Danger to Livelihoods because of alleged
30 December 2011, Durg. The second halt of the Janstayagrah samvad Yatra was at the Rajhara Mines region in Durg district where they were welcomed by Shri Janaklal Thakur of „Chattisgarh Mukti Morch‟ and district coordinator Shri Ganesh Ram. While paying their regards to Shahid Shankarguha Niyogi at the head quarters of „Chattisgarh Mukti Morcha‟ in Rajhara, Shri Janaklal Thakur and Shri PV Rajgopal of Ekta Parishad said that together they should focus on the need for strengthening people‟s movements. Shri Ganeshram said that the iron ore mines at Rajhara will be depleated in another 4-5 years and this will cause major problems but neither the state government nor the government of India is preparing for this eventuality. He said that the 2,500 unorganised labour working in the mines is still has no security of work and they face major danger to their livelihood. The next halt of the Jansatyagrah Yatra was at Bhanupratappur tehsil in Kanker district where a public hearing had been organised. Senior Social worker Shri T.S. Sinha said that personal and forest lands were being acquired on a large scale between Bhanupratappur and Antagarh for the Raoghat iron ore project and in spite of the objections made by the local farmers and tribal communities no efforts have been made by the administration for hearing their objections and claims. Local people asked Ekta Parishad to help them in raising this issue at the national level. The next halt was made at a public meeting organised by Ekta Parished in Antagarh. According to the available government statistics in Kanker district 27, 646 claims were made by the people under the Forest Rights Act of these action has been taken on only 17,831 claims and 21,897.99 hectares of land has been distributed while 9,815 claims have been found objectionable and subsequently cancelled. Zilla Panchayat member Shrimati Kuti Netam said that claims made by the people in the Koyelibeda and Raoghat region are being summarily rejected because of the iron ore mining project and social organisations that work with the people for their rights are considered „suspicious‟ by the administration and the government. Shri Shiv Netam, district coordinator Ekta Parishad, said that 800 claims were filed from the organisation‟s work area but only 220 have received forest rights notification till date. The administration has taken no steps to inform the remaining people that their claim applications have been rejected and this is a clear violation of the process prescribed under the Act. He promised that over a thousand people from the Bastar region would participate in the Jansatyagrah 2012. The last stop for the Jansatyagarh Samvad Yatra was at the office of a social work organization called „Disha‟ in Aamabeda.