2008 – India
Odisha State is a mineral basket for the country’s new economy, situated at the center of the tribal belt. Local government has opened doors wide to industrial investments. But the mining activity is brutal, greedy, and pay virtually no attention to the human cost it has in its wake. Low caste and indigenous people pay the heaviest price.
« The Approach Paper for the 11th Plan could not have put this better or more explicitly: “Our practices regarding rehabilitation of those displaced from their land because of development projects are seriously deficient and are responsible for a growing perception of exclusion and marginalisation. The costs of displacement borne by our tribal population have been unduly high, and compensation has been tardy and inadequate, leading to serious unrest in many tribal regions. This discontent is likely to grow exponentially if the benefits from enforced land acquisition are seen accruing to private interests, or even to the state, at the cost of those displaced. To prevent even greater conflict (…) it is necessary to frame a transparent set of policy rules that address compensation, and make the affected persons beneficiaries of the projects, and to give these rules a legal format”. »
Opinion – Prem Shankar Jha, Outlook magazine.