Munda seeks rehabilitation of tribal mines workers

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 6, 2011 - 21:34

Bhubaneswar: Padmashree Awardee and social
activist Tulasi Munda on Tuesday urged the Odisha government and
the Shah Commission to find ways to provide livelihood to
tribals hit by closure of mines following illegal mining in
Keonjhar district.

"Shah Commission must find ways to rehabilitate the
tribals who lost their livelihood due to closure of mines,"
Munda told reporters here.
Stating that she would like to have a talk with
Justice M B Shah who was scheduled to visit Keonjhar district
on Thursday, Munda said "Justice Shah should also realise that
closure of mines has adverse effects on the tribal economy.

"It is duty of the government to stop illegal mining.
When the authorities fail to stop illegal mining, they simply
suspend mine operations," she said, which left thousands of
tribal families in penury.
Poor tribals were unable to cultivate because of
massive pollution and mostly depended on mining, industry
and allied activities, she said.

Munda claimed that about four lakh tribals lost their
livelihood because of closure of mines.

Munda said she had appealed to Chief Minister Naveen
Patnaik. "The CM has assured me that the interest of tribals
will be protected. But, I don`t understand when the tribal
problems will be addressed."

In absence of proper jobs, the youths are taking to
crime which was on the rise in Keonjhar district, Munda
claimed.

Fifty-seven mines were recently closed after state
government issued notices ahead of the Shah Commission`s
visit.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, December 6, 2011 - 21:34

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