CSR at ports: A shining example
Ports should implement CSR in a more holistic manner to ensure not only rehabilitation but by creating livelihoods to the displaced and affected local communities
Ports should implement CSR in a more holistic manner to ensure not only rehabilitation but by creating livelihoods to the displaced and affected local communities.
Seaports are essential for the development of local, regional and global economies. Currently, the maritime sector is among the fastest growing industries. Ports have to be planned with a long-term perspective, so port and port-centric industrial development requires large scale land acquisition. Future industrial development and logistics needs must be envisioned in planning land acquisition. This often causes conflict on coastal resource use, resulting in resistance from the surrounding communities where the port infrastructure is being developed.
Such conflicts can be avoided through involving the communities who are displaced or whose livelihood is affected by the port development. Rehabilitation and resettlement of the communities that are displaced and re-skilling of the people who have lost their livelihood due to port development is essential.
Our country has seen many huge protests against such land acquisitions for port development. Though govt came up with Land Acquisition Act, 2013 to address the concerns of the displaced, still there exists trust deficit between the developers and the locals. There are many allegations like forcible land acquisition, inadequate compensation, inefficient resettlement and rehabilitation policy etc. for this trust deficit.
Displacement of people for huge infrastructural projects impacts them in various ways:
1. Disturbance to the well built ageold social networks. People often grieve to leave their ancestral lands for the sake of common good. For example, tribals complained about loss of their bhoodan lands during land acquisition for Kirtania port development of Odisha. 2. 3. Loss of Livelihood is a major concern. Ports development normally evicts fisherman community. For example, Enayam Port development faced huge protests from fishermen community.
Fishermen in the Kovalam hamlet in Kanniyakumari district of Tamil Nadu protested against the Kanniyakumari International Container Transshipment Terminal. The terminal was earlier planned to be developed in Enayam, but was later shifted to Kovalam by VOC Port Trust due to protest by the local fishermen community.
4. Even the union government’s flagship Sagarmala project did not pass uncriticised. M.ilango, Chairperson of National Fishworkers' Forum said, “We the fishermen are facing a serious threat as the government is planning to dot Indian coastline with about 300 big ports, about 50 nuclear power plants, dozens of smart cities touching industrial corridors. This development is highly unsustainable and is aimed at driving the traditional community of fishermen away." So, in order to address all these issues and provide a peaceful industrial development, Govt introduced the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) under Sec 135 of Companies Act, 2013. Though the principle behind CSR i.e., “Giving back to the society” is not new, GOI made it legally mandatory on certain criteria.
Under corporate social responsibility, the promoters of the ports can design a region-specific Resettlement and Rehabilitation (R&R) Policy, by providing decent housing, basic amenities like drinking water, sanitation, schools and hospitals. Apart from these, the insecurities of loss of livelihood must be addressed through innovative skilling activities. Locals can be trained and recruited into operational activities of the Port, thus, making them an integrate part of the port development.
Every village will have some unique cultural aspects. Support to sustain
such cultural aspects is also crucial for peaceful coexistence of the port and community.
Convincing the local communities about the prospective socio-economic benefits must guide the port establishment. And, a genuine R&R policy will build the trust on the port authorities and can help to get the support of the locals for further expansion of the Port and surrounding industries.
Krishnapatnam Port, developed on the East coast of India is a classic example as there has been no significant negative impact to the local communities due to the port operations. Krishnapatnam port started its CSR endeavour in 2008, by building 500 houses with all the basic amenities as part of its rehabilitation and resettlement programme for over 500 poor households, living in various villages. To address any insecurity, the houses were registered on the names of the displaced. The port then went on to create broader community and local economic development programmes that is helping in empowering the local community to grow along with the port.
The CSR activities of the Port are carried out by CVR Foundation. These activities are designed to cover five important aspects of the society.
1. Education: Under the name of “Vidyaratna”, Scholarships are provided to the local students to pursue higher education. Under “ASRA”, they are providing evening tuitions to local children in order to bridge gaps in primary and secondary education. They have built one school “CVR English medium school” exclusively for R&R colony children and provides free education. About 4000 children are provided education, half of them being girls. These children are from the 100 villages across four mandals of Nellore district.
Krishnapatnam Port has recently built another modern international standard “Navaneetha Public School” to provide free world class education for the poorest of the poor children, in the surrounding villages of the port.
2. Health: Under “Sanjeevani,” port arranges for periodic mobile health clinics in the villages, with professional doctors from super-speciality hospitals. Also, R&R colony has an exclusive hospital providing free medical care and medicines.
3. Women empowerment: Under “Navyatha”, local women are being trained in sewing and are employed to stitch uniforms for the security and field operators. Also, they are given training in hospitality services, Pickle making and packaging, bouquet making etc. This skill training has improved their incomes as well as their status in the home and the society.
4. Skilling: Under “Bhavitha”, local youth are trained in many areas like solar equipment installation and repairs, security services, driving, welding, crane operations, hospitality etc. After training, they are provided with jobs in port and in the surrounding industries. This addresses major concern of loss of livelihood.
5. Community Welfare: Under “Samatha,” the port supports many community activities like local cultural festivals, local sports, development of parks, construction of RO plants, sponsorships to local sports talent, providing fishing nets and latest GPS devices to Fishermen etc. Also, Port stands as a support in providing men, food and medicines during natural disasters like floods etc.
A recent sustainability report reveals that Krishnapatnam Port has spent about Rs.16.3 crores on CSR activities during 2016-17, which is almost 10 times more than the mandate. The breakup of the CSR funds spent is as below:
• Education: 5.03 crores
• Health: 1.02 crores
• Women Empowerment and Skills:
• Community Development: 9.25
• Other welfare activities: 54 lakhs
When Port was being built, utmost care was taken to protect the existing mangroves. Subsequently, mangroves were additionally developed in 50Ha along with nurseries with a capacity of 20 lakhs propagation per year. Part of its green belt development, the port has planted over 3.2 million saplings. The Port has adapted many eco-friendly measures to upgrade and improve the environment in the port by involving the community.
The Port has prepared a detailed road map for CSR activities, developed a blue print on sustainability and has involved the community and administration in designing and implementing the CSR activities. Developing confidence and trust among the local communities and making them part of the port’s inclusive growth story is essential for harmony and sustainability. The prime duty of any corporate is to give back to the society and environment. Krishnapatnam Port subscribes to the philosophy of compassionate care with a policy of respecting the environment and supporting its local community.
About the Author
Anil Yendluri (IPS) is the Director and CEO of Krishnapatnam Port Company Ltd. Under his able leadership Krishnapatnam Port has been showing tremendous developments and is instrumental in creating new records, winning awards and accolades. Mr Yendluri earlier is his career served as Addl. SP at Kottayam, Kollam, Kerela; SP, Palakkad, Kannur, Thrissur; Commissioner of Police, Kozhikode, Kochi, Ernakulam; DIG and IG of Kerala. He also served as SP, CBI at New Delhi, Visakhapatnam. He has been deputed to UN Mission in Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Navaneeta Public School established by the port for education of local communities
Under Navyata programme women are trained in tailoring to stitch and supply uniforms, not only to port, but also to other establishments as well.
Anil Yendluri, CEO & Director Krishnapatnam Port Company Limited