Thursday, January 04, 2007

it is a year since the infamous kalinganagar killing in orissa which killed 13 tribals protesting against the proposed steel plant. kalinganagar was the place choosen for mining/factory for tata steel.

the authorities thought the tribals can be bulldozed in name of developedment and did not care for any of the crucial things such as the tribal lands, livelihood of tribals, mining effects, environmental pollution, etc.

but the orissa govt gave a vague one liner, much like the policy makers in delhi and rest of india:
'if development does not happen, then how will india grow. we need mining because mining is essential for development'.

never mind the tribals, dont care about the environment, trash out human rights, bring huge pollution via mining- these are the development parameters the govt is talking about.

orissa is a highly forested state with large number of tribals living on forest land which has also got rich mineral deposits. plucking away the tribals and turning the land to mining is the cheapest form of development and hence the govt was bulldozing its way till the killings due to police firing happened.

it has been one year and not even a single politician is able to make a visit to the place. the national highway passing through kalinganagar is still blocked. no factory official has ever been allowed to visit the place.

sunita narain has captured this fake development beautifully. from the link,
In this situation, the government becomes not the protector of public interest it becomes the indecent middleman of industry. It will ensure cheap land, which it will acquire at throwaway prices and using less than fair means. It will make preferential allocation, without payment, for its raw materials – minerals, forests and water. Orissa has reserved 18 rivers and reservoirs for exclusive use by industry.
The industry extracts local resources; displaces local people; overuses their water and destroys the country’s forests and because it is modern and mechanised, it does not even provide local employment. There are no local benefits, only losses.
Let us be clear, the tribals of Kalinganagar are not against development. They are only against development on the cheap, at their cost.

below you can see some pictures of tribals. tribals and their forests have to work in unison for the benefit of conservation of forests and for livelihood of the tribals. upseting this balance and that too in crude manner via mining will destroy both forests and the thousands of tribals who depend on the forests.

(all-women forest protection committee at Dangejheri village in Ranpur, orissa)

(tribal home in baisipalli sanctuary, orissa)

(tribal taking tendu leaves in baisipalli sanctuary, orissa)

* all pictures are copyright of ashish kothari of kalpavriksh


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