Mangalore, Nov 8: The KBSS and KKJV organized a people’s audit on Mangalore Special Economic Zone (MSEZ) at Bajpe Church Hall so that the residents of Bajpe, who are in danger of losing their property to MSEZ projects, could discuss their problems.
Medha Patker of the Narmada Bachavo Movement, Aruna Roy, D Jeevan Kumar, K R Ravindran, Kalpana Sharma, Thrilochan Shastri, Nagesh Hegde, Ram Mohan Reddy, Videhi, Anand Tettumbde the social worker, the residents of Bajpe, various NGOs, and the elected representatives of the Panchayat were present at this audit.
T R Bhat gave a brief introduction of SEZ and its various projects. Regarding the current situation, he said the MSEZ had acquired 1800 acres of land for its first project and requires 2035 acres of land in Mangalore for its second project. MSEZ has, therefore, begun displacing the residents of Bajpe and acquiring their land by force.
MSEZ, said Mr. Bhatt, is the result of foreign investment in India. Since foreign countries are investing in these projects, they will reap the benefits, not India. At present, SEZ is planning to construct an underground crude oil storage unit in Mangalore, which can cause harm to the entire country. The SEZ projects not only violate rules, but also push poor people into a helpless situation.
He further informed that MSEZ has, so far, not compensated those who have lost their properties. Moreover, the authorities concerned are not giving the poor people proper information about SEZ.
He said that, while acquiring 1800 acres of land for its first project, SEZ had ill-treated, physically assaulted, and also manhandled members of the general public. Moreover, no official confirmation has been given to the PCPR. Once again, MSEZ is all set to acquire 2035 acres of land in the process of which a large number of hapless people are going to lose their lands. This project will not only destroy the natural beauty of Mangalore, but will cause great danger to human life, said Mr. Bhatt.
During the audit, 369 representatives of the areas affected by the activities of MSEZ and MRPL shared their sad stories with the members of the panel body. The panel members also discussed MSEZ and its effects on Mangalore and its residents.
SEZ will be further discussed in Bangalore; and a report on the same will be submitted to the central government. Three meetings will be held in 3 different states in the country.