White House Expresses Growing Concern Over Bahrain
Jim Lobe, Inter Press Service, Apr 11
http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=107399

Washington - The White House Wednesday said it was "deeply concerned" about growing polarisation between the ruling monarchy and the majority Shi'a community in Bahrain and the welfare of a jailed human rights activist who has been on a hunger strike since early February.

"We continue to underscore, both to the government and citizens of Bahrain, the importance of working together to address the underlying causes of mistrust and to promote reconciliation," said President Barack Obama's press secretary, Jay Carney, in a written statement.

"In this respect, we note our continued concern for the well-being of jailed activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and call on the Government of Bahrain to consider urgently all available options to resolve his case," the statement said.

It added that the government should "redouble its ongoing efforts" to implement democratic reforms recommended by an independent international commission last November.

While the immediate cause of the statement appeared to be a response to growing pressure from a large number of human rights and labour groups for Obama to intervene in the case of Khawaja, it also reflected increasing concern over the increase in violent clashes between the kingdom's security forces and youths in predominantly Shi'a communities in and around Manama, the capital, in the absence of movement toward serious dialogue between the government and the main opposition party, al-Wefaq.

Bahrain is home to the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet and occupies a strategic location in the Gulf opposite southwestern Iran.

The violence has reportedly increased over the past few weeks with the approach of next week's Formula One race on the island -against which protestors have called for a boycott - as well as growing concerns over Khawaja's deteriorating condition, which has become a rallying point for both the opposition.

Seven police officers were wounded Monday when a bomb exploded as demonstrators just outside Manama gathered to protest the authorities' rejection of an appeal by the Danish government to release Khawaja to its custody for medical treatment.

"The United States continues to be deeply concerned about the situation in Bahrain, and we urge all parties to reject violence in all its forms," the White House statement said.

"We condemn the violence directed against police and government institutions, including recent incidents that have resulted in serious injuries to police officers," it went on. "We also call on the police to exercise maximum restraint, and condemn the use of excessive force and indiscriminate use of tear gas against protestors, which has resulted in civilian casualties."
[...]
The administration also spoke out strongly in favour of the conclusions and recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) headed by a prominent international jurist, Cherif Bassiouni, which was tasked to investigate allegations of human rights and other abuses committed during the crackdown.

In addition to the use of excessive force by security forces which resulted in several dozen deaths, the nearly 500-page BICI report released in November detailed other serious abuses, including the rounding up, detention, torture and mistreatment of hundreds of demonstrators, the wrongful dismissal of thousands of others from government posts and universities, and serious due process violations, including the admission of forced confessions, committed against defendants brought before special security courts.

Khawaja, a long-time human rights activist who had been exiled to Denmark in the 1980s but returned to Bahrain in 2001, was himself arrested last April on charges of trying to overthrow the monarchy and subsequently sentenced by one of the courts criticised by the BICI to life imprisonment two months later.

He, along with 13 other prominent opposition activists, has been named as "prisoners of conscience" by Amnesty International which has called repeatedly for his unconditional release.

While in prison awaiting trial, Khawaja was beaten so severely that his jaw and skull were cracked and he has undergone several surgeries since.

To protest his continued detention, he began a hunger strike on Feb. 8, and is now on his 64th day without eating solid food. In an open letter to King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, he said he would continue fasting until "freedom or death".

Reports of his deteriorating health spurred 15 civil society groups here, including Amnesty, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights First, the Open Society Foundations, and the AFL-CIO labour confederation, to send an open letter to Obama Monday in which they urged him "to publicly call on the Government of Bahrain to immediately and unconditionally release (him) from prison".

Amnesty reiterated that call Tuesday in light of a decision by Bahrain's Court of Cassation, which is reviewing the verdicts of Khawaja and his 13 co-defendants, to adjourn its deliberations until Apr. 23 without setting bail. Despite concerns voiced by Danish consular officials who have been able to visit Khawaja, the Bahraini government has insisted that his life is not at imminent risk.

"This delay will have potentially disastrous consequences for his health, which continues to deteriorate as a result of his hunger strike," Amnesty said. "The authorities' single-minded determination to persecute Abdulhadi al-Khawaja seems to override any consideration for justice or humanity."

4) Jim Kim's humility would serve World Bank well
Paul Farmer and John Gershman, Washington Post, April 11
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/kims-smart-stance-on-growth/2012/04/11/gIQA6SqABT_story.html

President Obama's nomination of Jim Yong Kim to be president of the World Bank is a powerful choice for an institution charged with addressing some of the world's toughest challenges. Chief among these is to help developing economies achieve sustained growth by ensuring that its benefits are broadly shared.

Recent claims from some economists that Kim is "anti-growth" are based on a willful misreading and selective reporting of passages from Kim's co-edited volume "Dying for Growth: Global Inequality and the Health of the Poor," to which we both contributed. Any reasonable reading of the book indicates that "Dying for Growth" is pro-growth, raising questions about particular policies and patterns of growth that exclude the great majority of people living in poverty. Hence the double entendre in the title.

The book must be placed in its historical context. In the 1990s, when the book was researched and written, too many of the world's poorest had been left behind by the growth of the global economy. The reigning view then was that growth and globalization would more or less take care of the poor and that inequality in particular was not an important issue. Not all boats were lifted by unequal growth.

The book's objective was to ask questions about what types of growth and what kinds of policies were beneficial for those struggling to lift themselves out of poverty. The people we spoke of as "left behind" were not a tiny minority of our planet's inhabitants but, rather, the many families we encountered every day in our clinics and hospitals in Haiti, Rwanda, Peru and the United States. Under-investment in basic services for the poor - including health care, education and access to credit - perpetuated their exclusion.

Thanks in part to Kim's trailblazing work, development approaches have changed. As the introduction to the World Bank's 2006 World Development Report notes, "we now have considerable evidence that equity is also instrumental to the pursuit of long-term prosperity in aggregate terms for society as a whole." Today there are greater investments in areas such as health and education, which help countries grow.

Questions about inclusive growth remain important in the 21st-century debate over development policy. In our view, these are precisely the issues that governments and international financial institutions should have been asking all along. And in fact, the global financial crisis and recent upheavals known as the Arab Spring remind us how critical the challenge of inclusive growth is.

That's why the Obama administration's nomination of Kim is nothing short of inspired, as leaders in countries rich and poor, such as former president Bill Clinton, Haitian President Michel Martelly, Japanese finance minister Jun Azumi, and others, have noted.
[...]

5) A.F.L.-C.I.O. Chief Sends Obama Letter Voicing Concern About Labor Killings in Colombia
Steven Greenhouse, New York Times, April 12, 2012, 1:01 PM
http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/12/a-f-l-c-i-o-chief-sends-criticial-letter-to-obama-on-colombia/

With President Obama scheduled to attend the Summit of the Americas in Colombia this weekend, the A.F.L.-C.I.O.'s president has sent him a toughly worded letter saying that he should not officially certify that Colombia has done enough to stop a decades-long series of killings of union leaders and supporters there.

Richard L. Trumka, the A.F.L.-C.I.O.'s president, wrote that it would be wrong to grant such certification because Colombia had done far too little to stop the killings. Mr. Trumka also maintained that Colombia had not fulfilled many of the promises it made as part of a "labor action plan" that it embraced last April to help persuade Congress to ratify a free-trade accord.

Mr. Trumka asserted that the Colombian government had fallen short on its commitment to prosecute and reduce impunity for those who have murdered union supporters.

"Less than 10 percent of the nearly 3,000 cases of trade unionists murders since 1986 have reached a conviction," Mr. Trumka wrote. "The powers behind the crimes remain almost completely free from punishment. None of the 29 labor activists killed in 2011 had their cases resolved by a successful prosecution."
[...]
Labor leaders say they fear that Mr. Obama will announce at the meeting in Colombia that he is certifying that Colombia has fulfilled its promises under the action plan, an important step before the free-trade agreement is officially implemented. Mr. Obama will be meeting with more than 30 heads of state and government this weekend in the coastal city of Cartagena.
[...]
Mr. Trumka also faulted the labor action plan for not including any specific "objectives to reduce threats or attacks on labor leaders or other types of human rights defenders." He also said that Colombia, which promised to hire 200 labor inspectors, had not done enough preventive inspections to help ensure that the labor rights of Colombia's workers were not violated.

Mr. Trumka noted that many Colombian employers continued to subcontract work in what he said was an illegal strategy to block unionization. He wrote that after municipal workers in the city of Jamundí began a unionization effort in January, the city fired 43 workers, two union leaders received threats, and one activist, Miguel Mallama, "was gunned down in the streets on March 25."

He also wrote that when 450 port workers in Turbo joined Colombia's port workers' union in February, within weeks 50 of the port workers' leaders were effectively fired.

"It is premature to declare the labor action plan a success - now is not the time to relieve the pressure on Colombia," Mr. Trumka wrote. "Moving too quickly toward implementation could jeopardize future improvements for Colombian workers, undercutting efforts to secure labor and other human rights and harming the workers of both countries."
[...]

6) Barack Obama to play defense at Summit of Americas over Cuba, drug trafficking, immigration
Associated Press, Friday, April 13, 3:50 PM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/barack-obama-to-play-defense-at-summit-of-americas-over-cuba-drug-trafficking-immigration/2012/04/13/gIQAneufFT_story.html

Cartagena, Colombia - Barack Obama will be on the defensive heading into this weekend's Summit of the Americas, with the U.S. stubbornly clinging to positions opposed by most Latin American and Caribbean leaders as its influence in the region wanes.

The American president can expect even some of Washington's friendliest allies to protest U.S. insistence on excluding communist Cuba from the gathering. There will be vigorous discussion on drug legalization, which the Obama administration opposes. And Obama can expect to be in the minority in his opposition to Argentina's claim to the British-controlled Falkland Islands.

Obama remains popular in Latin America, but many of his position are not.

On top of that, many of the issues Latin American leaders are looking for answers on, such as Cuba, drug trafficking and immigration, may prove to be contentious during a U.S. election year. Although the popular, charismatic Obama may be able to charm the region's leaders, he will have to convince them that the United States remains relevant to them and their countries.
[...]
Obama can expect a lot of criticism over Cuba's exclusion, at U.S. insistence, from the summits since the first one in 1994.

Leaders including Santos have said they will permit no more future Summits of the Americas without the communist country's participation. Obama's administration has greatly eased family travel and remittances to Cuba, but has not dropped the half-century U.S. embargo against the island, nor moved to let it back into the Organization of American States, under whose auspices the summit is organized.

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa was boycotting the summit over Cuba's exclusion, making him the only president in the region to do so.

Another major issue will be drug legalization, which the Obama administration firmly opposes. Santos left the idea off the official agenda but has said all possible scenarios should be explored and the U.N. should consider them.

Meeting with Argentine President Cristina Fernandez at his request, Obama can expect to discuss that country's claim to the Falkland Islands after Argentina lost a war with Britain 30 years ago while trying to seize them.

Among the 33 Western Hemisphere's leaders, there is nearly unanimous support for Argentina's position.
[...]
The U.S. isn't the only summit participant facing challenges.

The Organization of American States, composed of all the countries in the Western Hemisphere except for Cuba, organizes the summit but has lost much of its former clout with the end of the Cold War.

The OAS, to which the U.S. still pays 59 percent of its $81 million annual budget, now faces competition from a hodgepodge of new regional groupings that have emerged this century, all of them omitting the United States and Canada. They include ALBA, a bloc proposed by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and including Cuba; the Brazil-inspired UNASUR, encompassing South America; and CELAC, comprising 33 countries including Cuba.

Nonetheless, the OAS still plays a prominent role in the region by coordinating institutions such as the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, an important buffer against abuses that has recently come under attack.
[...]

Pakistan
7) Pakistan Gives U.S. a List of Demands, Including an End to C.I.A. Drone Strikes
Salman Masood and Declan Walsh, New York Times, April 12, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/13/world/asia/pakistan-demands-an-end-to-cia-drone-strikes.html

Islamabad, Pakistan - In a rare show of unity, the government and opposition joined on Thursday to present the United States with a list of stringent demands, including an immediate end to C.I.A. drone strikes, that were cast in uncompromising words but could pave the way for a reopening of NATO supply lines through the country.

After two and a half weeks of contentious negotiations, the main parties agreed on a four-page parliamentary resolution that, in addition to the drone demand, called on the Obama administration to apologize for American airstrikes in November that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. It declared that "no overt or covert operations inside Pakistan shall be permitted" - a broad reference that could be interpreted to include all C.I.A. operations.

But on the issue of NATO supply lines, the resolution specified only that arms and ammunition cannot be transported through Pakistan, opening the door to the resumed delivery of critical Afghan war supplies like food and fuel for the first time since the November airstrikes. And in practice, arms and ammunition were rarely, if ever, transported in convoys through Pakistan.
[...]
A spokeswoman for the State Department, Victoria Nuland, praised the "seriousness" of the Parliament's debate and added: "We seek a relationship with Pakistan that is enduring, strategic and more clearly defined. We look forward to discussing these policy recommendations."

Analysts said the resolution, which is essentially nonbinding but establishes a framework for private talks between senior American and Pakistani officials in the coming weeks, signals a new, more pragmatic chapter in relations between the two countries.

"This makes it easier for the government to negotiate with the U.S.," said Hasan Askari Rizvi, a defense expert based in Lahore. "That is why the government agreed to the opposition demand on drones."

Still, the demand for an "immediate cessation of drone strikes" has no easy solution. In 2008 Parliament also demanded an end to drone strikes, only for the C.I.A. to continue attacking Taliban and Al Qaeda targets in the tribal belt along the Afghan border.

The Obama administration considers the operations vital to disrupting terrorist and insurgent networks as well as protecting American troops at war in Afghanistan. For Pakistani politicians, however, drones have become a red-line domestic political issue because of public outrage.

The opposition, led by Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-N party, agreed to back Thursday's resolution in Parliament only if it contained unequivocal language about drones. The government agreed to the language because it needs broad cross-party support to negotiate a reopening of NATO supply lines - a measure that is privately considered necessary by the political and military leadership, but which enjoys little support among the general public.

"Now two things can happen," Mr. Askari Rizvi said. "If the drone strikes continue, it will embarrass the government. The other option is for the U.S. and Pakistan to evolve a new framework for the use of drone aircraft."
[...]

Bahrain
8) Human Rights In Bahrain - Media Briefing
Amnesty International, 13 April 2012
http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE11/024/2012/en/0520e0a4-3c64-4657-9779-fd7ff222824a/mde110242012en.html

The human rights crisis in Bahrain is not over. Despite the authorities' claims to the contrary, state violence against those who oppose the Al Khalifa family rule continues, and in practice, not much has changed in the country since the brutal crackdown on anti-government protesters in February and March 2011.

The Bahraini authorities have been vociferous about their intention to introduce reforms and learn lessons from events in February and March 2011. In November 2011, the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), set up by King Hamad bin 'Issa Al Khalifa, submitted a report of its investigation into human rights violations committed in connection with the anti-government protests. The report concluded that the authorities had committed gross human rights violations with impunity, including excessive use of force against protesters, widespread torture and other ill-treatment of protesters, unfair trials and unlawful killings.

So far, however, the government's response has only scratched the surface of these issues. Reforms have been piecemeal, perhaps aiming to appease Bahrain's international partners, and have failed to provide real accountability and justice for the victims. Human rights violations are continuing unabated. The government is refusing to release scores of prisoners who are incarcerated because they called for meaningful political reforms, and is failing to address the Shi'a majority's deeply-seated sense of discrimination and political marginalisation, which has exacerbated sectarian divides in the country.

In recent months, the Bahraini authorities have become more concerned with re-building their image and investing in public relations than with actually introducing real human rights and political reforms in their country. Indeed, for the authorities, much is at stake. They are keen to portray Bahrain as a stable and secure country in order to stave off international criticism. But as the country prepares to host the Formula 1 Grand Prix on 20-22 April, after the event was cancelled last year in response to the instability in the country, daily anti-government protests continue to be violently suppressed by the riot police that uses tear gas recklessly and with fatal results. Acts of violence by some protesters against the police have also considerably increased in the last three months.
Holding the Grand Prix in Bahrain in 2012 risks being interpreted by the government of Bahrain as symbolizing a return to business as usual. The international community must not turn a blind eye to the ongoing human rights crisis in the country. The government must understand that its half-hearted measures are not sufficient -- sustained progress on real human rights reform remains essential.
[...]

Syria
9) Protests Follow Cease-Fire in Syria
Neil MacFarquhar, New York Times, April 13, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/14/world/middleeast/syria-cease-fire-tested-by-reports-of-clashes.html

Beirut, Lebanon - Syrians by the thousands marched through the streets of cities and towns across the country Friday, testing a tenuous, day-old cease-fire that the United Nations struggled to shore up when the rapid deployment of international observers snagged on Russian objections.

There were scattered reports of deaths and arrests linked to the demonstrations, which had been dubbed "A Revolution for all Syrians" by local organizers nationwide.

Participants admitted to feeling somewhat tentative, sticking to back streets to avoid the security forces, snipers and the tanks that were used to suppress the peaceful protest movement and that remained deployed around many central squares and major crossroads.
[...]
Activists around the country reported that some demonstrators had been tear gassed and others beaten, along with a few reports of renewed shelling. But the violence was far less than in recent months, when scores were reported killed daily under the pounding of heavy weaponry.

Both the lack of international media circulating across the country and the presence of security forces on the streets contradicted the six-point peace plan negotiated by Kofi Annan, the special envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported eight people killed after the demonstrations started. In addition, a lieutenant was killed and 24 other officers and a few civilians injured when a roadside bomb destroyed a bus in Aleppo, according to state-run media. It also accused "armed terrorist groups"-its shorthand for all opposition-with the assassination of a local Baath Party official near the southern town of Dara'a and the shooting death of a brigadier general overnight near Damascus.

Given that all 15 members of the United Nations Security Council had endorsed Mr. Annan's six-point plan, including the deployment of United Nations monitors, the resolution authorizing the mission had been expected to pass easily.

But Russia, the Assad government's most important defender, objected to an operative paragraph that would give the monitors a free hand in conducting their work, granting them abilities like unhindered access to anyplace in the country and the right to interview anyone without government interference, according to Security Council diplomats.

Vitaly I. Churkin, the Russian ambassador, said he still expected a rapid vote on the resolution, but it was unclear how quickly the differences could be resolved. Negotiations going paragraph by paragraph started Friday afternoon and no vote was expected until at least Saturday, diplomats said.

An advance team of up to 30 observers, drawn from various United Nations peacekeeping or observer missions in the region, was due to be dispatched as soon as the Security Council approved it, said Ahmad Fawzi, Mr. Annan's spokesman. The full mission would reach 250 observers he said, and as is common on such missions, Syria would have ultimate approval over the nationalities involved.

Mr. Fawzi described the cease-fire as "relatively respected."
[...]

Haiti
10) Vaccinations Begin in a Cholera-Ravaged Haiti
Deborah Sontag, New York Times, April 12, 2012
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/13/world/americas/vaccinations-begin-in-a-cholera-ravaged-haiti.html

A year and a half after cholera first struck Haiti, a tiny portion of the population on Thursday began getting vaccinated against the waterborne disease that has infected more than 530,000 Haitians and killed more than 7,040.

Organizers of the vaccination campaign, who have been pushing to do this since the epidemic began, cleared their final political hurdle this week when a national bioethics committee approved their plan to use all available doses of the cheapest cholera vaccine to immunize about 1 percent of the population.

On Thursday, tens of thousands of slum dwellers in Port-au-Prince took their first of two doses of the oral vaccine, Shanchol; tens of thousands of rural residents of a rice-growing community near St. Marc will begin this weekend. The second dose will be administered in two weeks.

The organizers - Partners in Health and Gheskio, which also collaborate on H.I.V. and AIDS care - had hoped to beat the spring rains that spread the cholera germ. But they ran into an unanticipated roadblock and the rains have already started to drench the country, causing flooding and a spike in cases.

The roadblock surfaced in March when a Haitian radio station raised questions about the vaccination campaign, which had been approved by the Haitian health minister last year.

The radio station asked if the campaign could be seen as a medical experiment using poor Haitians as guinea pigs, which prompted the bioethics committee to take up the issue.

Announcing this week that the "pilot project" would move forward, Dr. Gabriel Timothée, director general of the Haitian Health Ministry, said, "This is not a study, it is not a vaccine trial, it is not an experiment."

The use of cholera vaccine in Haiti has been mired in controversy since the epidemic began in mid-October of 2010.

World health authorities initially opposed vaccination, citing cost, logistical challenges and limited vaccine supplies.

Shanchol was still under review by the World Health Organization then, "with significant concerns in that review about safety and manufacturing practices," said Jon Kim Andrus, deputy director of the Pan American Health Organization.

But proponents argued that the vaccine could save lives, reduce the caseload and buy time until long-range solutions like water and sanitation systems could be put in place.

They called for expediting approval for Shanchol, for increasing vaccine production by offering manufacturers purchase commitments and for using available doses to immunize especially vulnerable people.

World health authorities eventually endorsed a trial campaign, but the Haitian government did not want to stir political trouble by choosing who would get the vaccine.

Time passed; a new government took power; Shanchol, which is manufactured in India, was approved. And the small vaccination campaign has begun, with organizers hoping that it will succeed and lead to a broader use of the vaccine in Haiti.

"It's the ethical and equitable thing to do," said Dr. Paul Farmer, a co-founder of Partners in Health. "If cholera had exploded in the United States like it did in Haiti, everybody would have gotten the vaccine by now."

INDO-PAK LEADERS STRIVE FOR OPEN BORDERS


INDO-PAK LEADERS STRIVE FOR OPEN BORDERS AS BADAL- CHIDAMBARAM INAUGURATE ICP AT ATTARI

Attari (Amritsar) :-

India Pakistan moved a major step ahead in becoming active trade partners of Central Asian countries with leaders of both countries endorsing the call of Punjab Chief Minister Mr Parkash Singh Badal to remove all artificial barriers between both the countries as Union Home Minister Mr P Chidambaram, Punjab Chief Minister Mr Parkash Singh Baal, Union Commerce Minister Mr Anand Sharma, Commerce Minister of Pakistan Mr Makhdoom Fahim and Chief Mnister of Eastern Punjab Mr Mohamed Shabaz Sharif formally jointly inaugurated the Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Attari Border today.

As Chief Minister Mr Parkash Singh Badal described ICP as gateway for both countries to prosperity, peace and mutual brotherhood, the Union Home Minister Mr Chidambaram strongly endorsed the demand of Punjab CM to allow import and export of all goods manufactured in both countries instead of restricting it to 137.
In his address at the inauguration of India’s first ever ICP, Chief Minister Mr Parkash Singh Badal today called upon the National governments of India and Pakistan to take initiatives to make the Indo-Pak border soft, secure and peaceful to give boost to the present relatively sluggish economic performance in the region.
Expressing gratitude to the Government of India for establishing ICP over an area of 120acres at a cost of Rs 150 crore, the Chief Minister described it as a step forward in a direction to script a Golden Chapter in history of Indo-Pak relations. Mr Badal said from today onwards this historic day of Baisakhi would also be remembered as “Red Letter Day’ in history of Indo—Pak relations with the opening of ICP, which would prove to be a boon.. Mr Badal lamented that joint Punjab which was the most prosperous provinces of the Sub continent had shrunk due to circumstances which was known to everybody.

The unfortunate man made tragedy of partition of 1947 led to the migration of lakhs of people across the Indo Pak border consequently our people on both sides of Punjab not only suffered economically, socially and culturally but were even deprived of their holy shrines like Sri Nankana Sahib, Sri Panja Sahib, Katasraj temple left in Pakistan and Ajmer sharif and Roza Sharif in India. He said that people of border areas in both Punjabs once considered to be most affluent were the worst sufferers of tragedy.

He said, “I am desperately waiting for the day when people of both the Punjabs would freely move across the borders without visa restrictions because all of us ardently wish that these physical barriers in form of borders must be abolished forthwith to further cement the age old socio-cultural and emotional ties between both the countries”. Mr Badal also urged the National Governments of India and Pakistan to relax the visa norms to an extent for allowing at least the MPS and MLAs to visit these countries without visa besides the pilgrims from both the countries may also be allowed to visit their respective holy shrines in these countries without visa. Striking a nostalgic note about his youthful days spent in Lahore while pursuing graduation in a local college there, Mr Badal said still those memories were afresh in his mind especially about the social and cultural bonds which the people shared at that time.

The Chief Minister also impressed upon the Government of Pakistan to extend its approved list of 137 items traded from Attari land route to be brought at par to about6000 items being traded now through Mumbai- Karachi Sea route. He also urged the Government of Pakistan to allow transit of Goods to Afghanistan as it has already allowed trade from Afghanistan to India. He also emphasized the need to provide matching infra structure of the ICP on the other side of border in Pakistan to give a further fillip to the trade between the two countries. Mr Badal also requested Pakistan government to accord ‘Most Favoured Nation’ to India as the latter had already granted the same status to Pakistan. He said that ICP would open new vista of trade as it would be India’s gateway to Afghanistan and central Asia. He said both the Punjabs being landlocked states would be immensely benefitted from the cross border trade through the newly established ICP which would lead to quantum jump in Indo-Pak trade, expected to increase by three to four times.

The Chief Minister also urged both the National Governments to allow a direct corridor from Dera Baba Nanak to the historical Gurudwara associated with SriGuru Nanak Dev Ji at Sri Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan, in view of the religious sentiments of the Sikhs, thereby facilitating the lakhs of pilgrims to pay obeisance at the holy Sikh shrine. He also requested the Government of India to extend visa facility at ICP Attari for sanctioning visa to enable the people who intend to visit Pakistan by crossing over, which would save a lot of time, money and energy, as now the people have to go all the way to Delhi for getting visa. Mr Badal also urged the GoI for bringing the Railway traffic within the ambit of ICP through its extension into the Rail track. The opening of Attari-Wagah Check Post for Road should also include Rail cargo to further boost two way trade. Likewise the Chief Minister also requested the Union Government to further extend the dedicated Rail freight corridor from Kolkatta to Ludhiana up to Attari in order to boost the cargo trade.

Seeking liberal compensation or the farmers whose land is beyond border fencing Mr Badal said hat Union Home Minister must consider compensating such farmers who braving all odds at the border were filling the food kitty of border.

Addressing the gathering Union Home Minister Mr P Chindambam said that this is a historic day as India has opened its gateway of trade and prosperity to Central Asian countries that is bound to increase Indo-Pak trade four folds. He said that it is first of the 13 ICPs to be constructed on the border of Pakistan, Bangladsh and Nepal and assured that he would come back within two weeks to review whether teething problems of this ICP has been sorted out or not.

Endorsing the demand of Punjab Chief Minister Mr Parkash Singh Badal of free trade between both the countries, Mr Chidambaram said that both countries were endevouring for free travel for which Joint Working group has been formed. He hoped that new liberal visa regime under the consideration of Pakistan Cabinet would fulfill most of the demands. The Union Home Minister said that both countries should also favourably consider the issue raised by Punjab CM allowing Visa free travel to elected representatives of both the countries. He said hat trade was a great driving force and appealed to both the countries to remove all trade barriers between the two countries ushering in an era of peace and prosperity for the Sub Continent.

Mr Anand Sharma the Union Commerce Minister Government of India in his address made an impassioned appeal to rise above petty conflicts and come forward to remove all trade barriers. Advocating the demand raised by Punjab Chief Minister Mr Parkash Singh Badal he insisted that Pakistan should consider allowing export of all those items through ICP Attari that were being allowed through Mumbai port. He said that it would be a win-win situation for both the countries as both the sides would be largely benefitted from these trade ties. The Union insisted also said that to further cement the economic ties between both the nation multiple visas for the traders of both the countries validating upto an year would be soon issued by both the governments.

In his address the Chief Minister of Eastern Punjab in Pakistan Mr Mohamed Shahbaz Sharif emphaising the need for greater political will in the leadership of both countries said that both countries would have to rise above past bitter experience and work together for economic integration. He questioned that if European Union Countries could have a single currency, single trade agreement then why can’t India and Pakistan emulate the same. Making an emotional appeal the Pakistan Punjab Chief Minister said hat there was cultural affinity between the people of both sides of border and now India and Pakistan must launch a war on Economic excellence, trade innovation, collective power generation to attain the role of economic leader of full Asia. He said that instead of circular route for importing goods through Mumbai-Dubai-Karachi or Karachi-Singapore Mumbai why can’t both countries trade through Attari.
Echoing the demand of his counterpart in Indian Punjab Mr Parkash Singh Badal for opening Hussainiwala and Fazilka borders he said that greater participation on land route trade was better for both countries and hoped that commerce Ministers of both countries would come to an agreement on this. Lauding the role of Deputy Chief Minister Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal in popularizing the traditional game of Kabbaddi, Mr Sharif invited Punjab’s Kabbaddi and Wrestling team to Lahore for tournaments.

Addressing the gathering the Federal Commerce Minister of Pakistan Mr Makhdoom Fahim said that with the inauguration of ICP a new era of economic prosperity would herald in the region which would go a long way in removing the maladies like ooverty and unemployment faced by both the countries.

Prominent amongst those present on he occasion included Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, Union State Minister Mr Ashwani Kumar, Members of Punjab Cabinet including Bhagat Chunni Lal, Mr Bikram Singh Majithia, Mr Gulzar Singh ranike, Mr Anil Joshi, Chief Parliamentray Secretaries including Mr NK Sharma, Mr Virsa Singh Valtoha, Congress Legislative Party leader Mr Sunil Jakhar, Veteran Congress leader Mr RL Bhatia and representatives of trade and commerce body from both the countries.

Prime Minister David Cameron Visits Burma

British Prime Minister David Cameron made a historic visit to Burma, meeting Aung San Suu Kyi, President Thein Sein, and ethnic representatives. At their meeting David Cameron and Aung San Suu Kyi agreed that EU sanctions (excluding arms embargoes) should be suspended, rather than lifted as Germany and some other EU members have been proposing.  Aung San Suu Kyi talked about the positive role sanctions are playing to encourage reform:
“I support the suspension rather than the lifting of sanctions, because this would be an acknowledgment of the rule of the President and other reformers. This suspension would have taken place because of the steps taken by the President and other reformers, and it would also make it quite clear to those who are against reform that, should they try to obstruct the way of the reformers, then sanctions could come back. So this would strengthen the hand of the reformers – not just the suspension, but the fact that there is always a possibility of sanctions coming back again if the reformers are not allowed to proceed smoothly.”
These sanctions would never have been in place if it were not for the support of thousands of campaigners like you, who lobbied for years to get the British government and EU to introduce targeted sanctions. The Financial Times reported today that: “UK-based human rights groups…have significantly influenced the UK’s historically strong support for maintaining sanctions.”

P. Chidambaram Inaugurates ICP at Attari; ICP to Boost Bilateral Trade

P. Chidambaram Inaugurates ICP at Attari; ICP to Boost Bilateral Trade
       Union Home Minister  Shri P. Chidambaram Union Home Minister inaugurated the Integrated Check Post (ICP) at Attari in Punjab this evening in the presence of Chief Minister of  Punjab, Shri Parkash Singh Badal, Union Commerce Minister, Shri Anand Sharma,   Pakistan Commerce  Minister  Shri Makdoom Amin Fahim;  Chief  Minister of Punjab province of Pakistan Shri Shahbaz Sharif; Minister of State Shri Ashwani Kumar and Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab Shri Sukhbir Singh Badal;  Ministers of Punjab, diplomats and other dignitaries. 
Salient features of ICP Attari are as under:
Ø         ICP Attari has been constructed at a cost of about  Rs. 150 crores and is spread over 118 acres.
Ø         Passenger terminal building measures 9600 sq mts
Ø         There are all together 16 Immigration counters and 12 Customs counters on Arrival & Departure side of Passenger terminal building.
Ø         X-ray baggage scanners, DFMD’s/HHMD’s and modern amenities like health services, child care and prayer room, have been provided for the convenience of passengers.  Ramps and wheelchairs for the physically challenged have been provided too.
Ø         Dedicated Cargo Terminal building measuring 4700 sq. mts., import ware house measuring 7400 sq mts. export ware house measuring 3400 sq. mts. and  parking of trucks measuring 55000 sq. mts.  have also been provided for efficient cargo processing.
Ø         4 companies of BSF have been deployed for providing 24 X 7 security to this ICP along with 230 CCTV cameras and control and command centre for monitoring of passenger and freight processing.
Ø         ICP Attari also provides associated facilities like, plant quarantine, isolation rooms, fumigation centre, MT room, Weigh Bridge, PA system, boom-barriers & dormitory. 
Ø         All the facilities are backed by 1800 KVA substation with 100 % power backup.
Ø         The ICP complex has 99000 sq mts. area for future expansion.
Ø         A helipad has also been provided.
            Operationalization of ICP Attari will lead to reduction in passenger and freight processing time paving way for enhanced people to people contact and expansion of trade between the two countries.
            It will provide employment and business opportunities for the local population and contribute to area development. It is symbolic of India’s desire for progressive, productive and mutually beneficial relationship with its neighbouring countries.

Manu Gandas wins USHA IGU Delhi Juniors Golf Championship

11th April, New Delhi: Delhi’s Manu Gandas claimed the season opening title after shooting one-over on the final day of USHA IGU Delhi Juniors Golf Championship at Army Golf Club, AEPTA in Delhi. Gandas was one-under after front nine but a double bogey on 16th and a bogey on 17th made him score one-over for the total of 291(74,72,72,73).  Playing in the Category A, Gandas was the leader from day two, who also started the day with the aim of snatching the win from category B boys.

Category A – Delhi’s Honey Baisoya, who was struggling for an under-par round on the first and second day, returned in his actual form when he hit one-under for the total of 294 (77,75,71,71) to finish as second in a tie along with Noida’s Shubhankar Sharma and Abhishek Kuhar. Sharma shot two-over for the total of 294 while Kuhar shot three-over for the total of 294 and they both finished third and fourth respectively.

In Category B – Overnight leader Kolkata’s Viraj Madappa won the tournament by shooting five-over 77 for the total of 294. Though Madappa has won, his day was a little disappointed as he birdied 2nd, 7th and 17th while he made bogeys on 5th, 9th, 10th, 16th and 18th and triple bogey on 6th. Another Kolkata boy Mohan Sardar’s dream of winning the title couldn’t come true as he closed with 6-over 78 for the total of 303 to take second position while the third place was taken by Chandiagrh’s Feroz Grewal in a tie along with Jaipur’s Prakhar Asawa who finished fourth at 305.


About USHA’s association with Golf
Usha has been sponsoring ladies golf since 1987 with the sponsorship of the Ladies Northern India Open Amateur Golf Championship. The Junior Training Programme and Junior Tournaments at the Delhi Golf Club are being sponsored by Usha since 2006.

From this year, Usha will be the exclusive sponsor of the entire ladies golf tour on the IGU (Indian Golf Union) Ladies Circuit which includes the 4 regional tournaments, the 4 zonal tournaments and the All India Ladies Open Amateur Golf Championship. Usha is also the exclusive sponsor of the Junior Tournaments at Delhi, Bangalore and Chandigarh and will also continue to conduct the Junior Training Programme at the Delhi Golf Club.

The Mawana Marathon which is sponsored by the Group for the last 23 years is actively supported by Usha.  This marathon is approved on the calendar of the Athletic Federation of India and has been flagged off from the historic India Gate for the last 3 consecutive years.

About Usha International

Usha International Ltd, a Siddharth Shriram Group Company, is one of India’s leading consumer durable marketing and manufacturing companies.  The diverse products marketed by the company under the brand name USHA include fans, sewing machines, home appliances, engines and pump sets, electrical motors and pumps, water coolers and dispensers, inverters, cook tops, hobs and hoods and auto components. The brand USHA has been re-energized through creative marketing, modernizing its product range and offering high technology products.
  
Lame Duck Hydro Power Projects in HP, J&K & UK(C)
April14, 2012
Honorable Prime Minister of India,
Dr. Manmohan Singh
Cc to Honorable Chief Minister of HP
Shri Prem Singh Dhumal
Honorable Chief Minister of J&K
Shri Umar Abdullah,
Honorable Chief Minister of UttarKhand
Shri Vijay Bahuguna,

Respected Sir,

Executive Summary: - When dams are backbone of any civilization – Storing Water for Irrigation, Municipal Supplies and Industry, Generating Power, Flood Control, Recreation, Navigation, Fish Production, Road Bridges and House Boats etc., Dam being built in our hill states with tremendous hydro power potential are Most Expensive Lame Duck Hydro Projects operating or Planned to Operate at less than 39% Load Factor. Satluj River Basin upstream of Bhakra Dam has 105 BU of Electric Energy in Himachal Pradesh – over 140 BU including River Basin in China so at 80% efficiency India should be producing 84 BU to 112 BU (with China Collaboration) of electricity every year. As per latest CEA report Actual Hydro Power Generation on Dams Upstream of Bhakra Dam in Satlej Basin for above average year 2011-12 is 11.5 BU. It is MOST SHOCKING all the SILT carried by Sutlej River is bypassed through all Dams on Sutlej River upstream of Bhakra Dam to be dumped in Bhakra Dam - the primary storage dam on the river and lifeline of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.

Apart from doubling tripling cost these ROR projects are built over 10-15 years when Hoover Dam was built in less than 4 years. Indus Water Treaty was Most Damaging for River Basin Development but Dam building in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarkhand states is HORRIBLE. J&K, HP and Uttarkhand ought to produce 60,000MW and annually generate 300 BU of electricity with storage dams and other benefits but Current Generation in these three states is J&K 12.2BU, HP 19.1, UK 5.1BU = 36.4 BU. Since these Lame Duck dams were planned and built Energy Cost has gone up 5-10 times already.

Over 200 years these 60,000 MW ought to be producing 300x200 BU of electricity at $0.10 worth $6Trillion, additional benefits could be say $6Trillion. Losses due to Lame Duck Dams in J&K, HP and UK could be $4 Trillion + $6Trillion.  This is huge loss and calls for ‘Urgent Review of Design and Plans.’

(In this presentation I have explored and quoted Dams Being Built in Satluj Basin essentially because enough projects details are available – but observations are applicable to all Run-Of-River projects in India from NJHP, Baglihar, to KhapHEP etc.)

DETAILS

Last week the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh on TV claimed HP will soon have 15,000MW Hydro Power, it was most shocking to me because they are Lame Duck Hydro Projects deprived of all the additional benefits listed above, generating only 40% of Hydro Power potential and produce 75% electricity during Monsoon when least required at lowest price. Though I read over 100 documents just one PFR of Khab-I project - Confirms Above Executive Summary
Facts Of Khab – I HEP

It is admitted in Project Reports that all the Hydro Projects Under Development above Bhakra Dam on Sutlej River are ROR and pass through their Silt in to Bhakra Dam (including 990MW Beas Sutlej Link Project) and generate,  

Ø      39.34% of the Generation Potential and only 13.36% for October-April period.

Ø      75% of it 1245MU in May-September months, and even in 50% dependable year operates at full power for 110 days at 450MW producing 108x11= 1188 MU and rest of 255 days producing 826MU at 134MW. October to April generation is just 306MU operating at 41MW to 103MW average power. (Annex -VII-9-10)

Ø      But when maximum discharge is available These ROR Projects Shut Down for 16 Day Every Year Due To High Silt Carried, Upto 28.5 days In Some Years and this means for high silt period in monsoon instead if full load almost entire Basin System is Shut Down above Bhakra Dam. (Reference RHEP)

Ø      None of the ROR Hydro Projects serves as Storage, Flood Protection, Road Bridge and other benefits.

Ø      Just 20 hectare area was provided to 100MW Sarong Project sacrificed over 50MW Power for minor Environment issue. 50MW loss or 0.3BU of energy loss over 200 year shall be 60BU or $6Billion is a huge loss for few hectares of land that would largely be revived after dam building except the Dam Itself. Comments of No Storage, No Area & Forest Loss and No Population Displaced at the end – looks Foolish considering Huge Economic and Green Power Loss.

Ø      20% of Intake Water is used in ‘Flushing Silt.’

Why Low Yield of Lame Duck Hydro Projects at (LDHP) 39% : -

1.]  LDHP During monsoon season almost 50% of the River Water in absence of storage pass through Flood Gates and Bypass Generating Units.

2.]  Operating head of Nathpa Jhakri project is 428m but head available at the site is 490m between 1495m (Highest Dam Level of NJHP to 1005m Highest Water Level at Rampur HEP.

3.]  Apart from 16 days of normal Shut Down at ROR projects during monsoon floods, 8-10% Annual Generation Lost – 20% of water is required to eject the silt.

Loss Estimation For Three States: - 

4.]  Instead of 300BU of electricity these LDHP shall produce 100BU annually, annual loss @ $0.10 over 200 years shall be $4Trillion.

5.]  Due to Dam Storages and Management even if 20BCM of River Waters of J&K, HP and UK are diverted for Industrial and Municipal supplies at average long term rate of $1 per cubic meter it is worth $20b annually = $4Trillion in 200 years. (Part of the benefits shall accrue to Pakistan and China)

6.]   Flood Protection is very critical Governments underestimates sufferings of people affected by floods – $5b annual loss to economy every year to three states over 200 years is $1 Trillion Loss. Land freed of floods shall be over 2 million hectares in Pakistan, Punjab, Haryana, UK and UP has virtually no value considering the population density of the region.  
REMEDY: -

7.]  J&K, HP, and UK should ‘Abandon The Lame Duck Hydro Projects in favor of Multipurpose Dam Projects that Yield Maximum benefits’.

8.]  India should Collaborate with Pakistan and China in developing full potential of Hydro Projects with maximum storage, generation and flood control benefits. As per Columbia Water Treaty Pakistan ought to contribute for construction and operation of Storage Hydro Projects in J&K and India should contribute for development of Storage Hydro Project in China – details as per Columbia Water Treaty.

9.]  Provide Multipurpose Storage Dams that Captures 100% Inflows in Upper Reaches of Sutlej River and modify Hydro Projects in middle reaches to Use full Sutlej Basin potential.  

Thank you,

Ravinder Singh,
Inventor & Consultant
INNOVATIVE TECHNONLOGIES AND PROJECTS
Y-77, Hauz Khas, NewDelhi-110016, India.
Ph; 091-9910693464, 9718280435
Ravinder Singh* is a WIPO awarded inventor specializing in Power, Transportation, Water, Energy Saving, Agriculture, Manufacturing, Technologies and Projects.

(References)
Khab-I HEP – 39.4% Load Factor, 75% Generation in May- September 

4. POWER POTENTIAL STUDIES –
From the inflow series for 31 years, the year 1997-98 corresponds to 90%
dependable year. The 450 MW (3x150MW) of installed capacity has been proposed for the scheme on the basis of water available in 90% dependable year. The annual energy in 90% dependable year has been assessed as 1551 GWh. with annual load factor of 39.34%, Load factor for monsoon period (May-Sept) has been assessed as 75.34% with generation of 1245 GWh of energy. However the load factor for lean period (Oct.-April) has been assessed as 13.36% with 306 GWh of energy. The design energy for tariff at 95% availability in a 90% dependable year has been worked out as 1512 GWh.

2. SCOPE OF WORK
The Khab-I HE Project envisages construction of: a 69m high straight gravity dam across river Satluj to provide a live storage of about 36.38 Mm3 with FRL at El.2592 m and MDDL at El.2568m. The dam has provision of passing about 5600 cumecs of 10,000 years flood through its 5 Nos (8.5 x 6.5m) sluices provided at El.2550.50m. Central spillway to take care of releases downstream of the Dam during sudden closure of power plant in winter has also been provided. Central spillway shall be capable of passing winter flows and thus avoid operation of sluice radial gates in such eventualities.

HYDROLOGY
Catchments area at dam site. 44,000 Sq km (Approx.)
Average runoff in 90 % dependable year 4413 Mm³
Average runoff in 50 % mean year 7138 Mm³
(At this site average annual flows could be 10,000Mm3)


Energy in Water Between KHEP-1 and Bhakra Full Reservoir Level
14 BCMx2080 (H) x1000/101/3600 = 80 BU
Add to this Energy in Tributaries = 25 BU
Total = 105 BU
At 80% Efficiency = 84 BU

DIVERSION DAM
Jangi Thopan Project
It is proposed to construct a straight gravity type concrete dam, 65 high at Jangi Village to divert 394 cumecs of discharge. Out of this discharge, 79 cumecs is meant for flushing of sediments through the desilting arrangement. With a view to found the dam on sound rock, the foundations of the dam shall be taken to rock bed level of the river. The length of the dam at top shall be 154 m consisting of 85 m as non-overflow section and 69 m as over flow section. The over flow section is designed to pass a maximum flood of 5660 cumes which correspondence to 200 years frequency. The full reservoir level and the minimum draw-down level will be at El 2334 m and 2332 m respectively. The diurnal pondage afforded by the dam would be 457 hectare-metres. The water spread of the reservoir does not involve any rehabilitation problem as the area submerged is barren land without any habitation.

CDM – Rampur HEP 8% Generation Loss in 16 Days Shut Down
The above generation figure has been further adjusted to account for loss in generation that would be experienced during the period in which the upstream NJHPP will be shut down mainly due to silt concentration. The design energy generation of RHEP has thus been estimated by considering a shut down period of 16 days, which is approved by CEA17 (Please refer to Annexure 6- Signing of MoU between Ministry of Power and SJVNL for 2006-07 letter dated 17/01/2006) for Nathpa Jakhri power plant. The design energy of RHEP works out to be 1770 GWh/year as explained below18:

Per day generation considering discharge flows during silting period (July/August): 9.39GWh/day.  Loss due to 16 days shut down: 9.39 GWh/day * 16 days = 150.30 GWh. Hence design energy after considering shut down days = 1919.87-150.30 = 1770 GWh

Satlej Basin above Bhakra Dam – NJHP – 7.6BU + Karcham Wangtoo – 2.5 BU, Baspa – 1.4 = 11.5 BU, J&K 12.2BU, HP 19.1, UK 5.1BU = 36.4 BU

7.23 Maximum discharge of river Sutlej goes up to 10000-12000 cumec and minimum discharge remains in the range of 70-80 cumec. The absolute minimum 10-day flow at the Nathpa dam is 47.4 cumec (see table E-3 below). ??????????????????

Desilting NJHP

The fall of Sutlej from its source in Tibet to the plains of Punjab is very uniform and averages about 6m/km. The height of its bed being 4572 m at Rakshas Lake, 3048 m. near ShipkiLa, 914 m. at Rampur, 500 m. at
Bilaspur and less than 300 m. where it enters plains of Punjab. In Himachal Pradesh it has total length of 400 km. Its annual mean flow is 16,755.33 million cubic meters. >>> The main advantage of this (Fig.2.2) scheme is that since there is no storage reservoir or dam as such there is no impounding of area, no forest loss and zero displacement of population.

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONE, DUQM PORT, OMAN SEPTEMBER 18, 2017 LEAVE A COMMENT ON INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN SPE...