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Padyatra against corporate invasion of Orissa’s coast

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Press Release: 29th November 2009

Dhinkia: Hundreds of farmers, fisherfolk, agricultural workers and the women of villagers affected
by the corporate invasion of coastal Orissa kicked off a historic seven day long protest padayatra
today from Dhinkia, 68 kms from the state capital Bhubaneshwar.
“This is a warning to the Orissa government and corporations not to underestimate our resolve to
resist any attempt to grab local resources and displace villagers” said Abhay Sahu, leader of the
POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) inaugurating the padayatra, which will traverse 120 kms
between Paradip and Puri.
The PPSS has been at the forefront of the resistance to the US$12 billion project, with investment
from the South Korean steel giant POSCO, which proposes to build a steel plant, thermal power
station, a private port and carry out mining of iron ore. The project, which has not been able to take
off due to the local people’s opposition to land acquisition, will -if implemented- result in the
displacement of over 30,000 villagers in this rich agricultural and fishing belt.
Reacting to news reports that the South Korean President had been invited to be the main guest at
the upcoming Republic Day celebrations on January 26 and might visit the site of the POSCO
project also Comrade Abhay Sahu said that it is better if the President cancelled his trip instead of
wasting his time trying to enter the project area.
The padyatra has been supported by almost all the major anti-mining, anti-diplacement movements
around Orissa and is the first instance in recent times that such a unity has been achieved cutting
across other ideological or identity barriers.
“There is a new solidarity against forced displacement of people by corporate activity that is
emerging in Orissa and this padayatra will help consolidate this” said Prashant Paikray, another
leader of the PPSS. It is planned to hold public meetings all along the route of the padayatra to
mobilise local folk and raise awareness among them to the damage to livelihoods that will occur
due to the various mega projects that are proposed along this stretch of Orissa’s coast.
Among the organisations participating in the padayatra is the Vedanta Vishwavidhyala Virodhi
Sangharsh Samiti which is opposing the acquisition of 6000 acres of land for purportedly building
a university by Vedanta, a UK based company that is also involved in a controversial bauxite
mining project in Niyamgiri.
“Why should a university need 6000 acres? This is enough land to build a township which must be
the real intention of the company speculating in real estate” said K.P.Sasi, documentary film maker
from Bangalore here to show support to the anti-displacement movement.
Among the organisations that are participating in the padayatra are the Jatadhar Bacao Andolan,
Ersema ; Devi Muhan Surakhya Samiti ; Prakrutika Sampada Surakhya Parishad, Kucheipadar;
Niyamgiri Surakhya Samiti ; Vistapan Virodhi Janmanch, Sukinda; Paschima Odisha Krushak
Sangathan Samanwaya Samiti ; Mittal Virodhi Manch ; Hirakud-Rengali Budi Anchal Sangram
Samiti ; Akhaya Das, Jala Surakhya Jan Manch ; Lok Shakti Abhiyan ; Lok Sangram Manch; Jiban
Jibika Surakhya Samiti ; Natabar Sarangi, Prachi Chasi Meli ;Gana Sangram Samiti, Ganjam;
Sidheswar Anchalika Surakhya Committee, Naraj ; Odisha Jana Adhikar Mancha ; Odisha Forest
Majdoor Union ; Basi Surakhya Manch ; and the Rajdhani Basti Unayan Parishad , Bruhat Mumbai
satkari samghatan, Students from Delhi University and JNU and activists from Differents parts of
the country
For More Information visit: http://orissaconcerns.net

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Written by janjagriti

December 5, 2009 at 12:04 pm

Posted in Event Notices, News

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