As one traverses the district of Jagatsinghpur in Odisha, the amazing influence of water on land is evident all around. This is particularly the case during monsoons, when the great Mahanadi sumptuously meanders through its innumerable streams, rivulets and tributaries to join the Brahmani and form a massive estuarine complex and one of India's most extensive and fertile deltaic regions. Land surfaces rather incidentally in this amazingly diverse aquatic ecosystem.
On productive and fertile lands of the villages in Jagathsinghpur district (and dedicated forest lands) of Odisha State would now come up a massive steel plant with a production capacity of 12 million tonnes per annum (MTPA),
which is equivalent to the combined production of the top 6 steel plants of
India: Bhilai, Bokaro, Durgapur, Rourkela, Burnpur and Salem.
Of the 4,004 acres demanded by the company here, 200 acres would be
required for the port and over 1,000 acres would be exclusively dedicated to dump 10% of the fly ash and other hazardous solid waste that would be generated.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between POSCO and the Odisha state granted the company an unprecedented deal:
POSCO could extract 600 million tonnes of high quality iron ore over a 30 years lease period, 60% of which could be exported without processing. There was a rider though that such export would have to be in tandem with equivalent import of similar quality of iron ore – a specious practice indeed considering that it is in the interest of India not to allow export of raw ore at all and insist on value addition in-country. In addition, the clause demanding that an equal amount of
similar quality of ore must be imported back to replace the quantity exported out,
raises questions about what this transport game is all about.
POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) -
For almost 6 years now, under the leadership of PPSS the affected communities have engaged in staunch and peaceful resistance against POSCO and its own Odisha government.
We, The Family of India and Families world over stand unified and support the following:
We, the Family of India and Families world over, oppose this monstrous of an undertaking that would ensure annihilation of the breathtakingly beautiful life and landscape of the district of Jagatsinghpur of coastal Odisha and the life and life styles of the simple villagers, tribes, forest dwellers of Odisha. WE DEMAND THAT POSCO QUIT INDIA.
We, the Family of India and Families world over, stand in solidarity with the people comprising of betel vine farmers (Paan Kethi farmers), fishermen & women,tribes/forest dwellers that have been the stewards of the forests and the land, in their peaceful fight against the mighty POSCO.
We, strongly condemn the oppression and suppression
that the villagers have suffered at the hands of its own government in all eagerness and greediness to make way for this Foreign direct Investment (FDI)proposed by POSCO.
We, the Family of India and Families world over, join hands to support the indigenous peoples' way of life and dignified means of livelihood which is in complete harmony and understanding of the turbulent and violent forces of nature in this coastal zone.
We, the families of the world demand that the ruthless, violent and illegal displacement of these villagers stop immediately.
We, the Family of India and the Families world over, come together to show our earnestness in preserving the knowledge systems of agrarian economies from these villages in the form of completely eco-friendly and organic practices in cultivating betel (paan) leaves etc. The world famous Benarasi Paan is grown in these villages. These villages also produce and export cashewnuts and Kewra flowers, both very high yielding cash crops.
We, the Family of India and the Families world over, understand the uniqueness and respect the Gandhian observation that the "real India lives in her Villages" and to vanquish the villages in the name of development is to destroy the very heart of India and retard her development. (This would also close to the world the uniqueness of these Indian villages in terms of experiences, inspirations, life-styles and knowledge base.)
We, the Family of India and the Families world over, join hands for the survival and continuation of the families of the Endangered Olive Ridley Turtles that nest along the banks of Jatadharmohan creek and families of the equally endangered Horse Shoe Crabs in other critical spawning areas,both protected under the Wildlife Protection Act.
The POSCO undertaking poses a grave danger and threat to these endangered species, other species and bio-diversity.
We, the family of India and the families world over, stand firmly against the pollution of air, land,oceans and water that would result from Posco's mega undertaking and only further worsened by the changing global climatic conditions and the sheer unmanageability of the volumes of hazardous solid wastes and other pollutants that would result from these mega operations
and certainly not to forget the history that India has had in the matters of pollution, for instance, the Bhopal gas tragedy and so on.
Family of India and Families world over.
This petition closed almost 2 years ago
Women, children, men, youth and village elders in project affected villages have repeatedly suffered the brutality of the Odisha State and are yet determined not to allow the POSCO project to come...
Women, children, men, youth and village elders in project affected villages have repeatedly suffered the brutality of the Odisha State and are yet determined not to allow the POSCO project to come up here.
---your signature would mean that you stand with them in their fight and that they are not alone.
The Forests Rights Act, 2006 was enacted to correct historical injustices of denial of forest rights of tribals and other traditional forest dwellers (OTFD). The POSCO undertaking would perpetuate the very same injustices of wresting away the forest rights from the tribals, other traditional forest dwellers(OTFD) and villagers.
--- Your signature would mean that you stand in support of the Tribals and that it matters to preserve and respect their way of life.
It would take a terrible heart to destroy what has been built here through painstaking and laborious efforts of the local communities. So deep are their bonds with this productive land that the sentiment is best expressed by Ranjan Swain, a leader of the Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samithi, who feels "Dispossession from this rich land is like chopping off one's hands and being left to fend for oneself".
--- Your signature would mean that your voice is one with the people of Odisha in declaring that these lands be allowed to remain and flourish in the hands of the villagers/tribes/forest dwellers of Odisha and that it rightfully belongs to them and not make these people landless and rightless.
Total land sanctioned for the steel-power-port component of the POSCO project: is 4,004 acres
Additional land required:
Mining project: 6,100 acres in Kandadhar Hills of Sundergarh District
Townships: 2,000 acres (1,500 acres at steel plant and 500 acres at mine)
Further demands of land that remain unquantified:
Land for the dedicated rail linkage from the mine to port not yet
assessed, Land for rail, road linkages around the steel plant and port
Land for the dedicated water linkage from Jobra Barrage
(Source: MOU between POSCO and Odisha Government)
6100 acres of forest lands could now be converted into a mega mining ground and the iron ore extracted all to be exported.
The cumulative impact of loss of forests has now resulted in forest cover in India being spread over less than 10% of the geographical area, down from about 50% at the turn of the 19th century.
---Your signature recognizes the essential impetus to preserve the treasure trove of our fast disappearing forests for future generations of all the living and non-living beings that have every right to exist, live and thrive on this Mother Earth.