25 January 2012, Bargadh
On 25 January the first halt was made at Pakaimal tehsil head quarter in Bargadh district where a dialogue session had been organised by ‘Gandhmaran Suraksha Samiti’. Leader of the Samiti Shri Pardip Purohit said that in 1993 Balco was given a lease for bauxite mining in the Gandhmaran mountain ranges. The same year ‘Gandhmaran Suraksha Samiti’ began its decisive struggle to save the invaluable natural property spread across an area spanning 97k.ms. He further shared that more than 50,000 families depend on the Gandhmaran mountain ranges therefore all the villagers put up tremendous opposition. Subsequent to many movements in the area the lease of Balco was cancelled in 1998 but even now the position of the state government and the government of India is not clear and it is beleievd that they are once again in the process of leasing this area to private companies. He said that parallel movements are being led, for the past two years, by the ‘Suraksha Samiti’ in Balangir, Bargadh and Nuapada regions to save the Gandhmaran mountain ranges. He announced the Samiti’s support for Jansatyagrah 2012. The second halt of the journey was made at Nuapada district head quarters where ‘Sarvodaya Parishad’ and ‘Aadarsh Samaj Sewi Sansthan’ had organised a public meeting. Addressing the meeting senior social worker Shri A.V. Swami said that the policies adopted by the government of Orissa for rapid industrialization and mining in the last ten years had been self-destructive. He added that in Nuapada region more than 60 percent of the farmers are marginal farmers while more than 25 percent of the population is landless and forced to migrate for their livelihood. Despite this on the one hand land is being marked for mining and industries and on the other hand implementation of the forest rights act is being completely ignored. Shri Janaklal Sabar said that in village Tipajhal 100 tribal families had filed the claims for 200 acres of land but so far no action has been taken by the administration. The night halt was made at Ghunsara village in the CCD center.