Over 100 activists from different civil society organizations under the banner of People’s Solidarity Concerns protested against the entry of the South Korean multinational in Orissa as well as Karnataka (9th Nov. 2010). The Rs. 54,000/- crore project to construct a steel plant, iron ore mining and a port is already being opposed by the fish workers, farmers and adivasis. The struggle in Orissa according to the activists from Peoples’ Solidarity Concerns has been dealt with bullets from the Orissa Police and bombs from the goons of the company.
The majority of the members of the Meena Gupta Committee appointed by the Environment Ministry have clearly stated the POSCO is illegal in Orissa’, said Jagdish Chandra, the convener of People’s Solidarity Concerns. `According to the majority report endorsed by Dr. V. Suresh, Dr. Devender Pande and Dr. Urmila Pingle, POSCO is a violation of the forest rights act, CRZ and environmental laws and it is stated that the clearances so far were obtained by fraudulent means.
The activists who assembled at the Gandhi Statue, M.G. Road shouted slogans like `POSCO is illegal’, `No to POSCO’ and `POSCO Quit India Now’. `The entry of the multinational affects the lives of thousands of people and environment,’ said Manohar from Bangalore based Human Rights Organisation SICHREM. `Therefore, we oppose POSCO tooth and nail and we do not want their entry in Karnataka either since their credibility on pollution, displacement and frauds are internationally known.
When I visited the affected area in Orissa, I could see that people are quite self sufficient with their agriculture, paan cultivation and fishing,’ said Bangalore based free software activist Anivar Aravind from Orissaconcerns.net which campaigns on many issues including POSCO in Orissa. `What they are trying to do is to displace thousands of peaceful self sufficient villagers and replace it with mining, steel industry and a port. The pollution and environmental destruction will be major in a place which is famous for Olive Ridley Turtles.
The activists demanded that the majority recommendations of Meena Gupta committee be implemented and all the false charges on the local struggling villagers be lifted immediately. They also demanded compensation to the victims of police firing and destruction of property by the administration.
For further details:
Peoples’ Solidarity Concerns.