Oriyas protest against state govt decision to hand over land to foreign firms

Bhubaneswar (Orissa), Jan.20 (ANI): Residents of Bhubaneswar, Orissa, staged a demonstration on Friday against the state government’s decision to hand over fertile land to foreign capitalists like POSCO and Vedanta.

Demanding immediate cancellation of Memoranda of Understanding signed between the state government and these companies, the protesting non-government organisations (NGOs) and tribals claimed that the state overnment had failed to do anything constructive for the underprivileged sections of society.

“We demand immediate cancellation of Mittal MoU, Sterilite MoU, Uttam Galva, POSCO MoU, Vedanta, Jindal, JR power, this is our immediate demand and we also asked the government to cancel all these MoUs within one month, otherwise we will take the course of resistance movement,” said Ragunath Das, the coordinator of a protesting group.

According to reports, the proposed mega projects would acquire agricultural land and would destroy natural resources, which is the main source of livelihood for people in the state.

The activists warned the government of dire consequences if they failed to find an immediate solution to these pressing problems.

“In our area, these big companies are acquiring g our agricultural land and they are destroying our natural resources, so we have come to Bhubaneswar to complain about our problems. We are losing our source of livelihood, so we are demanding that there should not be any industry at the cost of our livelihood,” said Manjulata, a protestor.

Last year, hundreds of villagers opposing the 12 billion dollar steel project halted construction work on a road leading to the POSCO site.

The protesters hurled crude bombs and a worker was killed, while seven villagers were injured.

Local opposition has prevented South Korea’s POSCO from building its four million ton plant.

This is said to be India’s biggest foreign investment project.

[Source – Truthdive]

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