The dharna launched by villagers under the banner of Jiban Jibika Chas Jami Surakhya Samiti at Baradamalia village in Kishorenagar block of the district, opposing a proposed power plant, completed a year.
Marking the occasion, people of 27 villages, who will be affected by the power plant, gathered at Garadamalia on Sunday where the dharna was started a year before. They vowed to continue their protest against the power plant. “We are ready to lay down our lives, but we will not give up one inch of land,” they said.
Demanding scrapping of MoU signed with the company, local Sarpanch Ramani Ranjan Pradhan said, “We will not give an inch of land. Even if it costs our life, we will fight”.
Other people’s representatives at the dharna site warned of intensifying the agitation in coming days. They alleged that police were favouring the company and demanded immediate construction of Sureswari irrigation project.
The anti-power plant agitation, which has been going on for the last three years, has witnessed people taking to streets many times. They have also gheraoed Angul Collectorate, local tehsil, SP, DFO and other Government offices. The agitation is going on under the leadersip of Dinabandhu Pradhan, president of the Samiti.
According to reports, JR Power had signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the State Government in 2010 to set up 1980-MW power plant at Kishorenagar area of Angul district.
The Government had also issued a notification to the people for land acquisition for the proposed power plant.
However, due to opposition by the locals, work for the proposed power plant is yet to begin in the area even after three years.
Police Station Gheraoed: Hundreds of members of the Samiti gheraoed Kishorenagar police station demanding arrest of the goons who had assaulted some villagers last month.’
Criticising police inaction, they submitted a memorandum to DGP through local police demanding immediate arrest of the criminals.