PARADIP: Badagaipai village forest committee on Monday protested the construction of boundary wall on the abandoned Posco project land. The protest comes close on the heels of another agitation by members of Sangaipai village forest committee on Saturday against the boundary wall construction by Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO).
Meanwhile in the face of stiff resistance by the locals, construction work has been completely hit.
On the day, members of Badagaipai village forest committee led by its president Dijwa Baral staged demonstration and stalled construction work at the project site seeking fulfillment of their demands.
Baral said the entire forest cover of Nuagaon has been divided among seven village forest committees. Each committee is responsible to watch over its forest area and protection of trees. ''After protest by Sangaipai forest committee, labourers of the construction agency started work on the boundary wall in our forest area. Our activists strongly protested the move as a result of which construction work has been completely stopped,'' he said.
One platoon of police force has been deployed at the construction site to prevent any law and order situation. Local villagers said Posco had assured to pay `17 lakh per acre of agricultural land and `11.5 lakh per acre of betel vine, `2 lakh per acre of prawn ponds, monthly allowance of `2,250 for betel vine labourers, provide job to one member of every displaced families and a three-room pucca house built on 10 decimals of land with a cowshed to each displaced family as per the new rehabilitation package announced at the Rehabilitation and Peripheral Development Advisory Committee (RPDAC) meeting in 2010. However, none of these demands has been fulfilled.
Erasama Tehsildar Anjali Tarai said, ''We have sought the cooperation of local villagers to expedite the construction work of the boundary wall. Steps would be taken to resolve their issues through discussion between the administration and affected villagers soon,'' she added. While district authorities claim that the boundary wall is being constructed to protect the land from encroachment, unofficial sources informed that the move is aimed at facilitating Jindal Steel to set up its project on the site.