Lobbying and Advocacy with Parliamentarians (2nd-3rd January 2019)
A team of delegation representing Mines, Minerals and People (mm&P), a National Level alliance submitted its memorandum to the parliamentarians to raise important issues relating to the tribals and the mining affected community. The delegation was led by Mr. Ravi Rebbapragada, Executive Director of Samata and Chairperson of mines, minerals and People, Mr. Ashok Shrimali, Secretary General from mines, mineral and People and Executive Committee members from the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Goa. The Delegation met Mr. Mansukh Bahi Vasava (MP Lok Sabha, Gujarat), Mr. Prabhu Bhai Vasava (MP Lok Sabha, Gujarat), Mr. Jitendra Chowdhary (MP Rajya Sabha, Tripura), Mr. D. Raja (MP Rajya Sabha, Tamil Nadu), Sadhavi Savitri Bai Phule (MP Lok Sabha, Uttar Pradesh), Prime Minister Office. The issues that were raised include the non-implementation and utilization of DMF funds in all the states; lack of safety for miners across of the country- the recent hazard in the role hole mines in Meghalaya; illegal mining in Goa; false and fabricated cases against tribals across the country; Samata Judgment and its implications in various states; Illegal coal mining in Churulia, West Bengal; granting leases without the gram sabha consent as in the case of coal mining in Godda district by Adani group; displacement due to Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor and Bullet train.
The Delegation also met Vice Chairperson of National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) to put across the issues faced by the tribal people across the country. In context of Goa the following concerns were put forward-
- The Goa Government has approved its Goa Regional Plan 2021 last year (2018) without identifying the tribal areas thereby ignoring the fact that the Goa has about 12% of the tribal population.
2. The Goa Government has failed to constitute the Tribes Advisory Council as per the scheduled V of the Constitution of India. The Goa Government has constituted an interim Tribes Advisory Council without giving any representation to the tribal community members violating the Scheduled V of the Constitution of India.
3. The TSP funds are diverted in large scale in Goa State and hence failed to meet its purpose to benefit the tribal population.
4. The tribals of Goa are kept in total darkness about the provisions of CFR rights which are enshrined under Forest Rights Act, 2006. It appears that the Goa Government want to only implement the individual rights and have no interest to declare the CFR rights thereby defeating the very purpose of enacting the Forest Rights Act, 2006.
5. False and fabricated cases against the tribals who are protesting for their rights and Constitutional Safeguards.
6. Non-Utilization of DMF funds for the mining affected communities.
The issues were taken positively by the Commission and it was assured that the issues will be considered in detail. The Vice –Chairperson of NCST assured that she will make a visit to Goa soon and act on the concerns.