Mining Leaves Villages Roadless

The residents of Lanjiberna, Bihaband and Kheramuta villages in Odisha have been up in arms against OCL India’s limestone and dolomite mines in their area. The densely populated area has been facing problems because of the pollution caused by the open caste mines and the incessant blasting which is damaging the houses. In today’s video, IndiaUnheard Community Correspondent Halomuni Kuardar provides further proof of the disruption caused by the mines in the area. A panchayat-built road, which connected the villages Bihaband, Lanjiberna and Kheramuta has been destroyed because of the mining activity and caused a lot of inconvenience to the residents. “As a result, the distance that earlier took 15 minutes to cover now takes 45 minutes,” says Litu Minz, a local tribal leader, as he points to the valley where the road once was. The road in question was the lifeline between the three villages. It led to the school in Bihaband, to fodder for cattle and was also used to transport crops. In 2007 the district administration and Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) came under fire for submitting a report to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), which ignored the problems of the residents and favoured OCL. NHRC’s intervention eventually led to a visit from the Sub-Collector who proclaimed that there was an alternative route. There actually isn’t.  “I’d like him to come and show us the road he is referring to,” says Litu Minz. Call to Action: Call District Collector, Rupa Rasan Sahoo on +91 9439773964 and as for the demarcation of a permanent road between Lanjiberna, Bihaband and Kheramuta.

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