Selling ODISHA for only 10% Royalty?

Posted on January 14, 2014
Location: London
Selling ODISHA for only 10% Royalty?

My native state Odisha; is gifted with vast mineral deposits like Coal, Iron-ore, Manganese-ore, Bauxite, Chromites, Dolomite, Limestone, Graphite, etc. Besides that, other important mineral resources are also available richly in Odisha. The main exported minerals of the state are Chromites, Coal, Dolomite, Iron-ore, Manganese and Bauxite.

POSCO is a multinational steel-making company headquartered in Pohang, South Korea. It had an output of 39.1 million tonnes of crude steel in 2011, making it the world's fourth-largest steelmaker by this measure. Posco had maintained that the viability of its Rs. 52,000-crore Odisha plant depended on the availability of captive raw material. 

When iron ore fetches such superior prices today in the domestic/export market, why state government is so keen/adamant in giving all of the Iron ore off to Posco only for the mere 10% royalty – Is the question! 

How much of such mined ores permitted or beyond approved limit have actually been refined for products within India and used to feed domestic industry rather than just have it exported as ore and foreign exchange and jobs lost by having to import finished goods that could have been produced within with proper drive from central and state governments and the public and private enterprise? Are we denuding India of its mineral wealth already and creating conditions for the next generation to perennially live on imported goods that could have been manufactured in India if only we had the raw material - ores!

Ninety-four of the 192 iron ore mining leases in Odisha do not have the mandatory environmental clearances. And of the 96 that have them, 75 have mined far beyond their permitted levels over the past several years, says the Justice M.B. Shah Commission report.

The report says 56 mining leases operated close to identified wildlife areas without adequate protection to the animals. The mandatory forest clearances had not been obtained in several cases. Water bodies in and around 55 mines have been polluted. Water has depleted in natural streams in some cases and forestland impacted adversely in several others. A mining-project within a 10-kilometre vicinity of a protected wildlife area requires mandatory clearance from the National Board of Wildlife, which too was not obtained in several cases.

The Shah Commission held both the Central government authorities and the Odisha government responsible for the wide-ranging illegal mining that has continued unchecked for years. It has recommended that the entire extraction in all cases, where leases are operated without mandatory environmental clearances, be treated as illegal and the market value — domestic or export — recovered from the defaulting miners.

WHO IS IN CHARGE OF THIS EXECUTION? Them, who are convicted? Or we who are affected? Or Justice M.B. Shah himself? Who owns these natural resource of the state by the way? Is it State Government ? Is it Central Government? Who these Governments work for? For the people....for us...who are also the owner of these natural resources as well...collectively as one body....no? Who should STOP them? We Owners? Or them Managers?   Or we are expecting some self-disciplined/self –regulated lawbreakers?

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