India UpdatePublished by MAC on 2006-02-18
18th February 2006
Undeterred by international condemnation of last month's state-sponsored killings of tribal opponents of its Kalinganagar steel plant, Tata plans to proceed with construction of this project and another two plants in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.
India's largest bauxite-alumininum producer, NALCO, is also facing protests from villagers inadequately compensated and rehabilitated after removal from their land.
Threats to expand mining of the huge Gandhamardhan iron ore tracts in Orissa are meeting renewed opposition. From Adivasis (tribal communities).
And farmers from the "holiday" state of Goa, incensed at pollution caused by stone crushing units, have killed a miner.
Yet - even as such grass-roots movements erupt all over the country - the central government plans to launch a new mining policy which will open-up more rural areas to both domestic and foreign companies.
Calls by the national organisation, mines, minerals and People (mmP) and other NGOs, for a moratorium on all greenfield minerals projects, have so far fallen on deafened ears.