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Dont let the corporates override human and environment interests

Concerned citizen’s statement on decisions by Government of India regarding Vedanta & Loharinag Pala dam

12 September 2010

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A recent decision by Mr. Jairam Ramesh, [Union] Minister [of State] for Environment and Forests banning the mining of Bauxite in the Niyamgiri hill of Kalahandi district in Orissa (which is home to Tribal communities) by Vedanta Resources is a matter of immense relief to the people of the region and their supporters in this country and across the globe.

Another recent decision by the minister to scrap completely the Loharinag Pala dam under construction on the Bhagirathi river which is ecologically damaging the region, has also been welcomed by spontaneous people’s movements in Uttarakhand resisting the construction of this dam and others at various stages of planning and construction.

These decisions have given concerned citizens like us hope that the greed of mining and construction companies will not override human and environment interests under the false pretext of ‘development’.

Nevertheless, is this a turning point? We sincerely hope and urge the government, especially the Minister for Environment and Forests to take up for review clearances already given. Glaring cases abound like the Polavaram dam and irrigation project in Andhra Pradesh and the Lower Subansiri Hydro Power project in Assam, in addition to those in Arunachal Pradesh which are far from public view, but no less serious. Let this mark the beginning of a genuine democratic development in India. We must say NO to development that serves corporations but overrides all other interests through degradation of the environment, massive displacement and destruction of livelihood of the poor without any viable alternative.

We further hope that the logic of the decision will lead to investigating the violations of agreements and/or of the law by such companies or government agencies and where required punitive action will be taken.


Professor Romila Thapar, Academic, Delhi; Professor Amit Bhaduri, Academic, Delhi; Medha Patkar, Narmada Bachao Andolan, Madhya Pradesh; Aruna Roy, MKSS, Rajasthan, Member – NAC; Rajendra Singh, Tarun Bharat Sangh, Rajasthan; Professor Nandini Sundar, Academic, Delhi; Arvind Kejrival, Parivartan, Delhi; Sandeep Pandey, Social Activist, U.P.; Aundhati Dhuru, Social Activist, U.P.; Prashant Bhushan, Advocate, Supreme Court, Delhi; Shailesh Gandhi,Central Information Commissioner, Delhi; Harsh Mandar, ex-IAS, Member – NAC, Delhi; Professor Yogendra Yadav, Delhi; Professor Amit Jyoti Sen, IIM Kolkata; Kalyani Chaudhuri, IAS retired, Kolkata; Madhu Bhaduri, retired diplomat, Delhi; K.P. Fabian, retired diplomat, Delhi; I.P. Khosla, retired diplomat, Delhi; T.S. Ananthu, former Director, Gandhi Peace Foundation, Tamil Nadu; Monoj Misra, Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan Delhi; Mondira Sen, Publisher, Kolkata; Shabnam Hashmi, Anhad, Delhi; Geetha Hariharan, Writer, Bangalore; Professor Rajiv Bhargav, Delhi; Professor Manoranjan Mohanti, Delhi; Suhas Borkar, Film maker, Delhi; Geeta Jhambh, Social Activist, Bangalore; Madhumita Dutta, Social Activist, Chennai; Nityanand Jayaraman Social Activist, Chennai; Ubrat Kumar Sahu, Social Activist, Orissa; Achyut Das, Social Activist, Orissa; Daljit Ami, Academic, Chandigarh; Professor Manjeet Singh, Academic, Chandigarh; Lallan Baghal, Academic, Chandigarh; Maria Aurora Couto, Writer, Goa; Dr. Kunda Srinivasan, Opthalmologist, Mumbai; Professor K.N. Panikkar, Academic, Thiruvanathapuram; Professor Mohan Rao, Academic, Delhi; Vineeta Bal, Delhi; Professor Deepak Nayyar, Academic, Delhi; Naman Ahuja, Delhi; Anna George, Delhi; Gautam Patel, Mumbai; Professor Achin Vinaik, Academic, Delhi; Shakti Maira, Artist, Delhi; Veenu Shah, Artist, Delhi; Professor Shalini Randeria, Academic, Zurich; Professor Nivedita Menon, Academic, Delhi; Professor Aditya Nigam, Academic, Delhi; Indu Nath, Social Activist, Dehradun; Preeti Kirbat, Social Activist, Dehradun; Deepa, Social Activist, Dehradun; Arunima Kulavi, Social Activist, Dehradun; Minakshi Sharma, Social Activist, Dehradun; Vrinda Grover, Lawyer, Delhi; Ashok Nehru, Gurgaon; Amit Sengupta, Writer-Journalist; Meher Engineer, Academic, Kolkata; Praful Bidwai, Journalist, Delhi; Malti Nehru, Gurgaon; Venkatesh Nayak, Social Activist, Delhi; Manish Sisodia Kabir, Delhi; Commodore Lokesh Batra, Delhi; Professor Chaman Lal, JNU, Delhi; Divya Jyoti Jaipuriar, Lawyer, Delhi; Vidhya Das, Social Activist, Orissa.