Sundari tree (Heritiera fomes) forest in Sunderbans river delta. The Sundarbans mangrove forest, one of the largest such forests in the world and it is an Unesco World Heritage Site.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Sundari tree (Heritiera fomes) forest in Sunderbans river delta. The Sundarbans mangrove forest, one of the largest such forests in the world and it is an Unesco World Heritage Site.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

NHRC asks WB chief secretary to ensure human rights in Sundarbans

The NHRC has been passing a series of directions adjudicating the petition and rejoinder filed by the Supreme Court lawyer and noted human rights activist, Radhakanta Tripathy.
ANI |
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 06:31 PM IST

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Saturday directed the West Bengal Chief Secretary to submit an Action Taken Report (ATR) on two investigation reports received from BB Mishra, Special Rapporteur of the NHRC East Zone over the problems of residents of Sundarbans.

The NHRC has been passing a series of directions adjudicating the petition and rejoinder filed by the Supreme Court lawyer and noted human rights activist, Radhakanta Tripathy.

Tripathy alleged that the residents of Sundarbans, West Bengal are forced to suffer multiple problems like man-animal conflict, malnutrition, lack of livelihood, healthcare, primary education, electricity, potable water, implementation of MGNREGS, proper roads, lack of sanitation, and other basic human rights.

Human rights defenders and whistleblowers are attacked and threatened, Tripathy said.

He alleged that the residents of the Sundarbans area have been deprived of their basic human rights for a long time despite media coverage and towering claims by the state and Central Government and international agencies and memorandums submitted by the victims to the State Authorities.

Seeking a permanent solution to the issue of human rights in Sundarbans, a world heritage site, Tripathy requested the NHRC to send a team or its Special Rapporteur to visit the area, interact with the victims, assess the situation, and make a recommendation for the state to comply.

Considering the gravity of the issue, the NHRC asked its Special Rapporteur, to visit the affected areas, assess the situation by associating the villagers and the administration highlighting the measures to be taken for ensuring basic human rights of the affected people, and submit his report.

The Special Rapporteur had visited Namkhana Block and highlighted certain observations. The same was sent to the Chief Secretary of the State of West Bengal for compliance.

In the meantime, Tripathy in his rejoinder requested the NHRC to depute the Special Rapporteur to visit the remaining affected areas and submit a detailed report on the matter.

The NHRC recommended for improvement of the quality of sanitation in the entire district early completion of the eleven projects of drinking water in Rajat Jubilee village. It also recommended for the payment of ex gratia should be considered to alleviate the miseries of the indigent families due to man-animal conflict.

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