Dalits worst hit by POSCO project
14 April 2011
Dalits as the local forest user community will be most affected by the
proposed Posco Steel Project in Orissa, claimed The National Campaign
on Dalit Human Rights forum. The plant will have severe effect on the
coastal environment and will encroach on the constitutional rights of
dalits, the forum asserts.
The National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR), a forum working
for elimination of discrimination based on caste, today claimed that
dalits would be the most hit by the Posco Steel Project.
A fact-finding team of NCDHR which visited proposed project site at
Dhinkia and Govindpur gram panchayats and met the local inhabitants
and activists fighting the steel plant.
Addressing mediapersons here, Paul Dibakar of NCDHR said the mega
steel plant project would have serious impact on the coastal
environment of the State. Moreover, it will encroach on the
constitutional rights of dalits and other communities. The forum urged
the Orissa Government not to renew the MoU with the Korean steel
The NCDHR members said that the local community is the traditional
forest user. The area was full of forests during the British regime
which is indicated in the 1932 Orissa Revenue Settlements and the
State Government should accept this. Instead, it is trying to mislead
by sticking to the point that the area was not notified as forest land
prior to 1961. The State Government should accept the verdict of the
locals as per the forest laws.
The forum will submit its report to the Ministry of Environment and
Forests and lodge compliant with the Women and SC/ST Standing
Committee of Parliament requesting it to visit the area.
Source : Express Buzz
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