World Bank funds a polluting coal-power plant run by GMR Kamalanga Energy Limited (GKEL) in Odisha

odisha water pollution fly ash coalDelhi-based NGO the Research Collective reports that the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank, has supported a coal-power plant run by GMR Kamalanga Energy Limited (GKEL) in Odisha, through a financial intermediary. Left, the area’s water: polluted by fly ash from the coal-burning power station

The Delhi Solidarity Group writes:

The IFC has an equity investment of $100 million to India Infrastructure Fund (IIF), a financial intermediary (FI), which then sub-lends the money to various companies engaged in energy generation, oil and gas pipelines, and other power infrastructure. GKEL is one of the companies identified to have accessed this loan to construct a thermal power project in one of the most polluted regions.

“The challenge with this lending arrangement is that project development is done in an opaque, almost invisible and unregulated manner, which precludes information disclosure to affected communities, and accountability. Safeguards, check and risk mitigation, and accountability that apply to IFC’s direct investment loans are not required in FI loans.”

This plant has caused water pollution in the Odisha region. The Research Collective reports allegations by villagers that water for the project “is extensively drawn through bore-wells” despite commitments to source water exclusively from a local river, impacting “ground water aquifers in the area.”

The study also found that instead of meeting its promise to compensate local people who have lost land with jobs, the project has led to increased unemployment, lost livelihoods and reduced grazing land whilst the status of women has been undermined by a lack of alternative income opportunities.

GKEL has been under investigation by the Compliance Advisor, or Ombudsman, the IFC’s accountability mechanism, but after the dispute resolution process failed, the case was transferred to the CAO’s compliance function in April.

A search revealed no further developments.

Primary source: http://www.brettonwoodsproject.org/art-572276

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