Jharkhand tribals demand tripartite pacts for new industries

November 6th, 2008 - 4:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Ranchi, Nov 6 (IANS) Rejecting the rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R) policy of the state government, tribals in Jharkhand Thursday demanded that those who want to set up industries in the state sign tripartite agreements with the government as well as land owners.”The companies need our land and they have signed MoU (memorandum of understanding) with the Jharkhand government. There should be tripartite MoUs among companies, the state government and land owners to set up industries,” Kendriya Sarna Samittee (KSS) president Ajay Tirkey said.

KSS is an organisation fighting against “displacement” of tribal people for setting up industries.

“We are not against development, but in the the name of development we cannot be deprived of our constitutional rights,” he said.

Tirkey added that the tribals have handed over land to Heavy Engineering Corp to set up Bokaro Steel Plant (BSL) in Ranchi and to Tata Steel for mining purposes. “See the condition of the tribals who gave their land,” he said.

The tribal leader asked companies to directly approach the land owners if they wanted to acquire land for industries.

“We have already rejected the resettlement and rehabilitation policy of the state government. We have submitted points of suggestion to Chief Minister Shibu Soren to amend the policy,” said Tirkey.

The state’s R&R policy envisages to rehabilitate only those from whom the government acquired land. People who sold land to the companies do not come under the rehabilitation scheme.

Many proposed steel projects, including the ones to be developed by steel majors Arcelor Mittal and Jindal Steel, are yet to take off due to land acquisition problems.

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