Friday, August 08, 2008

the verdict has come. the verdict that vedanta mining can deposit 10 crore rupees annually and gleefully mine in the niyamagiri hills.

i don't think this is just a verdict. this is death sentence for thousands and thousands of tribals who live in the hills and who have been dependent on the ecosystem of niyamagiri.

hindu businessline calls it "a morale booster for the investing community". we should call it a death sentence for the tribals and the environment, both of which are under brutal assault in name of fake development.

sanjiv parikh, one of the lawyers involved in the case puts it eloquently.
He says popular protests will continue and ultimately it is the people who are supreme, not the court. Sanjay Parikh, a lawyer, says the judgment will, for the first time, fix a price that a company will have to spend on the community. He adds that money cannot be a substitute for the land or river taken away from the people and the court will have to restore the lands of the people.

what is tragic is that the supreme court order has come in the face of the recommendation from its own cec. from the link,
The Supreme Court order today has come against the advice of its own Court Empowered Committee, which said in 2005 that mining should not be done on the Niyamagiri hills (see box). The mining activities may pollute or even dry up the sources of the rivers which flow from them, thus ruining the cultivation and livelihoods of the people living downhill.

this is a super sad for india. an india that is ready to put a price on precious natural ecosystems on which depend thousands of thousands of tribals, so that multinational companies can gleefully mint money.

'tragic' is the word that has no meaning on this black day.


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