From: NAPM India <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 6:12 PM
Subject: [initiative-india] PRESS RELEASE : Eminent Citizens Write to PM on Scrapping the POSCO – India' proposed integrated mining and steel plant and the captive port in Orissa
To: napm-india <firstname.lastname@example.org>, initiativeindia Groups <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
November 9, 2010
Shri Manmohan Singh,
Prime Minister of India
Sub: - Scrapping POSCO – India' proposed integrated mining and steel plant and the captive port in Orissa
Dear Manmohan Singh Ji,
We are writing with deep concern about the developments in the matter of clearance and granting of permissions for setting up of POSCO India's proposed integrated steel and mining projects and a captive port in near vicinity of Paradip Port. We need not reiterate here the reasons for demand of complete scrapping of the planned project since two of the most recent Committee's (N C Saxena and Meena Gupta Committee) appointed by the Ministry of Environment have found violations of the provisions of the Forest Rights Act, Environment Impact Assessment and Coastal Regulation Zone in the proposed plan of the project. In addition, there are numerous other independent reports and studies which has indicated the non-feasibility of the projects economically and environmentally both. Lastly and most importantly, the people of the region, especially Jagatsinghpur District of Orissa, who are asked to sacrifice their homeland and livelihood have been raging a fierce resistance since the inception of the project.
In these five years the people of the region have faced the repression from state administration, braved police action, arrests, jails but also continued to live their daily lives with dignity. We are witnessing a situation where people of the region have been valiantly leading a non-violent resistance to attack on their livelihood by a South Korean – US company whose sole motive is profit without any regard for the local populace. It goes to the credit of the movement against POSCO that they have not taken recourse to violence inspite of provocations in these many years. They have held negotiations with the district administration, state government and concerned central government ministries as and when needed. The utmost faith in the law of the land and elected government shown by the people need to be recognised and their right to choose the kind of development they want be respected. This right flows from the constitutional provisions and we hope your government will uphold that.
The recent decisions of stopping mining in Niyamgiri mountains by Vedanta Corporation by the Ministry of Environment and Forest has shown the commitment of your government towards the respecting the wishes of the people, following the rule of law and safeguarding the environment of the country. The concerns of those who occupy the land, water and forests come first and foremost, after all how long we can go on sacrificing the people and their legitimate demands in the name of national interest. Those opposing the project are not only trying to save their livelihood but are once again raising the question of development for whom and at what cost ?
We all share the concerns of development, eradicating poverty and bringing prosperity but to allow for livelihood losses, environmental destruction, loot of country's natural resources by a multinational company, would be criminal and anti-national. In mindless pursuit of nine percent growth and an emerging super power we can't trample upon the rights of the adivasis, dalits, farmers, fisher folks, forest workers and other marginal groups. We as a nation have to strive for development with equity and ensuring justice and dignity to millions of our countrymen who continue to live below the poverty line.
This is India's opportunity to tell the world that it will do business, only and only if it suits our national interest, people's aspirations and our ecological sustainability. This is our chance to go ahead of the world in climate protection. POSCO project is not only a threat to the fragile ecology and people's livelihood in the region, it is violative of the very sovereignty of India. We must not allow this project that aims blatantly at looting our resources for private profit motive.
To sum up, we demand that respecting the wishes of the people of the region and acting on the recommendations of the N C Saxena and Meena Gupta committee reports Government of India completely scrap the setting up of the POSCO-India project in Jagatsinghpur district of Orissa. We also demand that your government will make sure that the Forest Rights Act is implemented in these and other areas to the interest and claims of the forest people and undo the historical injustices suffered by the people.
Waiting for a positive and early reply from you.
With warm regards
Kuldeep Nayar, Former MP and Senior Journalist
Surendra Mohan, Former MP
Medha Patkar, Narmada Bachao Andolan – NAPM
Swami Agnivesh, Bandhua Mukti Morcha
Sandeep Pandey, Asha parivar – NAPM
Thomas Kocherry, NFF - NAPM
Prafulla Samantara, NAPM – Orissa
Maj. Gen. (Retd.) Sudhir Vombatkere, NAPM - Mysore
Ashok Chowdhary, National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers
Roma, National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers – NAPM UP
P Chennaiah, Andhra Pradesh Agricultural Workers Union – NAPM AP
Anand Mazgaonkar, Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, NAPM – Gujarat
Contact : Madhuresh Kumar, National Organiser, NAPM mobile 9818905316 firstname.lastname@example.org
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