The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) released a new report which ranked India third among countries most affected by displacement related to disasters followed by China and the Philippines.
There have been 448,000 new displacements due to conflict and violence in India. Nearly 2,400,000 people were displaced due to disasters, the report said.
"Together with China and the Philippines, the country regularly sees the largest numbers of displacements. In recent years, displacement has mainly been associated with flood and storm events, although approximately 68 per cent of India is prone to drought, 60 per cent is vulnerable to earthquakes and 75 per cent of the country's coastline is prone to cyclones and tsunamis," the report said.
Combined with the country's high population density, with a third of the population living in multidimensional poverty and substandard housing with less resources to cope, particularly in disaster-prone areas, as well as poorly planned urbanisation, environmental degradation, climate change and geological hazards, India's overall exposure to hazards makes it the country most at risk of damage and displacement related to disasters in South Asia, the report added.
"Conflict is largely linked to identity and ethnicity, and it has taken the form of violent secessionist and identity-based movements as well as localised violence, including conflicts based on religion and caste," the report said.
Rapid population growth and the inability of the poorest segments of the population to benefit from the country's economic growth have exacerbated inter-ethnic and inter- religious tensions over access to and resources.
Development projects implemented as part of India's rapid development and industrialisation since independence have been made possible by the large-scale acquisition of land and the eviction and displacement of tens of millions of people over the past decades, not only for the purpose of building dams, mines and industrial plants, but also for other objectives such as urban renewal and environmental conservation.
There is a strong link between development projects and conflict. Most of India's land conflicts arise from state takeovers, often on behalf of private investors.