JAGATSINGHPUR: Protests marked the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Central School building by Union Minister of Human Resource Development Ramesh Pokhriyal at Sanpur here on Friday as hundreds of villagers staged dharna demanding space for a road to their paddy fields.
As the Union Minister was laying the stone of the `25 crore school building through video-conferencing, local villagers including women reached the venue and staged demonstration. The agitators said after the district administration handed over 6.5 acre of land to Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangthan for the school building, there was no road for farmers to take farm equipment to their fields.
“Acres of agriculture land have not been cultivated as there is no road to take tractors and other farm machinery to our fields. The decision of the district administration has put our livelihood is at stake,” the villagers said.
During land acquisition, the administration had assured the villagers to provide space for a road. However, the promise is yet to be fulfilled, they alleged.
Sanpur Sarpanch Jyotirmayee Das said as the demand of villagers was genuine, the administration should allow a passageway for farmers to take farm equipment to their paddy fields. If the demand is not met, hundreds of acres of land will turn barren for the difficulties in cultivating the fields, she added.
On being informed, police rushed to spot and pacified the agitators. Later, the villagers staged a peaceful dharna near the venue. Among others, local MP Rajshree Mallick, Jagatsinghpur Collector Sangram Keshari Mohapatra and district officials were present during the foundation laying ceremony. Currently, the classes of the Central School are being conducted at Tarikunda High School, around 15 km from Sanpur on a temporary basis.