IFC Rejects Request to Translate Document into Hindi

10 February 2004

The International Finance Corporation recently rejected a request by an Indian group to translate an environmental report about a hydropower project into the local language, Hindi.

The rejection means “the documents are available to the whole world, but sorry, affected people cannot be given it in the language they understand,” reacted Humanshu Thakkar Jan. 6 in a letter to the IFC. He works with the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers & People, based in New Delhi.

IFC official Yasmin Tayyab, a “civil society coordinator,” denied the request for translation of the entire Environmental and Social Impact Assessment, saying in a Jan. 5 letter, “Just for your information, IFC procedures do not require translation of the entire ESIA, we require that a non-technical summary of the ESIA be translated and made public prior to consultation.”

The project involved is the Allain Duhangan Project that would divert two rivers in North India for a hydropower plant. The ESIA indicates that the project would destroy a “pristine valley,” including the habitat of endangered species. Opponents to the project also have sharply criticized the ESIA, calling the “options assessment section” “a joke, to put it lightly” in the words of the South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers & People. In addition, local protests have been staged against the project.

By Toby McIntosh

IFC Rejects Request to Translate Document into Hindi
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