Thousands of people from nearby villages staged a dharna outside Gerdau Steel Industry (GSI) near Tadipatri town on Wednesday demanding employment to locals and steps to curb pollution.
Stating that the management of SJK steels, which latter sold it to GSI, acquired about 600 acres of their lands at meagre prices ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 5,000 per acre after assuring to provide employment to local youth, the agitators said the management is now not keeping up its promise. ‘’The steel industry has not provided even a single job to locals so far,’’ the protestors alleged.
Nearly 1,000 people from the four surrounding villagers took part in the protest.
The steel factory is also illegally drawing water from Pennar river with motors, which is resulting in depletion of groundwater, the protestors alleged and demanded the steel factory management to stop diversion of water immediately.
Alleging that several people in the surrounding villages were falling sick due to the pollution caused by the factory, the protestors said they were losing cattle and also incurring losses with pollution adversely effecting their crops.
If the management wants to run their factory, they should provide employment to local youths and should also take steps for protection of environment as well as stop diversion of water, they demanded.
People from Veerapuram, Jimbulapadu, Husenapuram and Akkannapalle villages took part in the protest demonstration. The protestors erected temporary tents in front of the factory and police were deployed in large numbers to prevent any untoward incident.
The agitation is likely to continue for the coming few days and the protestors have stay put there.