MAC: Mines and Communities

"we Don't Accept The 'development Dream' Put Before Us!"

Published by MAC on 2006-01-09

"We don't accept the 'development dream' put before us!"

by Chakradhara Haibru, President

Bistapan Virodhi Janamancha, Sukinda

At- Ambagadia, P.o.- Gobarghati

Dist- Jajpur, Orissa

To The member-Secretary
State Pollution Control Board, Orissa
A/118, Nilakantha nagar, Bhubaneswar- 12

Subject: Objection to proposed TSL Project (* -see below) at kalinga Nagar, in response to the Advertisement of The Sambad of 8.10.05 of State Pollution control Board, Orissa No-30717 dated. 6.10.05


On the above said subject we beg to submit our objections.

The objections are made after examining the REIA of the proposed 6MT Steel Plant of TSL at Kalinga nagar.

1.. The objection of the people should have been sought before signing of the MOU. The State Govt. has agreed to the project of TSL as early as 17 November 2004. The affected people are asked to give their objections if any, after a year. In the meanwhile TSL has completed their survey work and are constructing boundary walls in spite of the protests of the affected people.

A few weeks ago, the State Pollution Control Board, Orissa has done a public hearing for 4×125 MW Thermal Power Plant of TSL as part of their 6MT Steel Project. What would happen to Sukinda and its environment? The Thermal plants of NTPC and NALCO have spread the fluoride-related diseases among the population and domestic animals in Talcher, Anugul area. Even the agricultural fields and river water have been heavily contaminated by fly ash and bottom ash. The Thermal Power Plants with their fly ash shall equally damage the human habitation of Sukinda area and Kalinga Nagar.

The Coke ovens of TSL and that of other plants under construction shall add to the air pollution. Presently the Coke Ovens of Nilachal Plant is causing serious pollution of the air by their emission over an area of 6km. radius. The inorganic and chemical wastes of several pig iron and steel plants shall only cause diseases and bring death to thousands. So the project of TSL is strongly objected.

The core zone of TSL consists of green hills with rich forests, tribal settlements of more than ten thousand people spread over two gram panchayats, agricultural lands, ancient tanks, grazing fields, village common lands and roads. The total area of waste land is less than 5 acres on the Northern side. Why the core zone is described as WASTE LAND ignoring the ground reality? This is most objectionable.

The report on the project states that, out of 314 Sq.Km. a total area of 63% is waste land. This makes it an area of 197.93 Sq.Km. Then nearly 3 lakh people are living mostly in the waste lands. More over, it must be accepted that most of the agricultural land within200 villages situated within the area on waste land. Also it nust be accepted that the forests, green hills including the protected and reserve forest the stretch of Brahmani river and Kharasuan river, natural water streams, the plantation sites mostly waste land. This is wild assertion. Let the Govt. Forest Records, Revenue Records, Central Govt. Survey maps and Census Records be examined to find facts. Total waste land in the buffer zone constitute less than 2%. 35% of the area is of forest and hills with wild animals of rare species. Agricultural land, human settlements urban area infrastructures constitute 55%. The rest area includes quarries, wet land, sand banks and river.

Brahmani river water is heavily polluted by industrial pollutants of Rourkela and Talcher – Anugul area. For this central Pollution control Board has declared it 'C' class.State Pollution control Board has declared a stretch of Brahmani river from Kamalanga o Bhuban as 'D' class. The industrial pollutants contain radioactive inorganic toxis materials like Uranium. Thorium and several types of harmful chemicals in its water which has affected the aqua life of Brahmani up to the mouth, where olive ridly and crocodiles are protected. The suppression of facts in the report is objected.

In rainy months ground water Table swells in some parts of Sukinda area above the ground level and continue to floe for weeks. This is observed in some parts of foothills of Barasuli and other hills area. But during Jan-June months in all parts of the area the ground water level falls to 10 to 30 mtr. The facts are not placed by the report correctly when they speak that ground water table varies from 0.8 to 9.2 mtrs.

Two years back there was no large scale exploitation of ground water. But presently there are more than 50 deep bore wells in Kalinga Nagar. Some supply 24 hour water to pig iron plant- VISA and JINDAL, have 24 bore wells among them. 9 bore wells are used by other projects for their construction work. 12 bire wells supplement pipe water from Brahmani to Nilachal Plant and Mesco Plant. Even Brahmani surface water is supplemented by deep bore wells of IDCP. If this is not large scale exploitation of ground water within 40 Sq. Km. of Kalinga Nagar, than what it is?

Sukinda and its adjoining area had never a humid tropical climate. Its climate is dry monsoon. Day time temperature in April-May hovers between 37 0C-390C. The humidity is around 40%. The lowest temperature in Dec-January is recorded as 150C. the report has placed disinformation about the climate of the area.

The project area is not waste land-it must be pointed out again. 75 Sq. Km. of hills with forests spread over the area contiguous to TSL projects on the south and south west direction. 10,000 people, their agricultural land and common land are within the core area. 20% of the Project area has quality forest where timber species like Sal, Kuruma, Vandan, Ashan and Piasal, besides Mahula, Kendu are plentily available in these parts.

Local tribal people gather herbs and roots from the local forests which they use for treating successfully a wide range of illness. Tribals from outside Sukinda – from Dhenkanal and Keonjhar come to these parts of forests to collect necessary herbs and roots. It must be noted that these forests are under full protection of 40 Tribal villages of the locality since 1946, where hunting and cutting of trees is strictly prohibited by the community decision of the tribal people.

Within 5/6 Kmtr. of the project area the forests of Nakasa, Natimara, Barsuli, Bhitarmanika and Sunajhar have some rare species of wide life in good number. They include leopard, deer, scaly ant eater, pangolin, python, cobra, giant boa. The rare wild dogs (Rama siali) are seen in packs. There are large numbers of wild boar, wild goats, deer and several types of monkeys in these forests. It may be repeated that, this has been the habitat of so many types of animals in a non protected govt. forests for last 60 years.

Within the buffer zone of the project, the total population is more than 3 lakh in 314 Sq. Km. area. 3 lakh populations are definitely higher in comparison to the State's average population density. But the report has wrongly stated that the population is only 44 thousand. The tribal populations within this zone are nearly 60 thousand. Let the Census report of 2001 be checked up.

The report tries to impress that, by the coming up TSL project, direct and indirect employment would be generated and the impact will be beneficial to human environment. We belief, the report tries to point out that, the people in the buffer zone shall lead a developed and prosperous life – with better food, better health, better housing conditions, education and cultural facilities. This is a false picture for the vast majority of the working people on the area

The 'Secretive" expansion plan of Kalinga Nagar by the Govt. of Orissa, moving to acquire nearly 200Sq. Km. for the industrial complex, infrastructure and other purposes shall make all the peasants in this zone land less. Most of them will be turned home less and shall seek shelter in Govt. colonies. There will be acute shortage of water, wide spread air pollution by the effect of industrial complex . In the meanwhile prime agricultural lands are being purchased by some Pvt. Companies through illegal deals making the peasants landless. The Govt. officials are conniving with the land dealers for the acquisition of land from poor peasants.

Most of the tribals who face displacements are without lawful rights on their homestead land and agricultural land. So the compensation package of 10 decimal plot in rehabilitation colony with 50,000 Rupees to construct one room pucca house does not make them secure even for a day . Because they don't have regular work to make their earnings. Cut off from their traditional life, traditional occupation of agriculture and food gathering, these people cannot by any strech of imagination be capable to earn enough in the colony to wait for a job in the plants. After all, they are not eligible to get preferential treatment in the job market of Kalinga Naga r. They are not land losers per Got. criteria. We have our lessons from the plight of the displaced people living in Gobarghati rehabilitation colony, who earn their living, men women and children, in crusher plants.

They weep for their present misfortune and curse the Nilachal Plant Authorities for whom they lost their home and lands.

We the tribals 10,000 in number and the 50,000 other tribals in the buffer zone are against the displacement from our homes and agricultural lands. So also the 50,000 Dalit people are against the projects in Kalinga Nagar. In this connection we don't agree to and accept the 'development' dream put before us by the report. We are not prepared to be home less, land less, job less. We don't want to lose our traditional culture life.

In this situation we submit our objection to TSL projects in Kalinga Nagar. We request the authorities to study the points and contentions made above and take proper steps in the interest of the poor tribals, the Dalits and the people in general living within a radius of 30km..

Yours faithfully,

Chakradhar Haibru


Bistapan Virodhi Janamancha, Sukinda


(*) Tata Sons Ltd (TSL), headquartered in Mumbai (Bombay) is the "promoter" group for all Tata's 93 subsidiaries worldwide, and in which it has the key shareholding

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