More mining means more Maoism: Ramesh

"More mining means more Maoism," Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh today said opposing the move by private firms to get clearance for iron ore mining in Jharkhand's Maoist-hit Saranda region.

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After reviewing implementation of Central Government's development plan in the forest-rich Saranda region in west Singhbhum district, Ramesh said the development plan was on track and "Maoists will not deter us."

"More mining means more Maoism. I am very clear that other than SAIL (Steel Authority of India Limited), there should not be any other mining activities in the region. Even SAIL's mining should be regulated," Ramesh told reporters.

He said as Environment Minister, he had given sanction only to SAIL, a public sector undertaking, for iron ore mining.

He said, he had clearly stated in his order that no private firms should be given sanction for mining.

Top Jharkhand Government officials informed Ramesh at the review meeting here today that Maoists are making efforts to sabotage development activity in the tribal-dominated area.

The Maoist propaganda in the area is that the plan is being implemented to pave the way for big corporates eyeing the minerals in the thickly forested region.

Ramesh said Maoist efforts will not succeed because people of the region wanted development.

Expressing satisfaction over the implementation of the programme, Ramesh also said the Saranda Development Plan will be replicated in other Maoist-hit areas of the state.

He announced that the plan which is known as Saranda Action Plan will now be called Saranda Development Plan as the word action gives "wrong message" in tribal areas.

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