What are the effects of development projects on Human Rights?

The development projects are essential for the growth of modern society and also to meet the requirement of changing times. To achieve the growth the government has undertaken certain development projects like dams, nuclear projects, thermo- electric projects, highways etc. However development projects may require displacement of some families, and can affect them adversely if proper implementation of the projects is not done. Development projects are often planned without taking into consideration its effects on health and environment. People are displaced without offering proper compensation to them. There are various incidences of total ignorance of such people on the part of government bodies.

Impact on Human Rights

1. The development projects in many cases adversely affect the people for ex: the construction of a dam on the river Narmada has displaced more than 50,000 families across three States i.e. Maharashtra, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. The construction work was started without offering proper compensation and rehabilitation of those families. The right to live freely and the right to property are violated in such cases.

2. People become homeless and landless in case the development project requires the required area for the purpose for ex: dams, highways, canals, nuclear power plants etc. besides health hazards are also numerous.

3. Non immune workers migrate to such construction sites and may cause epidemic like situation as they may catch various diseases and also new strains of germs may develop. Thus right to health is violated in this case.

4. The construction of nuclear power projects can cause serious health hazards to the people living near the site zone. The radioactive rays can cause long term diseases and lead to serious illness.

5. The decision of deciding upon the site for the development project and also offering compensation to the affected families is taken by the government without consulting the people and without taking their opinion in this matter. Hence there is gross violation of human right as the affected families are not given the choice but the decision is imposed upon them.

6. The government in many cases uses force to implement the project.

7. In many cases not so essential projects are implemented for ex SEZs.

8. There is no transparency regarding the plan, implementation of the project. People are not taken into confidence. Hence in order to avoid massive violation of Human Rights the affected people must be given entire information and their opinion must be sorted before the implementation of such projects.

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