Executive Summary



In response to the terms of reference for the ESCAP Project “Integrating Environmental Considerations into Economic Policy Making Processes” it was proposed by the  Environment Support Group, the consultant by contract no. CON/97/2, that a study of the Dakshina Kannada region would be carried out in line with the terms of reference proposed. 

The purpose and justification of the Study was elucidated as follows:


“Serious conflicts have emerged between the people of the district and the State in identifying development priorities of the district, despite a wide range of administrative mechanisms and democratically elected bodies that exist with the potential of evolving a public rationale through participatory processes of decision making.  A most important conflict area has been in including environmental considerations in economic, social and physical development planning processes of the district. The following factors illustrate these aspects further:


1.      The total neglect by the State Government in following through on the interventions suggested  by the Environmental Master Plan Study for “sustainable development” of the district, though the recommendations were submitted over a year ago.

2.      Despite constitutional requirements,  the State Government has dragged its feet in announcing the elections to the Mangalore City Corporation, where most of the industrialisation is to take place, making it the only city in the State not to have an elected Corporation.  Consequently, local development planning processess and institutions in the city of Mangalore have been totally under the control of the State. 

3.      The industrial development priorities set by the State Industries Department, Karnataka State Industrial Development Authority, the District Industries Centre and the Karnataka State Industrial Investment Development Corporation has significantly distorted the process of urban and industrial development envisioned in the  Greater Mangalore Plan prepared by the Mangalore Urban Development Authority earlier this decade.  This document, as per law, is prepared for a period of 20 years, i.e., from 1991-2010 A.D.  Such drastic changes in land-use planning processes has brought to question the Government’s commitment to planned urban and regional development, especially in the context of the Town and Country Planning and Municipal legislations.  

4.      The State Government’s industrial development policies for the District have come in conflict with the priorities  set by the Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat, which recently passed an unanimous resolution  against the siting of highly polluting mega industries in the district, particularly thermal power plants,  on the basis of social, economic and environmental concerns.

5.      The citizens of Dakshina Kannada have become highly articulate about their concerns on the impact of the development priorities set by the State, questioning the lack of participatory planning and inclusion of local concerns.  They have organised themselves into a Dakshina Kannada District Environment Federation, and have come out with a people’s document for the development of the district centred around the principle of “sustainable development”.  At some points the conflicts have been so serious that huge rallies were organised last year to protest development priorities set by the State and Centre.  In December 1995, there was a serious law and order problem in the district as the fisherfolk led a massive agitation against the pollution of the sea by the newly commissioned Mangalore Refineries and Petrochemicals Limited.  This resulted in heavy police action, serious injuries to several agitators due to firing and eventually forced the Government of Karnataka to sign an order that no more mega industries would be sited in the district till such time a detailed environmental “carrying capacity” of the district is conducted. 

6.      Despite the Government order requiring “carrying capacity” studies, clearances have been accorded to several major industrial ventures and  orders issued for acquisition of several thousand acres of land, largely comprising of prime agricultural land, village forests and environmentally sensitive areas along rivers, estuaries and the coast.  This has led to a series of Public Interest Litigations both at the High Court and the Supreme Court, most significant of which has been the Supreme Court judgement constituting an expert review by the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI)  from the context of environmental and conformity with legislative clearance procedures, as regards the siting of the Cogentrix led 1,000 MW coal based thermal power plants in the district. NEERI submitted its report recently to the Supreme Court and has indicted both the Government and project developers for violating fundamentally various environmental clearance norms.  It has also strongly criticised the total lack of participatory planning processes and called for a rigorous effort in evolving an operational framework to include local environmental concerns and endogenous development choice options.

7.      The demographic and ecological diversity of the district is extremely unique in the Western Ghats region.   A wide variety of demands are therefore made on the natural resource base, and historically the people of the district have been highly entrepreneurial, choosing largely such life-support options as are supported by the local natural resources.  A particularly strong indicator of this factor is the high reliance of the local population on traditional life-support systems such as agriculture, fisheries and food processing, supported by environmentally benign operations in the areas of trade, commerce, banking, education and the service sectors.  This has led to a high social development index and very high levels of literacy compared to the rest of the State.

8.      Being a thickly forested, riverine and coastal region, the district is also a high priority area for ecological conservation opporutunities. 

9.      The degree of participation in community oriented development programmes is high considering similar situations across other coastal areas in the State.  The Joint Forest Management Scheme involving formation of Village Forest Committees in collaboration with the Karnataka State Forest Department has had sufficiently strong responses in the district.  The farming community has a relatively high awareness of emerging agricultural trends and has a highly successful and progressive farming journal.  The Fishing community is highly organised with a 800 year-old traditional community decision making forum setting the priorities. 

10.  The region also demonstrates a complex cultural composition with strong representations from the Hindu, Muslim, Christian and the Jain faiths.

11.  The district was till over three decades ago under the administrative control of the Madras Presidency and thereby has a very strong colonial influence in the administrative mechanism and societal responses, especially in the urban areas.   This offers an unique opportunity in assessing the dynamics of including environmental considerations in setting development priorities over traditional, colonial and post-colonial processes.


In cognisance of the above,  an appraisal of emerging policy directives within the framework of the decision making processes for socially and environmentally sensitive development planning processes of the district  becomes highly relevant.  This would require a critical look at existing legislative, administrative, regulatory and democratic processes and proposing progressive approaches to respond to the emerging needs of the civil society.  The study, thereby, becomes an extremely important contribution in the development planning of the district and could provide a new direction in articulating the interventions proposed by the Environmental Master Plan Study. 


Objectives of the Study


In keeping with the above purpose, the present Study: “Integrating Environmental Considerations in Economic Policy Decision Making - Case Study of Dakshina Kannada” has been carried out over a period of five months, and in a manner which is more exhaustive than originally proposed. 


In general terms, the study emphasises on building upon the interventions proposed in the Environmental Master Plan Study for Dakshina Kannada (EMPS), prepared by the DANIDA-DFEE team.  But the developments since the submission of the EMPS Plan suggest that unless there is a drastic re-think on the part of the Government, it is likely that the EMPS will not be implemented and the development in the district will adopt a path that agitates against the stated goals of EMPS.   Therefore, it was felt necessary to provide a detailed analysis of the prevailing developmental planning processes of the district, and its interlinkages to regional and national development demands. 


In specific terms, the present study evaluates the current trends of opinion on the emerging developments in the Dakshina Kannada district and presents a scenario of the various areas where conflicts have emerged in developmental paradigms chosen by various interest groups.  On the basis of this, and in keeping with a development paradigm based on endogenous choices and in keeping with the objectives of sustainable development, policy recommendations are offered.



Structure of the Report


The Study is reported in four Sections:


Section A:


This section provides a brief overview of the physical, environmental and cultural features of the district. It offers an exhaustive introduction to the EMPS process, as the same has been evolved at a time when the district is undergoing radical changes in its socio-economic developmental pattern.  On the basis of this and a brief overview of the legal provisions that govern environmental protection and planning in India, the developments in the district are analysed and  their integration in the economic policy decision making processes examined, taking into consideration the various shades of opinion as they exist in society.  Based on this, a set of policy recommendations are offered.


Section B:


This section is made up of four case studies, offering different sets of examples and experiences in the development planning of the district and their repercussions on civil society processes, quality of life and environment.  One Case Study has been done in an exhaustive detail, that on the siting of thermal power plants, as this is one intervention in the district that will drastically alter the pattern of socio-economic development and environmental character of the district.  The other three case studies have equal and far reaching impacts.


Section C:

A compilation of legislations, norms and policies relating to environmental protection, pollution control and development planning in India.


Section D:


A pictorial representation of key developments taking place in the Dakshina Kannada district.



Methodology followed:


The Study adopted a multitude of approaches in arriving at its analysis and conclusions.  Some illustrative methods included:

·         Interview with key actors in the development scenario.

·         Analysis of policy and legal documents.

·         Literature survey.

·         Analysis of reporting on developments in the district from an exhaustive collection of journal and newspaper articles (vernacular included).

·         Participation in a variety of meetings, workshops, dialogues, and such other fora organised by local communities, academic institutions, business organisations and government agencies.

·         Review of video footage on the situation of the communities displaced by industrialisation earlier in the decade.

·         Following the developments and review of arguments placed by various parties in the process of litigation on development projects coming up in Dakshina Kannada.



Contents of the Report




Section A


Chapter 1:  An Overview of Karnataka State and Dakshina Kannada District



1.1 State of Karnataka


·         Socio-economic Context

·         Forests

·         Rivers

·         Urban and Industrial Pollution


1.2 An Overview of Dakshina Kannada District


·         Introduction 

·         Infrastructure

·         Administration

·         Public Utilities and Services

·         Educational Institutions


1.3 Social Conditions


·         Present Population and Growth Patterns

·         Health

·         Education

·         Occupational Health

·         Women

·         Weaker Sections in Development

·         Development Scenario


1.4 History of Dakshina Kannada


·         The golden era of Vijayanagar Empire

·         The Portuguese and  their  effect on the Culture of the Region:

·         The Nayaks and other local chiefs:

·         Period of Haider Ali and Tippu Sultan:

·         British Raj:

·         District’s role in the Struggle for independence


1.5 Languages of Dakshina Kannada



1.6 Communities of Dakshina Kannada


·         Billavas

·         Nadavas

·         Brahmins

·         Jainas

·         Mogaveeras:

·         Vishvakarmas

·         Christians:

·         Muslims:



1.7 Culture and Recreation


·         Temples:

·         Nagabana ( Sacred Groves) and Naga pooja:

·         Bootha Aradhana ( Spirit worship)

·         Yakshagana and Thala-maddale:

·         Madhva Philosophy and Ashta Mutts:

·         Recreation:

·         Inheritence through female line







Chapter 2 An Overview of the Developmental Trends in Dakshina Kannada



2.1 Emerging development policies in the State


·         Infrastructure Bottlenecks

·         Power Shortages

·         Need for a Policy

·         Environmental considerations in implementation of prevailing policies



2.2 Focus on Dakshina Kannada


·         Local Community Response

·         Environmental Master Plan Study



2.3 Impacts of Industrialisation the environment and development of the district


·         Background

·         Investments in Dakshina Kannada





Chapter 3:  Environmental Master Plan Study For Dakshina Kannada District



3.1 Background


·         Introduction to EMPS

·         Development Objectives of the EMPS

·         Salient features of the EMP

·         Interventions

·         Impact of Interventions on NR & ES

·         Implementation Plans for Interventions/Action Plans



3.2 Urban and Industrial Development trends identified by EMPS


·         Industrial Development

Ž     Present Industrial situation

Ž     Industrialization

*        Potential Environmental Impact


·         Urban Development

Ž     Urban areas and Future Development

Ž     Urban Infrastructure and Environmental Issues        

*        Water Supply

*        Wastewater and Sanitation

*        Solid Waste Disposal

*        Energy Supply

*        Traffic

*        Quality of Urban Life





3.3 Economic Conditions


·         Present District Domestic Income

Ž     Primary sector

Ž     Secondary Sector

Ž     Tertiary Sector

Ž     Employment


·         Development Scenario

Ž     Sector Development

Ž     Employment

·         Economic Instruments for Sustainability

·         Indicators for Socio-Economic Welfare

·         Areas of Concern



3.4 Interventions proposed by EMPS


·         Introduction

·         Description of Interventions

·         Impact of Interventions on Natural Resources and Ecosystems

·         Interlinkages between Interventions on Natural Resources and Ecosystems

·         Implementation Strategy

·         Organisational Framework



3.5 Sustainable Development Objectives for Natural Resources and Ecosystems



3.6 Targets Against Indicators for Natural Resources and Ecosystems



3.7 Current Status





Chapter 4 Integrating environmental Considerations in Economic Policy Making Processes for Dakshina Kannada



4.1 Political Participatoriness, including civil society processes

·         The State vs. the  Local

·         Civil Society response

·         Responses of legislators and parliamentarians

·         Response of the academia

·         Response of the Intelligentsia

·         Response of the Seers

·         Responses of Project Affected Communities

·         Response of the Media



4.2 Integrating Environmental considerations in Development Planning


·         Scenario subsequent to the DANIDA-DFEE EMPS report

·         Carrying Capacity of Dakshina Kannada

·         Coastal Management Plan

·         Political attitude to integrating environmental considerations



4.3 Conformity with Environmental legislations, norms and policies


·         Land use Planning

·         Role of the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board

·         Role of the Ministry of Environment and Forests and the State Department of Ecology, Environment and Forests






Chapter 5    Environmental Legislation in India



5.1 Constitutional Provisions



5.2 Relevant Environmental Treaties Signed/Ratified By India



5.3 Environment Legislations in India



5.4 Fiscal incentives for Pollution Control



5.5 Karnataka Guidelines for Siting of Industries






Chapter 6  Policy Recommendations



Section B


Case Study 1:  Siting Of Thermal Power Plants In Dakshina Kannada



1.1 The Privatisation of Power Generation


·         The Power Crisis

·         Incentives to Private Sector

·         Performance under the Reforms Process

·         Pushing ahead with Power Sector Reforms

·         The Karnataka Scenario


1.2 Focus on Dakshina Kannada



1.3 The rationale for siting Thermal Power Plants in Dakshina Kannada:


·         Site Selection

·         Environment Impact Assessment

·         Thermal Projects Proposed in th Nandikur area



1.4 An Evaluation of the Processes involved in the siting of Thermal Power Plants in the District


·         KPCL project  

Ž     Chockalingam’s Environment Impact Statement

*        Significant Project Impacts

*        Land Requirements

*        Land use

*        Social Impact

*        Environmental Impacts

Ž     Summary


·         NTPC Project

Ž     Brief Description Of The Proposed Project Site And Its Environment

Ž     Environmental Appraisal Committee Report


·         Mangalore Power Company Proposal


·         Nagarjuna Thermal Power Project and the Barge Mounted Projects


·         Mangalore Evacuation Project


·         REIA of Mangalore Power Company

Ž     Sagar Dhara’s Environment Impact Statement



1.5 An evaluation of the process of Public Interest Litigations against the siting of the Cogentrix thermal power station


·         Petition of Janajagriti Samithi

·         Petition by Maneka Gandhi

·         The NEERI Report

·         Response of Ministry of Environment and Forests

·         Response of Karnataka State Pollution Control Board

·         Response of State of Karnataka and Mangalore Power Company

·         The Hearings


1.6 Analysis and Discussion

·         Siting aspects

·         Pollution Control

·         Land requirements

·         Clearance Procedure

·         Were the Clearance Conditions met

·         New Clearance initiatives






Case Study2:  Mangalore Refinery And Petrochemicals Ltd.



2.1 The Project


·         The Product

·         Project Infrastructure

·         Environment Impact Assessment



2.2 Displacement And Rehabilitation


·         Compensation and Promise of Jobs

·         Dispute and Settlement



2.3 Environmental Concerns  & Protests Over Threat Of Pollution


·         Resistance to laying the effluent discharge Pipeline

·         Government Order on Carrying Capacity

·         Enforcement of Conditions

·         Other Environmental Concerns





Case Study 3:  Engelhard Highland Dyes Manufacturing Unit



3.1 Background



3.2 Representations to the regulatory agencies



3.3 Representations to Elected Representatives






Case Study 4:  Siting of Industries near Mangalore City



4.1 Steel Project by JESCO



4.2 Indo-Gulf proposal to set up a Copper Smelter



4.3 Nagarjuna Steel Project

·         Conflicting Siting Criteria

·         Environmental Concerns

·         Public Interest Litigation





Section C



Part 1:          Legislations


·         Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974

·         Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981

·         Environment Protection Act, 1986

·         Nagarpalika Act, 1992

·         Panchayat Raj Act, 1992



Part 2:          Notifications


·         Ministry of Environment and Forests Notification on Coastal Regulation Zone, 1991

·         Ministry of Environment and Forests Notification on Envirornment Impact Assessment of Development Projects, 1994

·         Ministry of Environment and Forests Notification on Emergency Planning, Preparedness and Response for Chemical Accidents, 1996



Part 3:          Guidelines


·         Ministry of Environment and Forests Guidelines for siting of Thermal Power Plants, 1987

·         Ministry of Environment and Forests Guidelines for siting of Industries, 1985

·         Ministry of Environment and Forests Guidelines for the Development of Beaches, 1983



Part 4:          Government Orders and Resolutions


·         Government of Karnataka order requiring Carrying Capacity of Dakshina Kannada district, 1995

·         Government of Karnataka order introducing the Joint Forest Planning and Management Scheme in the State, 1993

·         Resolution of the Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat against the industrialisation of the district, 1995

Section D



Photo-documentation of Significant Developments in Dakshina Kannada


Project Consultant           


Environment Support Group

153, 5th Main, 4th Block

Banashankari 3rd Stage, 2nd Phase

Bangalore 560 085

Telefax: 91-80-2262571/6676289

Fax: 91-80-2274699

Email: admin@leo.ilban.ernet.in



Principal Investigator


Leo F. Saldanha

Coordinator - Environment Support Group &

Project Manager of the Study



Project Consultants


Dr. Subbarayan Prasanna

Professor of Urban Planning

Indian Institute of Management



Mr. H. C. Sharathchandra

Project Advisor

DANIDA-DFEE Environmental Master Plan Study for Dakshina Kannada



Dr. Vathsala

Research Fellow

Indian Institute of Management




Project Support Team


Ms. Neetha Shetty, Reseach Associate, Environment Support Group


Ms. D. G. Poornima, Research Associate, Environment Support Group


Mr. K. R. Mallesha, Office Support, Environment Support Group


Mr. K. S. Nagaprasad, Research Associate, Environment Support Group