MINING OUT OUR WEALTH: A POINT TO PONDER

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The state government has been going on signing Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) one after another with industries allured by the mineral wealth of Orissa. People are being displaced and mayhems are witnessed in official attempts to suppress the voice of the inhabitants who are loosing their land, their home, their hearth, their environment and their way of life. They are being sacrificed at the altar of industrialists’ avarice. But the government has all along maintained that the MOUs it is signing up are meant to create maximum job opportunity in the State so that unemployment problem could be solved.

Had it been the real reason, we would have commended the Government, in spite of our strong and specific opinion that the mineral deposits of the State should not be exhausted in one generation by one government elected for only five years. But it is not.

We regret to note that the government does not know as to how many job opportunities would be provided by the mineral based industries. Chief Secretary Subas Pani’s direction to Director of Technical Education and Training to contact each of the Industries to assess their manpower requirement is a pointer to this.

The CS took a meeting with officials of the Industry department on June 04 to review the possible employment opportunities the industries offer. The industry department was found to be in dark. Hence it was decided to approach each of the industries with an appropriate format to collect information on the size of staff they shall have besides the scope of job opportunities the shall generate. After assessing this, training facilities for students would be built up to meet the manpower requirement in the industrial sector.

Now, therefore, it is unambiguously clear that the State has not assessed which particular industry should employ how many persons and in which specific discipline before signing MoUs. How then has it been patronizing grabbing of our mineral wealth by private industries?

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