IT HAPPENS ONLY IN INDIA,
GREAT JOB MR. PARMAR
it is good to eat as many as vegetables and fruits (totally vegetarian), but my aurvedic doctor asked me to stop eating every...
Sources say caste politics has a lot to do with
the current interest shown by Bihar's Janata
Dal (JD) government in getting the 710 MW
Koel-Karo hydel project through. Chief minister Laloo Prasad Yadav has close links with
bhumilhars (landed gentry), who stand to
gain most from the project.
The government's move has invited the
wrath of villagers from the project's affected
areas of Ranchi, Gumia and Sfngbhurn. One
million people, 80 per cent of them Munda,
Oraon and Kharia tribals, will be displaced
by the project.
The struggle against the project began in
1974. In 1994, the Centre decided to pull out
of the project. Yadav, however, did not give
up, and persuaded the Union government
to provide Its 10 crore for the project, which
led to fresh agitations. At Torpa village,
95 krn from Itanchl, a 20,000-strong crowd
prevented Laloo Yadav from laying the
Local JD activists profess no sympathy
for those who oppose the project. Says an
activist in Ranchi, "We cannot afford to
oppose development projects." On the other
hand, as the support base of the Jharkhand
parties comprises the tribals who bear the
brunt of development, their local leaders are
against the project.
Jharkhand Party's N E Horo, a staunch
opponent of Koel-Karo, is vocal about forest
and displacement issues. He says, "First they
tried monoculture in our forests. We cut
them down. There was rampant treefefling
in Hazaribagh. Now Koel-Karo. We are now
organised. Pushed to the wall, people may
have to resort to violence."
According to Horo, "Environmental
issues will fetch votes." In the coming
general elections, there could be a contest
between him and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha's
Prabhakar Tirkey for the Khunti Lok Sabha
seat, which covers dozens of dam affected
villages. Tirkey, who has taken a strong
stand against the project, says, "The
JD's effort to bring in the project will be
thwarted by the people's movements.'