PRESS RELEASE: 05 February, 2011
We condemn the decision of the Ministry of Environment and Forest (Govt. of India) to give clearance to the POSCO Steel project in Orissa. On 31st January 2010 Jairam Ramesh (Minister for Environment & Forest) gave clearance to the proposed POSCO Project to set up a 12 Metric ton per annum steel plant , a 400 megawatt power plant and a captive port in Jagatsingur district. Since, the ruling UPA government under the leadership of Dr. Manmohan Singh has been consistent in outright sellout of our natural resources, the decision to give clearance to POSCO is hardly surprising.
What is surprising is the blatant disregard of the observations and recommendations of the Committees – The N.C.Saxena committee and the POSCO review committee headed by Ms. Meena Gupta, that had been constituted by the ministry of environment and forests on the issue of POSCO project. The majority members of the Review committee have clearly stated that there has been gross violation of environmental laws, fabrication of evidence, suppression of information especially in relation to coastal regulation zone (CRZ). The committee members have even recommended prosecution of the authorities who violated the provisions of Forest Rights Act and other environmental laws.
Apart from this, the villagers of Gadkujang, Nuagaon, Dinkia and others have been vehemently opposing the coming up of this project. The region boasts cultivation of one of the finest quality of “paan” which is exported. The villagers, tribals who have been cultivating the land for generations and have been living in harmony with the nature are now subjected to forceful eviction from their rightful surroundings and livelihood. The authorities instead of considering the interests of the indigenous people are subserving the vested interests of the big corporates. Hence the anti-national, anti-people laws like Special Economic Zones and coming up of projects like POSCO are one of the many examples. The political establishment is violating the very letter and spirit of the Indian Constitution.
MahaMumbai Shetkari Sangharsh Samiti has fought successfully against the the coming up of Relaince Mahamumbai SEZ in Raigad, Maharashtra which was country’s biggest proposed SEZ. The unity of the farmers, adivasis and the downtrodden masses has always forced the authorities to back off. We, MahaMumbai Shetkari Sangharsh Samiti, The All India anti-SEZ, anti-land grabbing and anti-displacement coordination committee and Yuva Bharat have been with the heroic struggle of the farmers, adivasis of Dinkia under the leadership of POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti. We condemn the latest decision of the environment ministry of giving clearance to POSCO. We express our solidarity to the heroic struggle and strong resolve of the POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti to fight POSCO and its stooges tooth & nail.
In this hour of need we appeal to all to unite and support the struggle.
The All India anti-SEZ, anti-land grabbing and anti-displacement coordination committee
MahaMumbai Shetkari Sangharsh Samiti and Yuva Bharat