Column : Who’s here for the tribals?
In the wake of recent economic developments, there is no denying the fact that natural resources like coal, iron ore, etc, need to be put to prudent use. Unfortunately, policymakers at various levels have inevitably failed to gauge the hopes and aspirations of the poor and marginalised tribals of the country.
In the last eight years itself, 138 coal blocks have been given away to the private sector almost free of cost in the name of captive usage. Often, a picture is painted that tribals are anti-development, but if any sane person would bother to analyse the conditions under which these coal blocks have been allocated, he would realise the apathy with which the poor tribals have been treated. There are inherent flaws in the principles on which coal block allocations are made. For instance, the Punjab State Electricity Board, a public sector undertaking, was given a 3,000-acre coal block in Puchwara region of Jharkhand in 2006 for supporting the fuel requirement of the state’s power plants. Within days, PSEB gave away 74%
Be the first to comment.