Letter: A 'no' vote

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The Independent Online
MR SARBH of P&O Ports India writes that P&O's proposed industrial port in the ecofragile region of Dahanu Taluka will bring a large number of jobs to the region and raise the wage levels of the indigenous tribal Warlis (letters, 1 March).

The port, if built, will come into direct conflict with the needs of over 30,000 families from the fishing community and, as the draft of P&O's own socio-economic survey of the region states, "convert the existing self-sufficient system into an unsustainable and exploited one".

All the major grassroots organisations in the tribal belt of Dahanu have formed an alliance against the plan, including more than 50,000 tribal Warlis and fishermen. A resolution opposing the proposed construction was passed at the annual gathering of tribal groups from four states (attended by some 20,000 Warlis) as was another opposing industrialisation and urbanisation of tribal regions in India. Mr Sarbh is correct in saying that ultimately the choice of lifestyle should rest with the indigenous Warlis alone. Not a single tribal group supports the proposed construction.

Shabnam Merchant

Thane, India