The protest against World Bank, which has been holding a series of consultations on environmental and safeguard policies across the country, continued in the State with people’s organisations staging a demonstration in front of a city hotel where its team is staying, here on Wednesday.
The organisations targeted the World Bank’s latest round of consultations for review of its environmental and social safeguard policies to which representatives of the State Government, corporate sector and NGOs are invited. The protestors were critical of the Bank’s impact on the State which led to proliferation of the private sector by illegally closing the PSUs in various public sectors such as education and health.
“The World Bank Group claims that it has lent around $26 billion to India between 2009 and 2013. However, this is spent through different anti-community policies, programmes and projects and have helped the corporate sectors only. Poverty has increased during this period,” said Sivaram of CPI(ML), who was leading the protests. The protestors said thousands of people have been displaced from their homes and were forced to live cattle’s life due to induced displacement and migration. The Bank’s programmes on environment have ruined the environment of Odisha while unnecessary loan for forestry sector development has put a burden on the State in terms of debt.
Lok Shakti Abhijan president Prafulla Samantra said the demonstration was part of the series of protests against the World Bank whose officials had to face the same fate by the activists on April 5 at New Delhi and April 8 at Bangalore.
The protesters slammed the NGOs saying that many profit-oriented organisations in the State are hand-in-glove with the World Bank projects and are engaged in many anti-community activities. These NGOs are also equally responsible and accountable to the people of the State, they said. Members of CPI (ML), Odisha Chasa Parivesh Surakhya Parishad, Lok Shakti Abhijan, Posco Pratirodha Sangram Samiti and Krushaka Samukhya were among others who participated.