In yet another act of going against the popular and democratic wishes of the local people, the UPA government led by Congress party is on a “death speed” spree to clear the investment proposals to appease its rich International and National money bags!!
South Korean giant POSCO was hurriedly given environmental clearance to build a mega 12 Million Tonnes per annum steel plant displacing more than 22,000 people from their land, comprising of over 4,004 acres in Odisha.
The central government has not only discarded the thousands of ordinary people belonging to Dalith, Adivasi and other beleaguered communities who have been fighting a heroic & heroinic battle to stop POSCO, they have also flouted the Forest Rights Act of 2006 and bypassed the unanimous resolutions passed by gram sabhas of the affected areas.
POSCO has been involved in forcible land acquisition for the project much before the environmental clearances were accorded, it has also been involved in acts to violently suppress the anti-POSCO struggle through every unconstitutional and illegal means, from hiring criminal elements to intimidation and murder of local activists spearheading the movement. This only has exposed the extent to which they are willing to bypass the law to bulldoze their way by any means necessary. The extent of violations has even triggered a directive from the UN Human Rights Commissioners to halt the project.
Even though the Odisha government is bragging about the creation of 8.7 Lakh jobs in a 30 year span, this data is unreliable, as it is merely an exaggeration of figures by optimistically expecting that for the total headcount of 48,000 employees that POSCO is estimating, there will be an additional 1,59,734 lakh jobs created in the trade sector, 5,809 in the animal husbandry sector, 10,912 jobs in the food crop sector and 63,984 in the textile sector without taking into account the current state of competitiveness of these industries in Odisha. We should not ignore the fact that all of these calculations does not take into account the loss of livelihood of approximately 50,000 people who depend on forest produce, fishing and betel cultivation in the project area. Added to this is the displacement of over 4,000 families from 63 villages mostly belonging to the dalith, tribal and other backward groups.
Not only this, the POSCO project itself is solely a way of exploiting the natural resources for profits, which is evident from the fact that this steel plant requires almost 3096 acres of natural forest to be uprooted and also the plant requires a whopping 19 crore liters of fresh water every day from the already straining Mahanadi river and other streams. It is to be noted that the project area falls under the Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary, Similipal Wildlife Sanctuary, the lone marine wildlife sanctuary in India “Gahirmatha” and many others which house near extinct fauna like Olive Ridley turtles, dolphins, Royal Bengal tigers, limbless lizards, double‐nosed snake and elephants. Most importantly we cannot ignore the fact that the plant produces 400 kilos of sluggish waste directly for every tonne of steel processed which is accompanied by a host of other ways of pollution.
UNITE! PROTEST! FOR IF WE LONG, THESE CORPORATES WILL BLEED OUR EARTH !
The Posco Prathirodh Sangram Samithi (PPSS) which is spearheading the struggle is organising a nation wide protest on the issue on 15th January. The Peoples’ Solidarity Concerns-Bangalore is in solidarity with this event.
Defeat the Governments who are only serving multi national corporations
Fight for a mass political alternative which puts people before profit
Capitalism has failed us! Build a socialist alternative!!