Vedanta Aluminium : Palli Sabha for Rehabilitation Conducted Peacefully at Lanjigarh, Villagers Happy to Get New Homes

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The initiatives taken by Government of Orissa in regulating movement of foreign NGO’s and visitors in such tribal areas has started yielding result and success of these Gram Sabha’s are testimony to the same.

INDIA CSR News Network

KALAHANDI (Odisha): In a peaceful consultation process called Palli Sabha, villagers of Rengopalli, Bandhuguda and Kothduar – near where Vedanta Aluminium Limited has set up alumina refinery – agreed in unison before the district administration of Kalahandi, Odisha that they want to be rehabilitated giving away their land to the company.

The three Palli Sabhas, conducted in these three villages from March 15-17, were peaceful and no voice of opposition was seen by any villagers; in fact all villagers were happy to avail the fruits of industrial development. However, the absence of so called NGOs especially from western countries who claim to be the safeguard of Environment and Human Rights, resulted in such peaceful process, opines intelligentsia of these region.

“Outsiders were not allowed to speak a word in the Palli Sabha. District administration, company and we villagers mutually consulted and agreed for rehabilitation which is good for all of us”, said Linga Majhi and Daka Majhi. The rehabilitation process will give new homes, livelihood opportunities and other benefits to more than 100 families will be given new homes by VAL.

Contrary to the reports of NGOs like Amnesty International and Survival International, villagers of Rengopalli, Bandhuguda and Kothduar agreed for rehabilitation and supported VAL, Lanjigarh. Even village leaders raised voice for the expansion of the company which can employ thousands of their fellow villagers directly and indirectly. “We want expansion after which many maximum of the villagers will get employment opportunities”, said Anant Nag, a villager of Kothduar.

Villagers have shown complete faith in the present Collector & District Magistrate Mr. Dukhishyam Satapathy who, before the Panchayat election, gave an assurance to the people for holding Palli Sabha and honored the same. The three Palli Sabha in these villages were conducted by officials of district administration like Dr. B S Sethi, Land Acquisition Officer, Kalahandi; Mr. Prabir Nayak, Block Development Officer, Lanjigarh Block; Mr. S K Patel, Tahasildar, Lanjigarh Block; whereas public representatives present were Pradeep Majhi and Saraswati Munda – Sarpanch and ex-Sarpanch respectively of Lanjigarh Block along with the local leaders like Linga Majhi, Subas Naik, Laachha Majhi from Regopali; Daka Majhi from Bandguda and Rajin Majhi, Anant Nag from Kothduar.  Mr. Nabal Kishore Sharma and other officials like Bharat Bhusan Joshi and Sanjib Prusty from VAL, Lanjigarh were also present on the occasion.

When contacted, Dr. Mukesh Kumar, President – VAL, Lanjigarh said, “The success of these three Palli Sabhas and people’s willingness to offer their homestead and land for the alumina project is a true reflection that these deprived tribal communities want development to improve their life and living standard but they are being projected differently by some external people in their vested interest.”

The initiatives taken by Government of Orissa in regulating movement of foreign NGO’s and visitors in such tribal areas has started yielding result and success of these Gram Sabha’s are testimony to the same.

As per the agreement and commitment made by the Collector and District Magistrate, Kalahandi, RPDAC meeting was called on 15July, 2011 and a decision was taken to allow to displacement of the villages Rengopalli, Kothoduar, and Bandhaguda. The meeting was attended by the representatives of the villagers, Member of Parliament, Member of Legislative Assembly, Member of Zila Parishad besides District Administration and Vedanta.


Posted by on Mar 17 2012. Filed under Corporate. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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