Skip to main content

Tribal body threatens economic blockage of Rourkela, housing one of the largest steel plants of India

By Our Representative
In a strongly worded letter to the President of India, a tribal organization operating off Rourkela, well-known township on the northern border of Odisha and popular for India’s one of India's largest steel plants, Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), has threatened to trigger an indefinite economic blockade starting with January 20, 2015. Operating in Sundargarh district, in which Rourkela falls, the tribal body, Zilla Adivasi Mulbasi Bachao Manch, has said that the “blockade” would continue till the demand for cancellation of the Odisha government move to merge several tribal areas in the Rourkela Municipal Corporation is not cancelled.
The tribal body has argued that the state government decision has deprived the tribal and other forest dwellers of the rights of gram sabhas, pointing out Sundargarh being a scheduled area, the government needs consent of gram sabhas for any project in the area. Under the Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 (PESA), gram sabhas self-govern their natural resources in scheduled areas, it insisted. A copy of the letter has also been sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Insisting that he should use his position, as direct guardian of Sundargarh, the letter said, President’s rule should be “proclaimed in the scheduled district of Sundargarh in exercise the powers made under article 356 of the Constitution of India to protect the interest of scheduled tribe as well as scheduled areas.” The tribal body’s move comes at a time when Union tribal affairs minister Juan Aron declared in Bhubaneswar on January 11 that moves were afoot to “relax” the gram sabha’s consent in diversion of forest land for the developmental activities.
Saying that the agitation would continue till the cancellation of the “unconstitutional notification for Rourkela” dated November 14, 2014, the letter added, “In the name of national development large areas of lands were illegally alienated and lakhs of aboriginal people were displaced from their ancestral land and livelihood, without proper rehabilitation. Thereafter most of the aboriginal tribes’ lands were alienated and illegally given over to non-tribals.”
The letter reminds the president that Sundargarh was a princely state known as Gangpur and Bonai State, which merged with the Indian Union on January 1, 1948 and was declared as scheduled district in 1950. “Since then its administrative setup should be as per fifth schedule and administrative control through Union Commission vide Article 339 of the Constitution of India.”
Referring to the November 15, 2014 notification, the letter said, it was issued following call for objections and suggestions from the people of affected areas for the formation of larger urban areas in the district. Pointing out that a month’s time was given, the letter said, “The people of the affected areas of Sundargarh objected to it by writing and submitted memorandums, took our rallies and demonstrations against the move, as gram sabhas were not consulted.”
Even then, the letter said, the “larger urban area” for Rourkela was declared, adding, even after the notification “several peaceful demonstration were organized by the aggrieved people of Sundargarh, but no action or step has been initiated by the state government.” On December 20, 2014 “thousands of aggrieved affected aboriginal people peacefully demonstrated and gave memorandum addressing to the chief minister through the additional district magistrate, Rourkela, demanding clarity regarding formation of the Rourkela Municipal Corporation or cancellation of said notification on or before December 31, 2014.”
Asking the President to intervene in the matter and direct the state government to cancel the notification, the letter said, this alone would help establish “peace and good governance in the scheduled areas, as also in both rural and urban areas, in accordance with the provisions of the Fifth Schedule and Article 339 of the Constitution of India.”

Comments

TRENDING

Nobel laureates join international figures, seek release of Bhima Koregaon accused activists

Nobel laureates Olga Tokarczuk,  Wole Soyinka Counterview Desk  As many as 57 top international personalities, including Nobel laureates, academics, human rights defenders, lawyers cultural personalities, and members of Parliament of European countries, have urged the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India to ensure immediate release of human rights defenders in India “into safe conditions”.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Top ex-Gujarat babu tells Modi: Not yoga but solar system is our biggest source of energy

By Rajiv Shah  An email alert to Counterview from a top ex-IAS bureaucrat, termed as Gujarat’s turnaround man for revamping loss-making state public sector undertakings (PSUs), has sought to take a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark on the Yoga day – that the ancient Indian exercise provides an “infinite solutions” within ourselves, offering “the biggest source of energy in the universe.”

Hunger, lack of food security behind India's 'slip' in UN's sustainable development rank

By Dr Gian Singh*  According to a report released by the United Nations on June 6, 2021, India's ranking of achieving Sustainable Development based on the 17 Social Development Goals (SDGs) set by the 193 countries in the 2003 agenda, which was 115th last year, has slipped to 117th position this year. India ranks not only the lowest among the BRICS countries -- Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China, and South Africa but also below the four South Asian countries -- Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

Collapse of healthcare system? Why 90% of Covid patients treated at home survived

By Bobby Ramakant, Sandeep Pandey* Well known Hindustani classical singer Padma Vibhu shan Channulal Mishra, chosen as one of the proposers of Narendra Modi in Lok Sabha elections, lost his wife and elder daughter to Covid in private hospitals in Varanasi. Younger daughter has accused Medwin Hospital of charging Rs 1.5 lakh for treatement of her sister and not being able to explain the cause of death. Pandit Channulal Mishra has asked for a probe into his daughter’s death from the Chief Minister. The family has also asked for the CCTV footage of the ward where deceased daughter was admitted for a week.

Rooted in mistrust? Covid-19’s march into rural India is a very different ball game

By Sudhir Katiyar* As the Covid-19 virus penetrates rural India, the rural communities are responding very differently from their urban counterparts who rushed to the hospitals. The rural communities are avoiding the public health facilities and any mention of the disease. The note argues that this supposedly irrational response is based on a deep-seated mistrust of the state by the rural communities. It can not be resolved with routine Information, Education and Communication (IEC) measures suggested in the Government of India SOP for tackling Covid-19 in rural areas.

Courageous, in-depth attempt to confirm common spiritual values of Christ, Buddha

By RB Sreekumar, IPS*  All religions, both theistic and atheistic designed conceptual and practical architecture, for holistic and comprehensive elevation and enlightenment of humanity. PK Vijayan, in his novel “Nirvana of Jesus Christ” (Notion Press, 2020) through creative imagination portrayed personality evolution of the two progenitors of God-centric and sagaciously logical major religions – Jesus Christ of Christianity and Gautama Buddha of Buddhism.

Why hasn't Govt of India responded to US critique of freedom of religion under Modi?

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* About two weeks ago, on May 12, 2021, the US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken released in Washington the ‘2020 International Religious Freedom Report.’ This official annual report of the US Government details the status of religious freedom in nearly 200 foreign countries and territories and describes US actions to support religious freedom worldwide. Mandated by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, this report highlights the fact that ‘religious freedom is both a core American value and a universal human right’.

Covid fear? Cremation rituals gone upside down, Dalits asked to do Brahminical rituals

By Abhay Jain, Sandeep Pandey*  As Covid consumes human life in a very conspicuous way we are confronted with additional problem of disposing of human corpses. Cremation grounds are lit with continuous pyres, graveyards are running out of land and now Ganga has become a mass grave potentially polluting its water.