Criminal Mastermind Anil Agarwal's
land grab scheme
Criminal Anil Agarwal
the MNCs and Indian Corporate houses are showing excessive interest in Orissa ‘development’. The Government at the centre and in Orissa, which are committed to serve the imperialists and their compradors, are giving full momentum to their plunderous invasion through their policies of globalisation. Every day, our people are witnessing the model of ‘development’ thurst upon them by the rulers. They are experiencing their consequences. They are opposing these policies in various forms. The ever tightening noose of imperialist plunder is all embracing. With the recent WTO agreements, the imperialist penetration into the service sector is gaining momentum. This is depriving the people even the minimum services.
In this background, Anil Agrawal, the chairman of Vedanta Foundation has come on the scene with an idea of establishing ‘
Thus he has shown how a boundless magnanimity and urge for country’s progress can overflow from the heart of a big industrialist like him, and projecting himself as a distinct example for this. He even boasted that world’s wealthiest person like Bill Gates could not show that kind of large-heartedness which he has shown to a good cause. In Orissa, the Chief Minister, ministers, bureaucrats, a section of intellectuals showered all praise on him. They lauded the proposed university as a great achievement and a big leap towards progress for Orissa. But no one, who is really interested in the progress of Orissa, must be swept by this kind of orchestrated propaganda. They must arrive at decisions on the basis of facts.
Main Features of
The details that appeared in the media, in MoU signed by the Orissa government and the Vedanta Foundation, and in the talk of Anil Agrawal are as follows:
- This University will be set up in the area between Puri and Konark near Nuvai river in Puri district of Orissa. It is said, the university presently requires 8,000 and later 2,000 acres more. Thus together, it requires 10,000 acres land.
- In course of time, a small city, which will eventually be transformed into a satellite city, will come up at a 10-15 KM distance.
- Rs. 15,000 crores are required to establish the University. About Rs. 4,500 crores needed for the completion of first phase will be given by Anil Agrawal as “donation”. Rest of the money will be pooled from the students who take admission in the University. The University maintenance expenses too are to be borne by the students.
- The University will be managed by an autonomous council.
- All the work connected to the setting up of the University will be completed by 2025. The admission for students will begin in 2008. In all 1,00,000 students will study here.
- It will be a multipurpose University. It will be a ‘
- It will have links with various industries on the line of
- It will produce Nobel lauretes, gold medallists in sports, top ranking footballers and champions. It will produce doctors, engineers of highest order and the leaders who can efficiently administer the country.
- Only those with merits of world level will be given admission in this University. The system of reservation is not applicable here. There will be no special benefits for students from Orissa.
- Anil Agrawal assured, once this University comes up, Orissa will occupy a special place in the world map. Henceforth, one can compare Orissa not with MP and Gujarat, but only with
- The Orissa government will provide the necessary infrastructure like water, electricity, etc. needed by the University. It will lay an
Land the University Swallows
The land that this University require is quite large, i.e., 10,000 acres, is quite huge. Let us compare it with the land occupied by some of the leading educational institutions in our country.
IIT Kharagpur 2100
IIT Chennai 625
IIT Guwahati 712
In terms of land area, these Universities are dwarfs as compared to
The state government has agreed to supply 11 crore litres of water to this University every day. Why such a huge amount of water is required by it is a question. The municipal authorities (Puri town) are supplying 2 crore 30 lakh and 50 thousand litres of water every day to Puri town. It means, the government proposes to supply 5 times more water to the
If we assume that one person consumes 80 litres of water every day, the water proposed to be supplied to
It is indicated that this University requires 150-600 Megawatt electricity. According to this, the University alone will consume 10-40 per cent electricity consumes by the entire state. The generation of electricity by all the hydel projects in the state (Hirakund, Rengeli, Upper Kolab,
People Lose Lands and other Means of Livelihood
The area chosen for
There is every possibility that the government will take shelter under so many alibis to deny the payment of rates to the real and rightful owners of lands. The people of Orissa who were displaced from their lands at various times and in several areas have horrifying experiences in this regard. The life turns too pathetic if the people in the Puri and Konark area lose their lands and other means of livelihood. There is no need what-so-ever for the peasants and poor of other professions to sacrifice all their means of livelihood for the sake of rich-Indian as well as foreign.
Real Aims of University
This University is a move towards giving a practical shape to the ideas of those who want the education and research to remain in the control and service of the rich. Like
This will provide educational and research facilities for foreign students at a lesser cost as compared to the costs in their countries. There is no relation what-so-ever to the plan of this university to the urge and aspirations of our people for an independent and all round development of our country. In reality, this university is aimed at frustrating such urge and attempts and producing the intellectual tools who can frustrate such urge and attempts.
Behind Agrawal’s ‘Magnanimity’
Anil Agrawal began as scrap dealer and, with in a short span of time, rose to the level of a big capitalist. He is from Bihar, but stays in
His business and industrial activities are spread in other countries also. The fact that some of his companies are black listed has come to light in the deliberations in the Orissa state assembly. This company together with the state government unleashed a reign of white terror against the people who were protesting against the setting up of Alumina Factory. This factory is opposed by all the democratic and patriotic forces because it only causes loot and destruction of precious natural resources, destruction of environment, dries up underground water resources, deprives people from the means of livelihood and turns the entire area uninhabitable. The owners of Alumina company did not stop at unleashing repression against the people. The company goons chased Shukru Manzhi, leader of people’s protest movement, using Jeeps and crushed him to death in a most dastardly manner under their wheels.
Anil Agrawal who has a history of this kind flocked to Puri-Konark area taking the incarnation of a new Nagarjuna (he claims that
The name University is only a license to enter this area with no hindrance and in a favourable atmosphere. Once the Vedanta Foundation succeeds in this attempts, the land, infrastructure, etc., which are many times valuable to the money ‘donated’ (invested) would come under its control and utilisation. Once a foot hold is gained, it can carry on and enlarge its activities through and under the cover of University. Anil Agrawal has ideas and proposals to establish a steel plant in Orissa with an investment of Rs. 12,500 crores and of 50 lakhs tons production capacity. The land proposed to be acquired, the infrastructure proposed to built up and other resources and sea coast in Puri-Konark area may be used to put this idea into practice. A SEZ (Special Economic Zone) is expected to come up in this area. There should be no doubt that Vedanta Foundation will reap the benefit that come with it.
The Puri-Konark sea coast is most valuable tourist area. This area becoming a centre for the activities of MNCs, researches, etc. all in the name of international university and being turned in to a special, autonomous and secluded zone is wrought with dangerous consequences for our country. The cultural environment this university and other activities bring with them will have a bad influence on the cultural and economic life in the area. There is a danger of this area becoming a potential area for imperialists nefarious designs. Thus this University is an instrument for many declared and undeclared designs which are harmful to the interests of out country and people.
People’s Fight Against the ‘Development’ Touted by Rulers
Already, the people have come in to action opposing the setting up of
In the last two decades period, the Congress as well as the present BJD-led NDA governments had taken the lives of dozens of people in their despicable attempts to pave the way for the loot of precious natural and human resources by the MNCs and Indian corporate houses in Orissa. They had tasted enough of people’s blood. The massacre of 13 adivasis by police on January 2, 2006 in Kalinganagar was only a recent incident. The government have displaced people in several areas. They have devastated the economic, social and cultural life which the people had built through generations of toil. These bitter experiences are before the people of Puri district.
The rulers in our country are in the service of imperialism in looting the valuable mineral wealth, sea, water, forest, land and human resources - all in the name of economic and industrial development. They are providing the imperialists and their compradors with modern and well-built infrastructure and markets. Thus, they are, in reality, destroying whatever the possibilities available for