Development Crossing

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Sustainability

Can the minirals below the land of villagers should be owned by them

I have witnessed a gathering of tribal people fighting for their land which has been alloted to the many multinational companies for mining of coal to be used in power and steel plants.They have been resisting the take over of their land by a power plant group with the help of Govt since last 5- 10 years.

The points which I heard from villagers there are,
1. The land belonged to them since centuries and they dont wish to leave it. Even while aquiring land they are not consulted.
2. Even if there is miniral underit, the first right to mine it should be given to them on the same terms and conditions as to other multinationals.
3. All around them people from other villaged were earlier displaced for mining and this had all round bad impact, on social ( people displaced have no source of income of lively hood now), environmental ( Land is useless not with pits without filling), lot of dust, rivers full of coal slurry, the profits going only to the people who are mining and some corrupt Govt officials.
4. While many parts of the country are getting power from the coal taken out from here 120 villages out of 156 are not electrified till date.

What they are plannig in group,
1. While opossing moves of any one from taking posation of their land ,they are forming a company to do sustanable mining for running mini thermal power plants ( 10 KW to 20 KW) in each village which will be sufficient to give light to each house and community centre.
2. Devide sales proceeds from minirals of this company in a fixed way , 25% to the mining expert company, 25% to the person whose land is affected, 10% for the village infrastructure developement and 49% to be distributed to all the members of the company.
3. Since requirement of miniral to run plant is very small, thay plan to take small land first, mine it, then fill it up by overburden to level and make it suitable for agriculture after 3-4 years. This will be handed over to the original owner or heir.
4. A crude proto type ( small steam engine, alternator and pannel) for 7.5 KW has already been set up which has given boost to their struggle.

I listened to their discussions and would like some comments from members whether,
1. Giving miniral rights to the larger industries, in which original owner is displaced and is never gets any benifit out of it is correct?
2. Can the planners ( Govt and corporate togther) decide as to what is good for the people at the ollowest level ( who have remained poor, without electricity, without hospital, without road etc) since last 60 years of independence ? or the decision should be left to the general mass.
3. Whether the ideas of developement of Govt , which is propogated by large corporate houses should be inforced by police and army in democratic country?

I have some photographs from this meeting and could not stop myself from putting it on net,

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