Villagers Continue Dharna as Talks Fail - The New Indian Express

Villagers Continue Dharna as Talks Fail

Published: 14th January 2014 11:15 AM

Last Updated: 14th January 2014 11:15 AM

Irked over continuation of construction of boundary wall of Posco project without fulfilling their demands, the villagers including women of Gadkujang and Nuagaon started an indefinite dharna in front of Erasama Tehsil office on Monday.

The villagers said they would continue their agitation till their demands regarding employment, compensation, rehabilitation and other issues are fulfilled.

Even though the district administration has acquired the required 2,750 acres of land for proposed Posco steel project, nothing has been done towards the demands of the villagers.

Collector Satya Kumar Mallick, SP Satyabrat Bhoi, ADM Ramkrushna Sahu, local legislator Prasant Muduli and other officials rushed to dharna spot and requested the villagers to call off their stir.

Mallick said administration has undertaken various schemes for development of roads and construction of cyclone shelters at a cost of ` 44 crore. "All the demands of the affected villagers will be fulfilled at Peripheral Development Advisory Committee (RPDAC) meeting to be held very shortly," the Collector said.

Following the assurance of the officials, the villagers agreed to call off their stir but demanded that construction of boundary wall of the project should be stopped till their demands are fulfilled. However, the officials sought four days' time to discuss the matter with Posco officials before stopping the construction work. Following this, the villagers denied any negotiation and decided to continue the agitation till their demands are fulfilled.

Village chief and leader of United Action Committee, a pro Posco outfit, Jeebanlal Behera said, "We will not call off our stir till our demands are met because we have been harassed by Posco officials and administration on previous occasions. "

Their demands included job for one member of each affected family, increase in land price from ` 17 lakh to `25 lakh per acre, 30 per cent increase in compensation for betel leaf crop decided by RPDAC in 2010, re-measurement and compensation towards the betel vine as per 2008 socio-economic survey, rehabilitation packages, construction of colony for displaced families and surge protection wall for the tidal wave.

Among others, secretary of United Action Committee Nirvaya Samantray, Zilla Parishad member Sarada Jena, leaders  Tamil Pradhan, Nakula Sahu and Dhirendra Pallei participated in the dharna.

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