By Team Mangalorean
Photographs: Rajesh Shetty
Mangalore, June 27, 2008: The proposed Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemical Investment Region (PCPIR) has been opposed by a large number of groups and organisations and they held a demonstration under the banner of Karavali Karnataka Janabhivriddhi Vedike in front of the Deputy Commissioner's office in the city today.
They were demanding the scrapping of PCPIR and the Mangalore Special Economic Zone which both would take away large extent of land in the Dakshina Kannada particularly the agricultural lands. Over a thousand people including students, and farmers from over 70 villages from four taluks, who will be affected by the proposed project, were gathered during the demonstration.
According to Rajiv Salian of the Nagarika Seva Trust over 80 organisations had participated in the demonstration. The demonstrators have appealed to the Prime Minister stating that the PCPIR will house highly polluting petroleum sector companies which will destroy the eco sensitive coastal zone, fisheries and agriculture.
One of the activist speakers, Natesh Ullal said that the project was export oriented and it would not benefit the local populace. The highly polluting process of refining the crude oil which will take place here, will be exported to the countries that are avoiding the polluting of their environment. This will not serve any purpose to the local people other than its contributing pollution to the region, he added.
Vinod Mascarenhas who is the representative of the All India Catholic Universities Federation stated that many farmers and agriculturists will be rendered homeless and jobless. “By taking away their land, they will be led to destitution, we will not give up until the project is dropped” he asserted.
District chief of the Jamat -e- Islami Hind Mohammed Kunhi, said the western people were now taking our livelihood and our leaders were succumbing to their pressure. Citing the apathy of leaders towards the interest of region and people, he said the politicians addressing the rallies shed crocodile tears and were not concerned about the interest of people while SEZ officials were misleading the people with the promises of employment to the locals.
The agitators vouched to continue the protest until the project was dropped. In a unique move the demonstrators sent a fax message to the Prime Minister to intervene in the matter and stall the PCPIR and the MSEZ.
Mangalore: Campaign on the cards to fight SEZs - Images
PCPIR for Mangalore cleared
Coalition against MSEZ for dharna in Delhi
Land acquisition for MSEZ: SHRC seeks report from KIADB
MSEZ: More people may get compensation packages
Mangalore: MSEZ team faces public wrath at Polali
Mangalore: Villagers give deadline on MSEZ issue - Images
Mangalore: A convention on 'Why SEZ not necessary for region'
Mangalore: Farmers not to part with lands
Mangalore: No land for MSEZ - villagers firm
MSEZ public hearing runs into rough weather
MSEZ is not a profit-driven venture, say official - Images
Mangalore: Farmers vent ire against MSEZ
MSEZ: SHRC to take up farmers' cases
Mangalore: MSEZ on the way to fruition
Campaign against Mangalore SEZ termed misleading
Mangalore: Quarry workers join the agitation against MSEZ
Mangalore: Most media reports wrong: MSEZ chief
Mangalore: 'Lapses' in process to fix land value
Students protest with candles on MSEZ
Mangalore: MSEZ to reserve 685 acres for greenery, says COO
Mangalore: SEZ is vital for the survival of economy, says official
Permude: Villagers confront SEZ officials
Mangalore: Protests against MSEZ to be intensified
Mangalore: State permits MSEZ to acquire government land
SEZ area people appeal to CM- DyCM
Mangalore: Experts caution about SEZ
Mangalore SEZ evacuees will get best deal - Images
Mangalore SEZ was engine of growth
Yekkaru village says no to SEZ
Mangalore Special Economic Zone Opposed
Mangalore SEZ concerned about environment and socio-economic equity says MD