Fearing displacement, villagers demand cancellation of lease agreement

| | Ranchi
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Fearing displacement, villagers demand cancellation of lease agreement

Sunday, 05 November 2017 | Mukesh Ranjan | Ranchi

People living in villages of three panchayats under Tamar block are up in arms with the State Government for not being informed or served notice before auctioning of the gold block, which will snatch their ancestral land forcing them to become displaced. Incidentally, the State Government, during the concluding session of Jharkhand Mines Show on November 1, announced that Rungta Mines bagged the Parasi Coal Block for mining.

“As it is a question of life and death for the people living in the area, there is acute resentment in the area and hence a meeting has been called on Sunday at Kundala in Parasi by various tribal organisations to chalk out further plan of action,” said social activist and former Director of Tribal Research Institute Prakash Chandra Oraon. Intensive protest and satyagraha will be orgnised demanding the State Government to cancel the lease of the mine allotted to the company, he added.

“If our demands are not fulfilled, effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Raghubar Das will also be burnt at Albert Ekka Chowk on November 8 to press our demands,” said Oraon.

Oraon further said that the locals were not against the development, but the State Government must have consulted the rayyats and have taken their consent before moving forward in this direction.

“Even though there are provisions of Gram Sabha and Panchayati Raj in the State, original ‘rayyats’ are being kept in the dark. This is completely illegal as Parasi Gold Mines comes under fifth schedule V of Indian Constitution and is also located at Mundari and Khatkatti regions,” said Oraon.

The tribal organisations also claimed that the State Government, putting aside the basic issues of Adiwasi-Moolwasi, has been working in the interest of Multi-National companies and imperialist forces. They claimed that a Supreme Court ruling prohibits leasing out land to a non-tribal, but no statute has been made in Jharkhand in this regard. 

“Parasi Gold Mine has been leased out ignoring Chotanagpur Tenancy Act located in Mundari Khatkatti region, hence a demand has been made to Govrenor Draoupadi Murmu to cancel the lease allotted to M/S Rungta Mines or the people living in the region will be forced to come out on streets against it,” said  working president of Adiwasi Jan Parishad Prem Shahi Munda. 

Though, the locals in Tamar have been filtering thousands of kilograms of river sand for a few ounce of yellow metal from Swarnrekha River since ages, the Geological Survey of India submitted its report in the year 2015 after which the State Government came into action and the process of large scale mining of gold was started.

The minerals available at the Parasi deposit include 9.894 million tonne (MT) of gold ore, with 1.055 per cent of gold content, 8.90 tonne of silver, 82.46 tonnes of lead, 369.54 tonnes of nickel, 230.33 tonnes of cobalt, 98.94 tonnes of molybdenum, 103.88 tonnes of tin and 102.40 tonnes of gallium.

The estimated gold reserves in the region are expected to be little more than 8 million tonnes with a grading of 1gm/ tone. 

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