JAIPUR: The decision of Tata Steel to set up model schools across the State excluding Kalinga Nagar under Sukinda block, where its six million tonne plant is being set up, has evoked resentment among the local people.
The steel company is supposed to set up model schools in the area affected by its plant as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme as stipulated by the Centre and the State.
As per the company’s decision, model schools would be set up in nine blocks excluding Sukinda block of the district. Besides, the private steel major would construct 30 model schools in 30 blocks across Odisha at a cost of around `135 crore for providing quality education and infrastructure.
The company has acquired about 3,000 acres of homestead and arable land from the locals to set up its six million tonne capacity steel plant in Kalinga Nagar which comes under Sukinda block.
In a letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik questioning the company’s decision on debarring Sukinda block from setting up the model school, local BJD legislator Pritiranjan Ghadei said, “By overlooking the block where its own plant is coming up, Tata Steel is exposing its mind-set that it has no concern for the affected people.”
While other corporate houses concentrate most of their CSR activities in their own locality, Tata Steel debarred Sukinda block for setting up a model school which is shocking, Ghadei added.
Ghadei further said people of Sukinda, who are already affected by air and water pollution, should be given priority in any developmental activity by the company.
When contacted, Collector Anil Kumar Samal said he had received a copy of the letter and assured of looking into the matter.