LETTER FROM VEDANTA WELL WISHERS ORISSA TODAY NETWORK GROUP TO VEDANTA UNIVERSITY CEO MR. C.V.KRISHNAN
The Global Oriya Intellectual
Anand Shah’s e-Mail dated 30 March 2007
At the outset, I introduce OTN (http://www.orissatoday.net) is one of
the progressive intellectual group of the state of Orissa, consisting of eminent professors, engineers, managers,
media professionals, community leaders and political leaders etc. etc.
We are pleased to receive your official communication, through
Mr. Anand Shah’s e-mail dated 30 Mar 2007.
This letter was indeed very much informative and provided the much awaited
official communication from VU. After going through this letter and visiting VU
website, we again debated and discussed the Vedanta University (VU). As
moderator of this group, I have taken this opportunity to apprise you the
supports extended by our several members for this venture. At the same time
there are few apprehensions and questions raised by few experienced members, based
on their professional experiences which are as under.
Please note that the majority intellectuals and people of
Orissa are keen to see this world class educational Institution become a
reality. If land required is 8000 acres – fine – but we are just curious see the
draft blue print of this 8000 acre township to visualize the actual utilization
of 8000 acres. This curiosity is genuine, as this is going to be first of its
kind in India,
to have a world class University like Stanford.
We understand that, in such huge land acquisitions, it is mandatory to
submit such a land utilization blue print to IDCO and we will really appreciate
if the VU can share the same with people of Orissa. This will help us to
counter and negate the VU sabotage agenda of certain vested interest group’s
deliberate self engineered protest rallies.
Mr. Viswas Tripathy, suggested a proposal to distribute the
VU in to several parts of Orissa with additional campuses in places like Bhawanipatna, Berhampur or
Angul, the way California University has. The Delhi University also has a North and South campus. We understand
Vedanta must have their own preferences and reasons to opt for a single 8000
acres university, but if possible we urge to consider this proposal as this
will indeed a great step and minimize the pressure on the state government to
displace people from a large chunk of land. We very much understand that VU ,
being the investor has the right to take decisions of their own , but still
this is a chance to share our opinions with you in true positive spirit.
Another esteemed member Mr. Jibanendra Mahanty, presented
his opinion to have VU near your mining operations site in Western
Orissa, instead of Puri. His opinion was based on the current
status of Western Orissa, which is backward in the field
of education and if the VU becomes a reality in Western Orissa,
then it would have served as a
'Beacon' for the Western Orissa.
We do understand that VU & Vedanta Industrial
group are two different entities and can locate as per VU board decisions and
VU probably is not obliged to disclose the reason of the preferred location
PURI. But in case, if it is possible, we look forward to hear the reason behind
the Zeroing site selection “Puri”. Please note that several people are alleging
that there may be hidden agenda of VU to acquire the costal land and utilize
later for different purpose. Their
apprehensions are based on their past experience – around 12 years back TATA
group had acquired 3400 acres of farm land at Gopalpur by displacing farmers of
4 villages, for a steel plant and now planning to utilize the
for some different purpose and our Government is also keeping a blind eye to
this. So, in such cases
the people are ultimate losers, who are ultimately cheated by TATA group &
Government of Orissa - both. The people displaced and lost their land for
nothing and 12 years is not a small period to expect some result.
Also, may we request you to please share any information about the total number of
families, who are going to be displaced
and how much farm/agricultural land is coming under this proposed 8000
acres of land. Several of our members are worried because the per capita land
availability in India is less than 10% of the land per capita available in the USA. As land is a very scarce resource,
especially for a country like India, they are anxious to know, whether VU had
considered the options to reduce the amount of land to around 2000 acres by
planning and spreading the township vertically.
Our members also keen to know about the
Rehabilitate and Resettlement facilities, being provided by the VU for the VU
affected families and what progress has been achieved in this direction till
date? Is there any time bound Plan of Action for the same. Usually all rehabilitate
and Resettlement actions are taken prior to acquiring Land from the farmers. We
will appreciate if VU will share the same with us.
Also, whether VU has any plans to
give some special preference for the local people in the matter of Education in
the University and in employment? There are several instances, where organizations
located in a particular state extend few percent seats/jobs to the local
people. We just want to know what VU has in mind.
We also would be glad to know from
you about the total number of Engineers and Staff
recruited in the Organization till date for setting up of VU and the Number of
Engineers and Staff recruited from the State of Orissa.
Our members also noticed that VU has
Head Office at Mumbai, where as VU is proposed at Orissa. Since this is an
educational Institution and they are just curious to know whether there exists
a possibility of shifting the HO from Mumbai to Bhubaneswer in near future.
To conclude, we expect that the
questions and apprehensions raised by OTN members are in true spirit of
democracy and hope that you also take up the same in positive spirit. It is
fair enough for the people of Orissa, and particularly those, who are going to
be displaced for the sake of development of their state, to expect some transparency
in the Objectives and Mission of Vedanta University. If VU mission is based on
the principle of providing education to the people of Orissa and India, then there should be no reservation on your
part to answer the Queries. Indeed, by providing answers to the Questions
raised by the Intellectual community of Orissa, VU will earn more trust and
good will from the people of Orissa, where as by default, the suspicion/doubts
over your Intent will be strengthened and we are afraid that the vested
interest groups will make it difficult for the state Government to acquire the
8000 acres of land.
I also thank the other members of
OTN , who participate in this debate and contributed to this discussion.
Anticipating a positive response.
For Orissa Today Network
cc: Chief Minister
of Orissa, Chief Secretary of Orissa
cc: Mr. Anand Shah
cc: State &
National media as a Press release
cc: Orissa Today
Contact Details:Orissa Today Network - orissatoday at gmail.com
Post Date:4/8/2007 1:15:54 AM Validity:36500 Days