Villages Traumatised by Mining

An ominous thunder in the distance is an indicator for most residents of the Kheramuta village to stop all work and get out of their homes. Situated near Orissa Cement Limited’s Limestone and Dolomite mines, the people live under a constant threat that their houses may collapse on them. Community Correspondent Halomuni reports from Odisha’s Lanjiberna block. “The people from the company come, look at the houses, take photos and go away. No one actually does anything”, says Sunita Sahoo who constantly fears for her family’s safety. The blasting in the open cast mines effects 110 families from saliameta, lanjiberna and kheramuta villages. In total there are about 17 villages from the area that have been ravaged by the mining due to the construction of a 15 kilometre long overhead conveyor belt; the break down of several main roads among other things. The residents of the area have called in for a probe by the National Human Rights Commission. They are yet to see action to this end. "Living like this is a clear violation of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution that guarantees the right to a safe life. If OCL says it will bring development, we'd all like to see it. I have made many reports on the mining in this area and I see nothing changing. Now that you have seen this visual evidence, would you make sure our voices are heard?" asks Halomuni Call to Action: To help rectify the present situation, please call Rupa Rasan Sahoo, the District Collector, on 09439773964.

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