JAGATSINGHPUR: Efforts by the district administration to persuade Posco-affected villagers to cooperate during construction of the boundary wall of IDCO yielded no result on Thursday as locals vowed to intensify stir till their demands are settled.
On the day, a meeting was held at the Collectorate among the elected representatives, villagers of Posco-affected Nuagaon and Gadkujang panchayats, district and IDCO officials to expedite the construction work of the boundary wall of IDCO.
Frequent protests by Posco-affected villagers have stalled construction work of the boundary wall. As Sangaipai and Badagaipai village forest committees staged demonstrations at the project site in the last few days, the construction work was stopped and two platoons of force were deployed at the spot to prevent law and order situation.
The demands of the affected villagers, which include payment of `17 lakh per acre of agricultural land, `11.5 lakh per acre of betel vine, `2 lakh per acre of prawn ponds, monthly allowance of `2,250 to betel vine labourers, compensation towards demolition of betel vines, job to one member of every displaced family and a three-room pucca house on 10 decimals of land with a cowshed to each displaced family, are yet to be fulfilled.
After Posco backed out from its steel plant project, IDCO is erecting a boundary wall to protect 2,700 acquired land from encroachers and for establishment of proposed Jindal Steel plant on the same land.
Collector Yamini Sarangi said the administration sought cooperation of the locals to expedite construction of the boundary wall in a peaceful manner. The district administration has further committed to give contract work to locals and restrict entry of middlemen during construction work of the boundary wall, she added.
Chief General Manager (Land), IDCO Susant Kumar Mohanty said, ‘’IDCO has acquired nearly 2,948 acres in Dhinkia, Nuagaon and Gadkujang areas to facilitate establishment of industries. The affected villagers, who have been deprived of employment and rehabilitation packages announced at the last Rehabilitation and Peripheral Development Advisory Committee (RPDAC) meeting, would be benefited by the upcoming industries.’’
A total of `17.32 crore has been disbursed to 1,118 betel vine farmers and as many as 2,22,163 trees have been demolished during land acquisition for Posco. An amount of `2.38 crore has been disbursed to the affected people, Mohanty said.
Nuagaon Sarpanch Bidyadhar Mallick said, ‘‘The meeting did not yield any result as no assurance was given to fulfil our long-pending demands. We will intensify our stir if our demands are not met soon.’’
Among others, local MLA Prasant Muduli, Gadakujang Sarpanch Sampad Barik, youth leader Tamil Pradhan, village chiefs Radhasyam Pradhan and Chinmaya Nayak took part in the meet.
SP JN Pankaj, ADM, Paradip Biswajit Biswal, Chief General Manager (Planning & Coordination), IDCO Golekh Bihari Kar and other officials were present.