Gadchiroli April 6 (District Correspondent) Gram Sabhas in Etapalli taluka have demanded that the new iron ore mining proposed in the district be stayed and the loot and destruction of the forest and other natural resources be stopped immediately.
A delegation of the Gram Sabhas met the Additional Collector here today and submitted him a memorandum in this regard. Mr. Sainu Gota, Adv. Lalsu Nogoti, both ZP members and Ramdas Jarate of Shetkari Kamgar Paksh led the delegation.
According to the provisions of PESA, local people and Gram Sabhas have been given rights to protect the forest and other resources in their jurisdiction. However, new mines have been proposed ignoring these provisions and the precious forest is being destroyed. The roads are also being constructed in these areas without the consent of the Gram Sabhas and the community resources are being looted, it has been stated in the memorandum.
The people of Surjagad area are strongly disappointed and discontented over this move and they have launched the ‘ Thiyya Andolan’ since March 11 last at village Todgatta in protest against the move. Thousands of tribals from different villages are participating in this agitation which is still continuing. But no any government officer has made any effort to solve the issue as yet even though the agitation has entered 26 th day which is very unfortunate, pointed out the memorandum further.
The memorandum further demanded that the construction works started without the consent of Gram Sabhas be stopped immediately, all the 6 mines proposed in the district including Damkondawahi be cancelled, the permission granted to Llyods Metals company for excavating 1 crore tonnes of iron ore and the illegal transportation being done from Surjagad hills be cancelled immediately.
The other members of the Gram Sabha who were present in the delegation included Mr. Ramesh Kawdo, Ms. Sheela Gota, Sainu hichami, Nitin Pada, Ms. Jayshree Welda, Kotturam Potavi, Mangesh Holi, Sushila Narote, Madhukar Potavi, Dharma Timma, Madhu Naroti.
Photo- Gram Sabha members submitting memorandum to the Additional collector.