JHARSUGUDA: Refusing to budge from their stand, villagers of Tilia started farming activities on their land acquired by OPGC in protest on Tuesday. The villagers went to their agriculture fields with ploughs and bullocks at around 9 am and started sowing paddy. However, they were stopped at 11 am by armed police who rushed to the spot after being informed about the incident.
The villagers are opposing acquisition of 277.30 acres of land for construction of ash pond of the proposed Unit 3 and 4 of Ib Thermal Power Station (ITPS) of OPGC. Having been displaced earlier due to Hirakud Dam project and resettled at Tilia, they are demanding adequate compensation. Facing displacement once again, they are also seeking permanent jobs for 184 members of the affected families in OPGC.
Sources said the villagers had a minor scuffle with police after which the latter released the bullocks from the yokes of eight ploughs working on the fields since morning.
Sensing trouble which could further aggravate the situation, Lakhanpur Tehsildar Hemsagar Bhoi rushed to the spot and pacified the angry villagers. He assured them to take up the matter with OPGC and district administration.
It is learnt that Bhoi had a discussion with OPGC authorities at Ib Thermal Power Station (ITPS) on the matter. However, the authorities expressed helplessness and said the Managing Director can take the final call on the issue.