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CPI asks PM to spike Vedanta, Posco projects in Orissa

Posted by Admin on November 11, 2009

New Delhi, Nov 11 (IANS) The communist Party of India (CPI) has asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to “immediately intervene” to cancel the “in-principle clearance” given to two projects in the tribal dominated areas of Jagatsinghpur and Lanjigarh in Orissa.
“Handing over people’s resources without complying with the Forest Rights Act first, and respecting their rights under it, is simply government-facilitated robbery on a grand scale,” said CPI national secretary D. Raja in a letter to the prime minister.

Questioning Vedanta and Posco’s industrial projects in Orissa, Raja said: “In both cases, ample media and historical records exist to show that the local people, especially the Dongria Kondhs of Lanjigarh, have rights over these forest resources.”

Raja, who is also a Rajya Sabha member, said in his letter dated Nov 10 that the two projects were not development schemes and would “only result in the handover of the people’s resources to multinationals for a pittance”.

Under the Forest Rights Act, he said, communities have been given legal powers to manage their community forests. “Yet the government continued to hand over forest land to corporates on a large scale,” Raja added. Thaindian

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