The Lokshakti Abhiyan on Friday appealed to the Chief Minister to cancel auctions of seven virgin mines in the Gandhalpada and Karlapat areas.
Lokshakti Abhiyan president Prafulla Samantara said that since decades of unmindful mining of iron ore and manganese, people of Keonjhar and Sundargarh districts have lost huge forests and water resources and ultimately tribals are pauperised. More than 4000 acres of the Gandhalpada forest under Joda block in Keonjhar with iron mines in areas of Kasia, Jhumuka Pathariposi, Chendoposi is likely to be destroyed and it would deprive thousands tribals and forest dwellers of their livelihoods. At least nine lakh trees would be felled for the mining projects. Similarly, Karlapat forest in Kalahandi is equally eco-sensitive having more than 300 perennial streams and huge flora and fauna and pathway for wildlife like elephants. Besides these, forest dwellers including Kutia tribals depend on this forest for their livelihoods.Among others, Dr Biswajit Mohanty and Kirankumar Sahu joined the Press meet.