Why aren't the property rights of these poor & un-influential, whether individual or collective (of a community or a tribe) respected by industrialists, politicians and civil-service-bureaucrats? Their machinations and double-standards disgust me completely. As a journalist, I know, for a fact, that they also manipulate very senior editors in the media (print, TV and internet) to carry forward their ugly agenda. The affluent citizenry, in the meanwhile, continue to remain steeped in their excessive consumerism."
Date: 15 May 2010 22:19
Subject: [OrissaConcerns] Police Open Fire for Illegal Mineral Robbers: The Real Story of the POSCO Project
- The POSCO project is illegal as it violates the Forest Rights Act of 2006. Under that law, no forest land can be given to anyone until 1) all the rights of the people in the area are recognised and 2) their consent is given to the project. This is the requirement of the law, acknowledged further by an Environment Ministry order of August 3, 2009. This has never been done in the area despite the people demanding it. The Central and State governments have no legal right to hand over this land to POSCO. In law, not just in public view, this is daylight robbery. Please see the attached timeline for more details.
- The project is nothing less than a robbery of the country's natural resources by a multinational. There is no conflict between people's rights and “development” here. Despite grand talk of 51,000 crores of foreign investment, what is not mentioned is that POSCO is getting a huge amount of:
- land: 4,000 acres for the plant, 2,000 acres for a “township”, 25 acres in Bhubaneshwar for their office, plus an unknown amount in the mining and port areas;
- water: an estimated 12,000 crore liters from the river Mahanadi, threatening the water supply of Bhubaneshwar and Cuttack;
- iron ore: 600 million tonnes in the form of captive mines, and a further 400 million tonnes will be “allocated';
- in exchange for which it will:
- pay essentially nothing for the water and the land;
- pay a pittance as royalty, allowing it to make tens of thousands of crores in profits just by the difference between market prices and extraction costs (one 2005 estimate put the net profits at 96,000 crores from extraction alone);
- practically no income and other direct taxes, as it is seeking SEZ status;
- provide 13,000 jobs – by their own estimates, which in the case of all industrial projects have proven to be gross overestimates – while displacing around 40,000 people in the plant and port sites alone (not including the mines). More than 20,000 people will lose employment in the plant site alone.
- The process of implementation of the Forest Rights Act is complete and all rights have been recognised
- That they consent to the diversion after being informed of the nature and details of the project and rehabilitation project.