Gadchiroli Oct. 10 (District correspondent) Various political parties and social organizations in the district have taken their strong objection to the proposed Zendepar iron ore mining project in Korchi taluka. They have submitted memorandums and sent e-mails to the Pollution Control Board and District Collector regarding the public hearing to be held on Oct. 10 with the demand that the govt. should not forcibly start the mining.
Tribals and other traditional forest dwellers have legally acquired ownership rights to protect and conserve the environment as they depend on natural resources for their livelihoods. They have got the full right to collect minor forest produce for livelihood from the forest, said the memorandums.
These parties have said that the laws, rules are not being followed by the government itself while going ahead with the mining activities. As per the Biodiversity Act, a Biodiversity Management Committee has been constituted at the Gram Sabha level in each Gram Panchayat area for the preservation and management of the biodiversity. The approval of these Gram Sabhas must be obtained before undertaking the said project, it has been pointed out.
It has been said in the letter that where the mines are proposed, the forest is inhabited by variety of wild animals. The rare vegetation of different kinds that is quite useful for the forest dwellers found in this forest will be destroyed due to mining, it has been said.
Mr. Ramdas Jarate, Jayshree Welda, Shyamsundar Urade of Shetkari Kamgar Paksh, Dr. Mahesh Kopulwar, Deorao Chawde, Adv. Meshram of Communist Party of India, Rohidas Raut of All India Republican Party, Raj Bansod of BRSP, Amol Marakwar of Kisan Sabha, Vrikshavalli Wildlife Conservation Society,Sanjay Koche of NCP, Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Yuva Parishad workers have submitted objections to the public hearing on iron ore mining in Zendepar.
District Congress committee also has raised its objection to the Zendepar mining. It is totally wrong to start the mining project ignoring the sentiments of the local people and the environmental issues, said Mr. Mahendra Bramhanwade in a statement released here on the eve of the public hearing.
The congress Party will launch an agitation if the government forces this project on the people, he has warned.
More than 45 Gram Sabhas in the Korchi area also have strongly objected to the mining citing the reason of environmental losses and disturbance in the tribal life and their livelihood.
The district administration has however made elaborate arrangements for the public hearing. The hearing is going to take place at the Niyojan Bhavan in the collectorate premises. Separate pandals also have been erected in the premises to enable the people to witness the proceedings of the public hearing. A huge police force has been deployed in the collectorate complex to ensure the law-and-order situation.
All eyes are thus set on the public hearing slated to be held on Oct. 10 next.