Thursday, March 18, 2010

Leave anti-development path

It is always being said that the people of Orissa are poor despite the land having rich natural resources. These resources are not being able to change the fate of the people of the State due to lack of proper utilization. During the tenure of Mr. Biju Patnaik as the Chief Minister, the Government took up steps to make the state industrially developed by investing a portion of the natural resources of the State. The process of industrialization kicked during this period to utilize the iron ores, manganese, chrome ores, limestone, dolomite and coal reserved in the State. The process still continues with the establishment of many mega and medium scale steel and aluminium industries and thermal power plants. The per capita income of the people of Orissa has also gone up as they have become the stakeholders in the process of development. With this, the infrastructures of the State have been developed and many steps are being taken up towards the development of education, agriculture and forest conservation. With the private business houses being partners in this development process, the lifestyle of the State has started to change. But industrial development of Orissa is not one-sided. The State Government, industrial houses and people of the land are making concerted efforts towards the progress of the State. Parallel efforts are also on in the field of the development of the tribals and people belonging to backward classes. They have been entitled with the Forest Rights and their productivity is being enhanced through development of education and healthcare facilities. But the process of including the tribals in this stream of development is being delayed due to the democratic nature of the procedure being followed. Taking this delay as an opportunity, some terrorist and leftist groups, voluntary organizations and people with vested interests have started movement against industrialization in the name of environment and displacement. It is unfortunate that while Amnesty International has taken the lead in this movement, some outfits like Chasi Mulia Sangha in Koraput are continuing agitations against land acquisition and protesting the industries in the name of R&R and land acquisition issues. But in real practice the rehabilitation and peripheral development of different industrial houses have contributed to further the socio-economic development of districts like Kalahandi, Jajpur and Jagatsinghpur. The locals are being provided with new houses, schools, health centres, nutritious foods and midday meals. But the opponents of this development process are instigating the people by spreading negative information. While the process of change is changing the standard of living of the people, they are, on the other hand, are being misled. The innocent people are being organized against industrialization in the name of environment, traditional way of living and religion. While voluntary organizations like Amnesty International are misleading the locals against the proposed Dhamra Port Project, POSCO’s steel project, proposed thermal power project and aluminium project, the leftists and terrorist groups are taking the advantage of the situation and creating violence. There is a need of peaceful environment for the economic and social development. On the other hand, while the rehabilitation and resettlement programmes are being implemented with the consultation of the displaced, they are instigated to follow the path of violence. Considering the adverse effects of the Naxal and Maoist movements in the development process of the Eastern India , the Government of India has taken serious measures to handle the issue. While some terrorists have been arrested, some others have surrendered meanwhile. It is being expected that all the problems would be sorted out if they come forward for peaceful discussion leaving the path of violence. Time has come to choose the path of peace and progress. The groups who are instigating and misleading people against development should remember that one has to forego something to achieve something. Countries like USA , UK , Russia and China have attained development by realizing this truth. So, discussion to end all the controversies and disputes and peaceful resolution of all the issues would bring prosperity to Orissa and would enhance the strength of India .

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