Proposed expansion of Ib Thermal Plant of Odisha Power Generation Corporation Limited (OPGC) at Banharpali has faced road block yet again as the talks between Jharsuguda ADM Rabindra Mishra and the villagers of Tilia under Lakhanpur block of the district failed to come to any conclusion on Friday.
After driving away OPGC officials thrice earlier from the village over the issue, the villagers refused to part with even an inch of land for the proposed expansion during the discussion held in the Gram Panchayat office.
Villagers said the meeting was meaningless in the absence of OPGC officials. Moreover, under no circumstance, they will allow construction of ash pond in the village and if the district administration tries to use force, the consequences will be very bad, they warned.
Explaining that acquisition of land would rob them of their livelihood besides income of the landless from Non-Timber Forest Produce (NTFP) like Khas Khas, Mahua, broom and Kendu leaves from over 84 acres of Government land which the OPGC is eyeing, villager Damodar Pradhan said the lands were acquired by their ancestors and they owe an explanation to the generation next.
OPGC, which is operating two thermal power plants with a capacity of 210 MW each in the IB valley area of the district is planning to add two more units of 660 MW each to the existing thermal plant.
The ADM left the meeting assuring the villagers that the district administration would convey their sentiment to the Government.