Farmers’ body against mining in Khandadhar


Bhubaneswar, January 14: Two days after BJP national vice president Jual Oram opposed the state government’s decision to lease out Khanadadhar mines to Posco company, the Odisha Krushak Mahasangh (OKM), a farmers’ body, has termed the government’s decision as a disaster.

“It would lead to an eco-disaster in the rich biodiversity zone,” apprehended OKM president and former MLA Bibhudendra Pratap Das in a press communiqué on Tuesday.

He questioned since the state government has already admitted in 2010 that water flow from Pradhanpata waterfall in Deogarh district has slowed down due to deforestation, so how the same yardstick is ignored for Khandadhar mines.

He urged the state government to reconsider its decision, which not only will affect the flow of water in the Khandadhar waterfall, but it would also force wild animals to stray into human habitations and create serious eco imbalance.

Earlier, BJP leader and former Sundergarh MP Jual Oram had vehemently criticized the Naveen Patnaik government for granting Prospecting License (PL) to Posco for mining at Khandadhar mines for its 12 MPTA steel project in Jagatsinghpur district.

The state government’s decision followed after Posco was accorded with green clearance by Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) recently. Although Odisha government in 2006 had granted PL over Khandadhar iron ore reserves, but it could not be materialized due to legal hurdles.