Workshop on Bauxite Mining in Koraput Region by MSSRF, Jeypore

Dr.Nampoothiri,  Director MSSRF, Jeypore addressing the workshop
Jeypore. June 8: The M.S.Swaminathan Research Foundation organized workshop on Bauxite mining in Koraput region at MSSRF, Jeypore on 7th June 2012.

Prof. M. Gopinath Reddy
The workshop was chaired by Dr. K. U. K. Nampoothiri, Director, MSSRF, Jeypore and it was Coordinated by Mr. S. V. Ramana, Coordinator, MSSRF, Jeypore. Among the dignitaries present in the meeting were-Prof. M. Gopinath Reddy and Ch. Nagaraju, Scientist, Research Unit for Livelihood and Natural Resources of Centre for Economic and Social Studies, Hyderabad. The other persons present were B.D.O., Semiliguda and Mr. Mahana, Manager (Hort.), NALCO. 
Dr.Nampoothiri addressing the delegates 
A Socio-Economic and Livelihood analysis and study was conducted in which 10 displaced hamlets, 12 revenue villages in seven Panchayats of Koraput district were covered. The following are the findings of the study.

         The most vulnerable sections, viz., scheduled tribes and scheduled castes who have lost lands, houses and other assets could not able to get back their livelihood status as a result of cash compensation policy

         NALCO has promised to provide all the facilities like health, education, roads, drinking water and infrastructure development (school building etc.) but could not fulfil the promise

         All the displaced families were not provided with job. The NALCO’s Employment policy is that once the displaced persons, who were provided with employment happened to die due to ill health, their spouses were not provided jobs even on humanitarian grounds, sounds faulty.

         Another issue of concern is that NALCO is getting water from the Kerandi River which is 8 km far away from the refinery. The pipeline is connected to carry water from the river. Due to laying of water pipeline some of the villages have lost their agriculture lands. It was told that during the pilot survey people made request to the NALCO to get water access for drinking from the pipeline but NALCO has simply denied. People are saying that there is huge water going wastage due to leakages.

         NALCO even though could provide land to land compensation did not make efforts to do so. Payment of little compensation during 80s has made the farmers to labour class. The families cultivating podu did not get any compensation due to absence of land documents. Such farmers lost their livelihood and did not get any compensation even though they belong to Scheduled tribe.

         Besides the problems enlisted above, there are certain environmental and ecological problems observed in the field.

         Sevier health hazards due to pollution, sound and dust and degradation of natural resources like water, land air etc. is a regular occurrence.  In Goudaguda village, there are two pipelines; one is Caustic Soda pipeline and another one is Septic water pipeline which adjacent to this village, due to pipeline leakages the Caustic mud and septic water flows into agriculture fields hence the agriculture fields fertility is affected and the crop production has been decreased.

         Transport is the major problem from refinery to refinery surrounding villages. Male employees, are using bicycle or motor cycle for their transport and women trek long distances by walk. It is very difficult because they have to walk 9 to 10 Kms on Kutcha road to reach refinery and time takes more than one hour.
  
         During Land Acquisition process NALCO has promised to give employment opportunity to all the affected persons in the household.

         But later NALCO has disagreed to provide employment opportunity to every affected person in the household. They have provided employment to those who have lost their land and house

         The affected households became addicted to certain social evils such as liquor and drugs (particularly among youth)

         It was found that in Analabadi rehabilitation colony most of the employees are addicted to alcohol and tobacco chewing etc.

         On the whole, resettlement mechanism adopted by NALCO is not very satisfactory and more over it is found that NALCO did not have CSR initiative.

         NALCO has to rethink about affected people’s problems and do some of the welfare activities for the people interms of livelihoods promotion, Health & Education, Skill Development Activities, Infrastructure facilities etc.

Mr.Damodar Jani and Mr.Dasarathi Mallik
Livelihoods:
         A comprehensive livelihood portfolio needs to be created for the project affected population in all area interms of providing Income Generation Activities (IGAs) and developing skills among the local communities. NALCO needs to this in conjunction with various development departments of the district


Education:

         NALCO is giving free education to the affected people who got employment in NALCO, rest are not accessing the free education. In this area, the literacy rate is very less especially in women literacy rate.

         The reason for the above, the people do not have access better education.

         Incase NALCO provides free education to the affected villages, there will be much more benefits to the girl child to get education. NALCO must think on this service.
 
Delegates 
Drinking Water:

         In all affected villages, people do not have access to protected water. Mostly, they depend on stream water for the drinking and other household needs.

         Due to contaminated water people are suffering health problems like water born disease etc.

         If NALCO can take this initiative, many people from the surrounding villages are benefited and they can access protected drinking water facility.

         NALCO could not provide any skill development activities to the affected people. Most of the affected people main livelihood source is agriculture and NALCO contract/wage labour works.

         Awareness activities and also some training programs should be taken up by the NALCO with some development agency/ the Government to make these people to have alternative livelihoods for their future sustainable livelihoods.

         Skill development trainings would certainly help the women folk to opt for alternative livelihoods
            

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