Indian Fishworkers’ Group Demand Accountability from World Bank For Coal-Burning Power Plant Disasters
24,000 Call on World Bank Leader Dr. Kim to Act Now
WASHINGTON, D.C.-- As the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) host their annual spring meetings this week, tens of thousands of Indian fishworkers affected by the Tata Mundra coal-burning power plant in Gujarat, India are calling on World Bank President Dr. Jim Yong Kim for action. Dr. Bharat Patel, the General Secretary of Machimar Adhikar Sangharsh Sangathan (MASS) - or the Association for the Struggle for Fishworkers’ Rights - will delivered a petition signed by these workers today.
“Despite such a scathing report, we are disappointed that you have not taken any action,” the petition reads. “By not acknowledging the violations committed by IFC, and by not taking any immediate corrective actions, you are letting the violations continue.”
Tata Mundra is a 4,000-megawatt project co-financed by World Bank’s private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC). In 2011, the communities affected by Tata Mundra complained to the accountability mechanism of IFC, the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO). Subsequently, the CAO found that the IFC had violated its performance standards when financing Tata Mundra -- but Dr. Kim failed to hold the IFC accountable. Local fishermen started a petition on Change.org--which has garnered over 24,000 signatures-- in response to Dr. Kim’s inaction.
“We are happy that there are thousands of people who support our demand for appropriate actions on the CAO report,” said Aminaben, the petition creator and a fishworker in India. “We hope the World Bank president will not disappoint us and will take actions on the CAO findings.”
The petition demands that Dr. Kim:
Recognize the IFC policy violations and the serious impacts Tata Mundra has had on local communities, as confirmed by the CAO audit.
Develop a remedial action plan that has a clear timeline, specific targets, and measurable indicators to address restoration and reparation needs.
Withdraw IFC funding from the Tata coal plant immediately and rule out funding for project expansion.
“This is a part of our ongoing demands to draw President Kim’s attention on the serious issues of Tata Mundra,” said Dr. Patel of today’s petition delivery. “He made a promise to the public last year that the Bank will not dilute its safeguard and will uphold its accountability. Over 25,000 project-affected fishing and farming populations in India have yet to see him fulfill that promise.”
The petition continues to gather signatures at Change.org/JimKim.
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