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Mr Jairam advocates no new mining lease in Saranda

Steel News - Published on Wed, 01 Feb 2012

Union Minister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh clearly and categorically advocated not to issue any fresh licence for mining in the iron ore rich Saranda area.

The minister also divulged that several such applications had come when he was heading the Forest and Environment Ministry but declined to give his nod on any of them except to the Steel Authority of India Limited.

Mr Ramesh addressing media persons after returning from Saranda said that “Entire world is keeping a hawk eye on Chiria mines. It is a well known fact. When I was in the office I declined all of them and allowed only the SAIL as they have few mines with them earlier and are bound with some public obligations. I wrote against the private companies in the file as well. Now I cannot say what will happen now as I am not in the Ministry. But I am personally against any mining lease to private company in the dense Sal forest area.”

He also added that he may raise the issue in the Cabinet meetings and tender some suggestions to the MoEF in this regard as taking tribal land for commercial purposes had been turning out a sensitive issue. Ramesh stressed that tribal had been alienated from their lands and this had given birth to the trust deficit between them and the Government.

The ministry added that “Relation between Forest officials and tribals has been extremely stressful and implementation of the Forest Rights Act in its true letter and spirit has not been there. Cases have been slapped against tribal and anxiety has developed amongst them about the system. I should admit here that the officials were against the giving forest rights to forest dwellers but I pursued them as the FRA became a reality.”

Sighting latest figures, he said that only 16,840 individual land rights had been given in Jharkhand that comprises 9,500 hectares. Mr Ramesh said that “It is very less in the State in comparison with Orissa and Chhattisgarh. Allotment of community rights has been poor throughout the country.”

The Minister also admitted that tribal land plots were taken away legally or illegally but in most of the cases no proper relief and rehabilitation measures were executed leaving the primitive residents in peril. He added that “These issues fuel naxalism as they provoke tribal saying that it is what the Government has done for you.”

Talking about his Saranda visit, the Minister said that the Saranda Action Plan could become a role model for the entire country. He said that “West-South Jharkhand and parts of Chhattisgarh are the worst naxal affected areas of the country. Some small steps have been taken in Saranda and if implemented properly it could become a role model for the country. Programmes like this can also be started in the other areas of the State like Garhwa, Simdega, Palamau and Latehar in the days to come.”

(Sourced from dailypioneer.com)

Posted By : admin on Wed, 01 Feb 2012
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