Mundra a small town in the state of Gujarat, India was well-known for salt and spice trading in the past. Now the town stands as an ironic example of inequality and injustice. While the Coastal Gujarat Power Limited (CGPL), Tata Power’s wholly-owned subsidiary, claims TATA Mundra to be India’s most efficient and clean thermal power plant, the people in Mundra narrate a different story. Since its inception, the plant has met stiff resistance by local communities and environment groups worldwide. The project proponents and government did their best to hide these protests and continued to project TATA Mundra as a proud achievement for India.
However the recent internal investigation by International Finance Corporation’s(IFC) Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) into the controversial Tata Mundra project found widespread environmental and policy violations. Notwithstanding this, the report also mentioned serious violations of mandatory safeguards. The report brought with it fresh hope for people of Mundra and for those fighting for environmental justice. Little did they know the World Bank would not just ignore CAO’s hint to stop funding TATA Mundra, it would instead try its best to prove these aspects of the report as irrelevant.
World Bank president Dr Jim Kim’s decision to defend IFC’s support to the project and to sweep the report under the rug is not acceptable. As the head of one of the biggest financial institution Dr Kim needs to answer people of Mundra about his decision support the TATA Mundra power plant. Soon after the release of the report many groups wrote to Dr Kim seeking justification for his inaction. So far all we have received is silence. It is time that we gather more support for voices from Mundra.
Last year World Bank started an innovative way to interact with Dr Kim. They encouraged the general public to ask their questions regarding World Bank’s policies directly and he answered selected questions via a video recording. So it is time we asked Dr Kim the much needed questions about World Bank’s position on TATA Mundra. To challenge World Bank’s stand, all it would take is a simple tweet! We are trying to mobilize people around the world to use World Bank’s existing online platform and ask Dr Kim to stop financing destruction in Mundra.
So on 5th December 2013, lets ask Dr Kim about TATA Mundra and see if he is willing to answer us. Send in your Tweets at #AskJimKim and let him know you are someone who is standing up for the communities in Mundra.
Visit 350.org/askjimkim to show your support for people of Mundra.