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Orissa, India: Displacement & resettlement issues caused by increased mining, energy projects (Financial Times)

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28 July 2006

Investors fly in to tap Orissa's mineral riches [India]

Author: Khozem Merchant, Financial Times

Naveen Patnaik, the chief minister of Orissa, says his officials have signed memoranda of understanding for investments totalling Rs2,000bn ($43bn). The memoranda should convert into blast furnaces, refineries and smelters over the next five to seven years...But the abundance of untapped raw materials has exposed frailties in the state government's management of its natural wealth. Earlier this year 13 people were killed in clashes between police and tribal communities who fear they will be short-changed as giants such as South Korea's Posco, which has started work on a 12m tonne capacity steel plant, buy up land. The deaths occurred in an area where four greenfield steel plants are due to be built over the next five years, at a site bought by Tata Steel...which is regarded as a model in its treatment of the displaced. Protests from local politicians prompted an overhaul of Orissa's "rehabilitation and resettlement" policy. The United Nations Development Programme advised the state in consultation with local people and mining companies...The new policy, introduced in April, is the benchmark for all Orissa's projects that trigger resettlement, from mining, which mostly involves private-sector investors, to irrigation, a public-sector undertaking. [also refers to Alcan, Hindalco (part of Aditya Birla), Mittal]

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1 April 2006

[PDF] Orissa resettlement & rehabilitation policy, 2006 [India]

Author: Government of Orissa, India

In order to ensure sustained development through a participatory and transparent process, Government have framed a comprehensive resettlement and rehabilitation policy. Basic objectives of the policy are:
1. to avoid displacement wherever possible and minimize it exercising available options otherwise,
2. to recognize voices of displaced communities emphasizing the needs of the indigenous communities and vulnerable sections,
3. to ensure environmental sustainability through participatory and transparent process and
4. to help guiding the process of developing institutional mechanism for implementation, monitoring, conflict resolution and grievance redressal...

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