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Archives for : Jamshedpur

PRESS RELEASE- Jharkhandi Organisation against Radiation , Jadugoda

 Press release – JOAR (Jharkhandi Organisation against Radiation, Jadugoda) 

“ A person standing on tailing dam for a period of one year would still not be affected by any radiation” (Translated from hindi)

 Mr. S. K. Malhotra (Head of Public awareness, Department of Atomic Energy (13th April, 2013, Dainik Bhaskar)

This remark came on the concluding day of the much hyped International seminar, first of its kind hosted by UCIL in its long history of its operation in Jadugoda and surrounding areas.

In  Collaboration with International Atomic Energy Agency **(1), UCIL held a  hyped five day Seminar cum Training so called “ Uranium Exploration Strategy, Mining and Processing Techniques in India ” in a Posh hotel in Jamshedpur between 8-12 April. According to Media coverage, this Seminar saw attendance of close to 50 delegates from 25 countries and also 9 scientists from India. 

This Seminar was quite contrary to the way it was promoted as it turned out to be a covert event conducted under high security and no one was allowed to enter the premises without the pass. When students and members of the JOAR tried to attend the seminar, they were prohibited and even became target of threat by the Intelligence Officials. This raises question on choosing a posh hotel in Jamshedpur, when this could have been conducted in their own compound in Jadugoda. This programme actually turned nothing but just a propaganda to counter JOAR’s claim of severe health and environment catastrophe due to uranium mining in the region based on community experience, supported by studies conducted by reputed International organization and Universities** (2). U.C.I.L reiterated the old rhetoric that Jadugoda had low radiation, it had low grade ore here, no harmful impact of radiation, and radiation level was similar in Jaduoda and Jamshedpur…! U.C.I.L once again came aggressively that myths regarding radiation were part of an International conspiracy which was creating those misconceptions among the local People through their agents working in this region. These agents lifestyle has suddenly improved during the last few years and they even go for a foreign trip once a year. In fact CMD of U.C.I.L even said that PMO was aware of the protest happening here and other parts of country and it was keeping a close eye on it. UCIL believes unemployment is one of the main reasons for the protest and not impact of uranium mining on culture and environment.

This high voltage drama took place for five days.  On one of the days, all the delegates were taken for a visit to the Jadugoda Mines. A Foreign delegate was so overwhelmed by the visit to the mines that he later spoke to the media that this was the first time any country had given such open access to the mines. This raises a big question when the UCIL didn’t allow even media enter the public hearing in Bhatin (May 26, 2011), forget about  members and activists of JOAR and others.

.  Why this kindness and whole heartedness of the government has come up after 40 years?  On one hand, UCIL uses crores of taxpayers money to host this lavish seminar inviting foreign delegates whose credibility is unknown, but had it announced an independent study done by independent experts who have good acceptance among the all,  this would have gained  trust of the people and it could have washed some of its old sins.

What seems bizarre is UCIL blowing the same tune regarding health in this  so called International seminar which It has been doing for the last few years. It once again rejected any claim of health hazard prevalent in the region and  said that it had done health check up of 3000 people during the last one year and still no cases of female sterility or cancer was detected in anyone and there were few  cases only related to malnutrition and Malaria ( Weekly test are done and sent to environment ministry), on the other hand  IDPD studies have clearly shown that these health hazards have increased in the area compared to distant villages. (ippnw.org/pdf/jadugoda-health-survey.pdf)   U.C.I.L claimed that there is increase in the number of children in schools every year, that Jadugoda had one of the lowest drop out rate of students and that U.C.I.L has even built four marriage halls in the past one year.

In the seminar, a statement by a UCIL official which has raised alarm bell is that there are plans to not have a separate tailing pond and looking for solution to store the radioactive waste in the mines itself. They will be cautious about the amount of acid leaching and alkali leaching being used, proper care would be taken to  ensure that the rocks beneath don’t melt. With no current remedy for the three tailing dams which will have radioactive waste for thousands of years, this plan may be disastrous for the  entire ecology as the dangerous toxic chemicals may  pollute the underground aquifers, affecting ground water which will impact the entire region. In fact in newspapers(Prabhat Khabar and Hindustan dated 12th April , 2013 ), It has been reported by one of the  Expert who participated in the conference that they are ready with a technology where the uranium tailings can be mixed with sand and chemicals which would be ready for cultivation of diverse plants  and  also an already mentioned remark that even if a person stood on tailing dam for a period of one year,  one would still be not  affected by radiation, on the other hand  the research by Kyoto university professor Koide (http://www.jca.apc.org/~misatoya/jadugoda/english/koide.html ) says that the bank of tailing pond contains 10 to 100 times higher amount of  gamma radiation above normal  permissible levels.

All throughout  the seminar when U.C.I.L repeatedly said that Uranium mining is safe and there is no harm due to radiation, why couldn’t it proceed with mining in Nalgonda ( Andhra Pradesh ) in the recent past  . Why couldn’t they convince the educated people of Hyderabad who have immense pride for the nation compared to Jaduogoda ? These well- off people may not have any vested interest in going for foreign trip once a year. U.C.I.L would not have to invest on building public schools or four marriage halls in the region.

 In a democratic country like ours, U.C.I.L and DAE can’t just ignore the long suppressed voices calling them anti-national, backward etc. The children in Jadugoda will one day raise these questions and the nation have to answer those queries and it can’t  just pull things under the carpet as it did in the just concluded so called international seminar. We want to say that truth can’t be hidden for long especially during these times when people can access information from any part of the world  and know  the truth. U.C.I.L can do a concrete programme showing concern and being  accountable to the people rather than wasting common man’s tax to do these kind of event which is just to boast about its achievements

 JOAR has the following demands :

1. UCIL should follow the international safety standards like  other countries like USA (Like Church Rock clean up –( health, soil and water), Wismut Uranium mine clean up ( Former East Germany Uranium mine)

2. Stop  Uranium mining in new regions and in the existing mines. Follow the latest regulations and safety standards of health and environment.

3. A new law should be passed in the Indian parliament to compensate the workers and community members affected by uranium mining (similar to one like RECA of USA.) Form a high level constitutional committee to investigate the death/sickness of the people in the region.

4. Do base line studies in the recently opened uranium mine sites and comprehensive health and environment study by independent groups of specialist.

5. Give justice to the demands all displaced people by UCIL mining in East Singbhum and West Singhbhum

6. UCIL should declare the future plans, as after few years when mining will cease, People would be left to face the hazardous radioactive waste.  How does it  plan to clean up the waste and reclaim it to same condition as it existed before mining. What about the Plans regarding economy as prior to mines there was an agrarian economy where people were dependent on land, water for survival. Will it abandon the mines? In that situation people would be left with no choice of livelihood .

Ghanshaym Birulee,

Dumka Murmu,

Tikaram Soren

JOAR

Tilai Tand, Jadugoda Jharkhand (India)

 

 

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Tata Steel to raise 13,000 cr in 6 mths for Kalinganagar project

13 Feb, 2013, 08.32PM IST, PTI

MUMBAI: Tata SteelBSE 0.47 % is going to raise up to Rs 13,000 crore within next six months for the first phase of its upcoming 6 million tonnes new steel mill in Odisha’s Kalinganagar, a top company official said today. 

“We are looking at closing our project financing for the Odisha project. It is an advanced stage… In phase-I, we will be funding around Rs 12,000 crore to Rs 13,000 crore on debt and then, after we complete (phase-I), we will take a call on (fund raising for) phase-II,” Tata Steel‘s group CFO Koushik Chatterjee said in a conference call.

The Kalinganagar project is the first integrated greenfield project for the company outside Jamshedpur in its over a century-old history.

The project has been divided into two equal phases of 3 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) and is estimated to require an investment of about Rs 35,000 crore.

The first phase of the project is expected to go on strea by June-July, Chatterjee said.

“Work is going on in full swing (at Kalinganagar project). We have significantly mobilised resources on-site and expecting to ramp up the same before the onset of monsoon season, some time in June-July,” he said, adding that the project is being funded at 50:50 debt-equity ratio.

He also said in the immediate future, Tata Steel is looking at only rupee loans but may go for foreign borrowings at a later stage.

Tata Steel has deployed more than 25,000 workers for the construction of the plant, which is being developed to produce flat steel products only.

The company had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Odisha government in 2004 only but due to protests at the site few years ago, in which 13 tribals were killed, had delayed the project.

Tata Steel is in possession of only 1700 acres of the land at present against a total requirement of over 5,000 acres for the full 6 MTPA capacity.

 

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Tata Steel to make representation to Orissa

The company has received notices for a sum of Rs.6,000-7,000 cr as a fine for excessive production
Ruchira Singh Mail Me, livemint.com

First Published: Tue, Nov 06 2012. 12 24 AM IST

A file photo of Tata Steel’s Jamshedpur plant.
A file photo of Tata Steel’s Jamshedpur plant.
Updated: Tue, Nov 06 2012. 12 26 AM IST
New Delhi: Tata Steel Ltd will make a representation to Orissa to ask for cancelling a fine demanded by the state government for the company’s iron ore mining in the state, an industry official said on Monday, as the state tightened its mining rules in the wake of continuing scrutiny on illegal mining.
Tata Steel, which has mines in Joda, Sukinda and Khondbond in Orissa all of which supply iron ore to its Jamshedpur steel plant, has received notices issued from Joda asking for a sum of Rs.6,000-7,000 crore as a fine for excessive production, the official said.
An official statement from the company said it had not broken any law.
“Tata Steel has received notice from the government and we will revert to the government with our submission. We reiterate our contention that we have always undertaken mining in Orissa and also in other states where we operate with strict conformity with the existing laws,” the official statement from the company said. “Government of India has recently brought out a notification defining irregularity in mining operations and illegal mining. This distinction is an important aspect of the whole issue of the demand put forth by the state government.”
Orissa’s director of mines Deepak Kumar Mohanty did not answer his phone when called for comments.

First Published: Tue, Nov 06 2012. 12 24 AM IST

 

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Tata Steel – spending gallons of water to keep golf course green, while 76 slums without drinking water

 

JVM protests at JAMSHEDPUR Jusco office

SATURDAY, 22 SEPTEMBER 2012 , Jamsehdpur
PNS

More than 3,000 residents of slum areas and JVM activists led by Jamshedpur MP Ajoy Kumar staged massive demonstration at Jusco office for nearly three hours on Friday over failure of the company in providing power and water in 76 urban slums near Tata Steel command areas.

Leading the demonstration Ajoy Kumar said that they were forced to take such an agitation for the benefit of nearly seven lakhs urban slum-dwellers after Tata Steel and Jusco officials failed to heed to their demands.

“Though we had several meetings with officials of Tata Steel and Jusco over the issues of providing power and drinking water to the urban slum dwellers but nothing has been done so far. This has been laid down in the clause of the lease agreement between Tata Steel and State Government that they would have to provide civic amenities to slums near company township. But unfortunately, nothing happened forcing us to take up agitation,” said the MP.

The MP said that the Jusco was requested to atleast provide community taps in such urban slums and the cost of which would be borne by MP fund.

The MP accompanied by JVM central secretary Abhay Singh and other leaders threatened that they would chalk out strategy if Tata Steel does not take up any efforts in providing civic amenities in the slums within 10 days.

“We might even lock up Jusco gate if they fail to address the issue. They should provide basic amenities to urban slums in accordance with the lease agreement clause,” he noted. Jusco general manager town services Dhananjay Mishra refused to comment on the issue.

The JVM leader said, that on the one hand, the company is spending thousands of gallons of water for keeping the golf course green, but it is doing nothing to meet the need of drinking water to the slums surrounding it.

Meanwhile, the JVM functionaries declared that they would carry out similar protest every weekend unless the basic civic facilities are not extended to all the slums surrounding the company

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