ROURKELA: Prohibitory orders under Section 144 have been imposed at Bhawanipur under Rourkela Municipal Corporation limits on Sunday as local tribals protested laying of sewerage lines through their localities. The sewerage lines would connect the proposed Sewerage Pumping Station (SPS) near Bhawanipur slum of Sector-21 here.
Sources said the proposed site, measuring 0.324 acre under ‘Udtum Mouza’ of Rourkela Tehsil limits, was getting fenced with barbed wires when the protest started. However, after imposition of prohibitory orders, the tribals were shifted from the spot and fencing works continued.
A protester, Ananta Oram said, “We used to worship at the site as ‘Sarna Puja Sthal’ everyday before starting agriculture work. On Sunday, when we went there to worship, we were stopped and a flag was also removed.” He claimed that they are aboriginal tribals and the land originally belongs to them as the RSP has not paid proper compensation or provided jobs to the displaced.
A tribal displaced person and petitioner to National Commission for Scheduled Tribe (NCST) Lachhu Oram said the Commission has recommended that the RSP and the Odisha Government should return unused land of RSP to original displaced persons.
Panposh Sub-Collector H S Behera said Section 144 of CrPC has been clamped and police force deployed in apprehension of breach of peace. If required, the prohibitory orders would be extended to nearby areas, he added.
Sources in Odisha Water Supply and Sewerage Board (OWSSB) said Odisha Government has requested the RSP to allot the proposed plot for setting up SPS which would be connected to the Sewerage Treatment Plant at Balughat through sewerage lines. The OWSSB has taken up integrated sewerage treatment project at a whopping `340 crore.