500 villagers in TN invoke RTI Act on iron ore mine project

As Reported in June 17, 2008 chennaionline.com

Salem (Tamil Nadu), June 17 Over 500 villagers from about 50 villages
in and around Kanjamalai, opposed to the proposed iron ore mining in
vast tracts of reserve forest land in their area, today resorted to a
novel protest by invoking the Right to Information Act asking the
Tamil Nadu government to come clean with details of the project.

The villagers from in and around Kanjamalai in the district caught the
officials by surprise by barging enmasse into the District Forest
office here to present their petitions under the RTI Act, seeking
details such as who gave the lease order and how such a project can be
permitted in reserve forest land.

The state-owned Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation and
SISCOL have formed a joint venture for taking up mining in about 630
acres in Kanjamalai and according to reports the State government was
awaiting clearance from Union environment and Forest Ministry and
Department of Mines.

The villagers contended that mining in the area would lead to
ecological problems and affect their livelihood, District Forest
Officer V P Kandaswamy told - Agencies