Voice against mining continues in gram sabha
Rayagada/Bhubaneswar: For the second consecutive time in a gram sabha, the tribal residents of Serkapadi village in Rayagada district sent a loud and clear message that they don’t want mining at the Niyamgiri hills, the abode of their Niyam Raja.
“We don’t want any mining in Niyamgiri. Mining can be done in the hills only at the cost of our blood,” said Kudruka Dundu, a local, adding it (mining) would affect their livelihoods in a large scale.
The concern was too echoed by another local Kuduru Kasu.
“Niyam Raja is everything for us and we live here peacefully with His blessings. If you want, behead us but we won’t allow anybody to reign on our mother land which we have been worshipping for years to eke out a livelihood,” Kasu expressing his anger stated.
Besides, many other Kondhs who were present in the village level meeting braving the heavy downpour to put forth their views observed that all the 112 villages in and around the Niyamgiri hill slopes will perish if the company is allowed mining in the region.
“Except ores, the company will snatch even air and water from us and, minus those how we’ll survive? said another local.
Meanwhile, the officials of gram sabha said the tribals’ observations have been drafted minutely.
“We have noted every point raised by the tribals and we observed that they are opposing to mining in Niyamgiri basing on religious and cultural grounds,” Rayagada district judge Sarat Chandra Mishra said.
The Monday gram sabha which witnessed the attendance of 33 Dongria Kondhs of the village was second of the dozen village level meetings and these would be conducted at ten more villages of Rayagada and Kandhamal districts.
The next gram sabha will be conducted in Tadijhola village in Kalahandi district on Tuesday.