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Dhabhol Power Plant - India
"Many energy companies have invested in closed or repressive countries -- arguing that their investment would help develop the local economy and thereby improve the human rights situation. But in this case, Enron has invested in a democratic country -- and human rights abuses there have increased. Enron hasn't made things better for human rights; it has made things worse." Summary and Recommendations
Table of Contents

Key Individuals Named in this Report

I. Summary and Recommendations

II. Background: New Delhi and Bombay

III. Background to the Protests: Ratnagiri District

IV. Legal Restrictions Used to Suppress Opposition to the Dabhol Power Project

V. Ratnagiri: Violations of Human Rights 1997

VI. The Applicable Laws

VII. Complicity: The Dabhol Power Corporation

VIII. Responsibility: Financing Institutions and the Government of the United States

IX. Conclusion

Appendix A: Correspondence Between Human Rights Watch and the Export-Import Bank of the United States

Appendix B: Report of the Cabinet Sub-Committee to Review the Dabhol Power Project

Appendix C: Selected Recommendations and Conclusions from the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Energy, May 29, 1995

Appendix D: Correspondence Between the Government of India and the World Bank

To the Enron Corporation

· Urge the Maharashtra government not to obstruct the exercise of peaceful freedom of assembly and freedom of association and expression, particularly with respect to grievances directed against the Dabhol Power Corporation. In particular, publicly and privately call on the Maharashtra government to lift Section 37 of the Bombay Police Act in districts surrounding the project.

· Publicly and privately condemn human rights abuses by Maharashtra police in the area where the company is operating, both in general and in specific cases, and make clear that activities undertaken related to the Dabhol Power project must be in accordance with international human rights standards.

· Encourage the Maharashtra and central governments to appoint an independent public inquiry into the actions of the security forces in the areas impacted by the Dabhol Power project and to bring to trial those found to be responsible for abuses.

· Make public all details relating to security arrangements for the protection of the Dabhol Power Corporation’s facilities, including private security contracts and any arrangements with government security forces, including legal and private arrangements between the state and the Dabhol Power Corporation.

· Conduct a credible investigation to determine the role of the company and its personnel in human rights violations that occurred during construction of Phase I of the Dabhol Power project.

· Investigate allegations that contractors to the Dabhol Power Corporation threatened, harassed, and attacked individuals opposed to the Dabhol Power project. Make public all findings of such an investigation. In cases where contractors committed these acts, terminate the company’s relationship with these contractors.

· Refrain from funding or sponsoring nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) without proper community consultation in order to ensure that such sponsorship does not have a destabilizing effect on local communities and does not lead to violence.

· Review programs of community assistance to ensure that development projects are planned by people who are professionally trained, that communities are genuinely engaged on a participatory basis in development plans, and that projects address the actual needs of the people in those communities. Consider establishing independent, professionally administered bodies for the implementation of development projects.

· Adopt explicit company policies stating an unqualified respect for human rights and establish procedures to ensure that company activities do not result in human rights abuses. Such procedures should involve monitoring by company, governmental, and nongovernmental actors and should be fully transparent.

· Appoint high-ranking corporate officials to monitor human rights in the project area and to denounce the use of unjustified or excessive force. These officials should have a knowledge of international, national, and state-level human rights standards and current best practices by corporations to respect human rights.

· Given the financial relationship between the company and abusive police forces, the company should conduct a full review to identify police officers who committed human rights violations. When evidence of human rights violations is found, the company should terminate its relationship with such officers.

· Produce annual reports to shareholders on the company’s activities in Ratnagiri, including information on the nature and extent of the company’s relations with the Maharashtra government and measures taken to prevent human rights abuses by the state police.

· Allow independent verification, by national and/or international NGOs, of compliance by the company with international, national, and state-level human rights and environmental standards.

· When new facilities or investments are planned, carry out a “human rights impact assessment,” identifying in particular problems related to security provision and conflict resolution, in addition to the legally required “environmental impact assessment,” and develop plans to avoid the problems identified by such assessments.