Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Chhattisgarhi People Displaced by Jindals long before SEZ came in existence...

(Comments taken from CGNET.IN) All can hear public except deaf MoEF.

We have witnessed historical public hearing on 4th and 29th January, 2005 for expansion of Jindal's steel plant at Raigarh in Chhattisgarh. More than five thousands people unanimously register their protest. CG Environment Destruction Board did not hear and issued NOC. MoEF sent a sub committee (Sri R.K.Garg - Vice Chairman, Dr.G.V.Subrahmanyam - Director, Dr. B.Sen Gupta - Member Secretary Central Pollution Control Board, and Dr (Mrs)P.L.Ahuja Rai - Director) to know the facts. Committee could not or did not want to hear people's cry who have lost their land and means of livelihood. Committee did not meet a single affected villager, group or NGO who registered their protests. They came and went by air. Enjoyed five star hospitability. Their visit was kept secret. Even District Collector Raigarh did not know their visit as he told us. Five paged OK report submitted.

Clearance accorded. Green signal to go ahead. MoEF hesitates to tell who borne their expenses, Ministry or Jindals.Only the people can stop refinery if they don't want it.

In solidarityRamesh Jan ChetanaRaigarh

http://www.hindu. com/2007/ 06/05/stories/ 2007060515580300 .htm

Andhra Pradesh - Visakhapatnam Villagers not ready to part with fertile lands Special Correspondent Public hearing held on Jindal alumina plant UP IN ARMS: A tribal woman shouts at a speaker who supported setting up of alumina refinery at Boddavara in S.Kota mandal of Vizianagaram district at a public hearing on Monday.

Photo: C.V. Subrahmanyam VISAKHAPATNAM: "We have turned waste lands into most fertile fields. We don't part with them even if we are offered Rs. 50 lakhs for an acre," asserted M. Krishna of Gavarapalem. "We are opposing the factory (Jindal group's alumina refinery and cogeneration plant) since the beginning. Let them come to take our fields, we are ready with chilli powder and fight till the end," thundered Yerukulamma. "Do they want to build the factory? It is only over our dead bodies", said Boddta Adilakshmi a middle aged woman from Gavarapalem. These were some of the reactions from the farmers and women of Moola Boddavara, Cheedipalem, Kiltampalem, China Khondepalli and Mushidpalli villages whose lands are being planned to be acquired to set up the alumina refinery, at a public hearing conducted by the AP Pollution Control Board at this village on Monday. Earlier representatives of the political parties and people's organisations came out strongly against the refinery.

Chodavaram MLA Ganta Srinivasa Rao of Telugu Desam, who mobilised many farmers to the public hearing after criticising the officials for not following the procedure like making available the detailed environment impact report in Telugu to the farmers, asserted that the farmers would fight for the Raiwada water for their fields. "Why do you want to set up the refinery when the farmers, Girijans and the people in general here do not want it. You can not go against their wish", he said. Vice-president of AP Rytu Sangham Bendi Tulasi Das and others found many discrepancies in the environment impact report.

CPI (M) leader Ch. Narasinga Rao said the differing statements of officials and Minister bared the malafide intentions of the Government. G. Srinivas of Samata organisation said the bauxite mining would destroy water sources and the pollution caused by the refinery here would adversely affect the environment. CPI (M) Vizianagaram secretary M. Krishna Murthy, CPI secretary Kameswara Rao, ex-MLAs Reddy Satyanarayana and Military Naidu, local farmers and women, Girijans from Visakha agency area opposed the proposal to exploit bauxite and for setting up the refinery here.

http://www.thehindu businessline. com/2007/ 06/05/stories/ 2007060503272100 .htm

Stiff opposition to Jindal refinery Our Bureau Farmers refuse to part with lands; company promises jobs, shares ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -`When the Godavari water diversion scheme was formulated, there was no allocation for the Jindal refinery. The GVMC cannot now sell water to the Jindals.' ------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -Vizianagaram June 4 There was overwhelming opposition to the setting up of Jindal's alumina refinery at Boddavara village in the S. Kota mandal of Vizianagaram district at a public hearing conducted by the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board on Monday. It was the second time the public hearing was being conducted on setting up the refinery. Earlier, it was proposed to be set up at Sabbavaram in Visakhapatnam district and a public hearing was held in Visakhapatnam, but that plan was given up later, as the company found the land rates too high.

BONE OF CONTENTION On two grounds, there was stiff opposition to the setting up of the refinery in Vizianagaram district - the farmers refused to part with their lands and, secondly, many individuals and organisations opposed water supply to the refinery by the Greater Visakha Municipal Corporation (GVMC). The representatives of Telugu Desam Party, BJP, Lok Satta, and both the Communist parties spoke against the setting up of the refinery at Boddavara. Besides, Samata, an NGO, the Human Rights Forum, the Andhra Pradesh Rythu Sangham and several other organisations opposed the refinery. Girijans, and their representatives in particular, were vociferous in their opposition to the setting up of the refinery. Mr G. Srinivasa Rao, former member of the Lok Sabha and Telugu Desam leader, said the Government was resorting to prevarication and deliberately seeking to mislead the people on the water issue.

"It was at first not very clear from where the water required for the refinery would be drawn. It was not clearly mentioned in the documents furnished by the Government before the public hearing. Suddenly, a statement was issued on Saturday that the Greater Visakha Municipal Corporation (GVMC) would supply 8 mgd of water from the Godavari water scheme, but it is not the solution," he said. Drinking water needs Mr Rao argued that in order to meet the drinking water needs of Visakhapatnam city water from Raiwada and Tatipudi reservoirs, both in Vizianagaram district, was being drawn and to that extent the interests of farmers were being sacrificed.

The farmers had agreed to the proposal only to quench the thirst of Vizag. "Therefore, to meet the drinking water needs of Vizag city and certain specified industries, the Godavari water diversion scheme was formulated and implemented during the Telugu Desam regime. There was no allocation then for the Jindal refinery. The GVMC cannot now sell water to the Jindals. Not only will it hit the drinking water needs of Vizag city, but indirectly hit the interests of farmers under Raiwada and Tatipudi reservoirs. There is no surplus water with the GVMC for supply to the Jindals. The GVMC cannot take up water business at the expense of farmers," he said.

Several other speakers echoed the same view. Mr Bhisetti A. Babji, the District Co-ordinator of the Lok Satta, said the Government should not ruin the agricultural lands in the area for the sake of the refinery. Arid lands were available elsewhere and they should be acquired for the purpose. COMPANY'S ASSURANCE Mr Vachaspati, Vice-President of Jindal Southwest, explained the proposed refinery and assured the farmers and others that the relief and rehabilitation package prepared by the Government would be sincerely implemented.

The displaced would get jobs and even shares in the refinery. Mr M. Jaganmohan, Joint Collector of Vizianagaram district, who conducted the proceedings, said that 32 out the 35 speakers opposed the idea of setting up a refinery at Boddavara. "Their views have been recorded and the public opinion will be communicated to the State Government," he said. --

G.Srinivas/Samata1-14-40, Krishna ViharGokhale Road, MaharanipetaVisakhapatnamTelefax : 0891-2737662Mobile : 09949111379 www.samataindia. org www.dhimsa.net

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