Mangalore: Chief Secretary's Remarks on MSEZ Flayed


Mangalore Dec 31: Krishi Bhumi Samrakshana Samiti (Permude, Thenka Yekkaru, Kuthetoor, Delanthalabettu) severely opposing the statements made by the Chief Secretary P B Mahishi on his visit to Mangalore, in a press release, has informed him that the residents of Permude, Delanthalabettu, Thenka Yekkaru and Kuthetoor will not hand over even an inch of land to the proposed Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemical Investment Region (PCPIR) and Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

Mr Mahishi on Wednesday addressing the reporters had said that it is impossible to withdraw Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemical Investment Region and Special Economic Zone from Mangalore as it is a part of ONGC, which is established in Mangalore. He had further stated that there are confusions in the minds of the people, which will be cleared by convincing them.

In a letter, responding to chief secretary’s statements, Krishi Bhumi Samrakshana Samiti has clarified that there are absolutely no confusions in the minds of the people in the villages concerned. Instead, they are very clear about the fact that they would not be handing over their fertile lands for the projects at any cost ad hence suggested that they must immediately drop the SEZ and PCPIR project and denotify the 2,035 acres of land immediately.

The letter said that the villagers opposing the land acquisition had given a written objection letter, apart from expressing their contempt over the issue during the public hearing held about 4 months ago in the presence of the Deputy Commissioner and KIADB officials. Though the villagers had demanded for the copy of the resolutions passed in the hearing, no copy has been provided till date, in spite of villagers demanding for the same under Right to Information Act.

Need for Fact Finding Committee

The letter pointed that Mr Mahishi himself had said that the agriculture area being affected is about 26 per cent while the officials till recent days have been saying that only 5 per cent of agricultural lands will be acquired.

While the statistics kept fluctuating from time to time, one of the Environment Impact Assessment Report states that the area of agricultural land to be acquired is about 33 per cent. The fact is that about 50 per cent of the land to be acquired are fertile agricultural land. The Samiti demanded that a fact finding committee must be placed to find the truth in this issue. The letter further informed that the officials had informed that the 500 acres of land area will be utilised to provide rehabilitation for the displaced family while only 57 acres has been earmarked for this purpose. On the other hand the district administration and officials have been saying that one member of each family will be provided employment while the fact is that there are over 6 to 9 members in each family and providing employment to one will do no good.

With the international companies coming into SEZ primarily, they will not have any obligation to provide employment to even one member of these families. Further Deputy Commissioner himself in one of the forums had said that the employment will be given to only talented and eligible candidates.

Comment on this article

  • Purushottama , Byndoor

    Wed, Jan 2 2008

    It is wrong to say that only those who lose land will oppose the project. People who do not own even an inch of land in the entire district are also against it. The question is not of individual stakes but against the concept and its effect on the Society.

    A micro level anlysis into the SEZ concept itself indicates that huge concessions are doled out at the cost of other taxpayers. According to Shri P.Chidambaram it will cost about 2 lakh crore rupees as per the concession that may have to be given and this does not include the Social Cost which can never be estimated or compensated. Will the Government give even one hundred crore ( forget in lakh crores) concession to common man like that? Why the Government is very slow to fix scientific prices for Farm products? Why the Government is too slow to subsidise the higher education? Why Healthcare does not receive that priority and now has become the privilege for the Haves only?

    In  contrast to this see the speed with which the SEZ proposals are hyped and pushed through. It is also a source of real estate business and the talk about generation of employment opportunities for locals is ridiculous considering the Bangalore experience.

    The example of China is quite frequently quoted by many. But while it has permitted about 6 SEZs we have already about 600 projects on hand. All these projects will enjoy huge tax concession and exemptions ( but employees working there will not get IT exemption) , suply of water and power at cheap rates ( whereas your house current bill may shoot up tomake good the loss)and also will not have to adhere labour laws like 'outsiders' withinthe country the Society will get 1) Pollution 2) Degradation of natural Resources 3) Sharp Social Division 4)Generation of a Second economy which will be utilised to get concessions and exemptions on a permanent basis 5)Creation of 600 colonies ( like erstwhile 300 kingdoms) within the country - All FREE from everything. Common man need not go by what politicians or bureaucrats say but should go by Common Sense.

    If one is deprived of everything he possesses and some compensation is paid will the generations survive on it ??? There is saying in Kannada -Koothu Thindare Kudike Hana Saaladu. But inspite of all this, if people were to decide to follow the Glamour Lady or rather the Visha Kanya called SEZ -well it is their choice.After all they only have to enjoy(?) the Benefits (!!!)

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  • Gilroy, Mangalore

    Wed, Jan 2 2008

    Comparing NMPR, KREC etc to MRPL is like comparing Apples to Oranges. There will not be any healthy children to look out for job because of the toxic emissions by petrochemical refinery and the loss of natural resources.

    Each and every responsible adult in the surrounding area should oppose it. If it goes to other state also, the responsible people and authorities should make it clear to MRPL or ONGC that the emissions should not cross over to Karnataka

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  • Mahesh, Mangalore

    Mon, Dec 31 2007

    It is natural that people who lose the land will oppose the project.They should be suitably compensated.Some people just to get political mileage or to blackmail the concerned oppose the  project.Instead of straight away opposing the project the land owners should negotiate with the govt for a better price to their land.

    If we oppose,the project will go to nieghbouring states and Mangalore will never improve.Our younger generation has to go to far off palces for employment.Just imagine,if had opposed,MCF, NMPT, MRPL, KREC etc. how Mangalore would have been now?.Just any other villlage.Isnt it?

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  • Joe Britto, Nakre/Bangalore

    Mon, Dec 31 2007

    The position of SEZ's in our neighbouring State of Goa is hanging in the balance. The recent reports in these columns indicate that the Goa state government is just waiting to scrap all the seven approved SEZs, which were expected to bring in 2,42,000 direct jobs in the next five years. "The white paper prepared by the state bureaucracy on the SEZs in Goa has shown that investment of Rs 4714.04 was envisaged through these seven projects over next five years in the state.

    The paper submitted by Goa state chief secretary J P Singh to the chief minister, allays fears that the SEZs would trigger large scale migration in the state. " It would be prudent for the D.K.administration to await the outcome of what's going to happen in Goa before plunging head on into unknown pitfalls which will only trigger natural tragedies in the long run.

    The further development of Agriculture, forestry and natural beauty around will all suffer and be affected badly.Statisticians lie and it's easy to fool those around with wrong information. Forget about employment for local youth. The locals will only manage to get the low rung jobs and outsiders will gobble the creamy ones.

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  • B S NAIK, Puttur

    Mon, Dec 31 2007

    People of Mangalore are so nice and very quick to oppose certain things. Its very true that the SEZ project or any other project in mangalore has never given any employment opportunity to a common qualified person. There are people who got jobs in big projects with high political influence only.

    So if any project promises jobs to land loosers is like showing a flight on the sky to a crying child/infant. So if Mangaloreans have any reason to protest, do not change your stand after some time if the company promises something to you. Be realistic and do it for the poor people who certainly to loose the land if you really concern about the beautiful Environment.

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