ROURKELA: With tribal protests over various issues gaining momentum, the Sundargarh administration faces an uphill task to implement several development projects in the city.
A section of tribals has renewed their protests on the plea of violation of PESA Act. The most burning issue is the merger of two gram panchayats (GPs) with Rourkela Municipal Corporation (RMC). The tribals are demanding separation of Jhartarang and Jagda from RMC accusing the Government of violating PESA Act.
Recently, Birmitrapur MLA and Samata Kranti Dal (SKD) president George Tirkey threatened to launch an ‘economic blockade’ across the district if the Government fails to act by January 19.
Sources said over the last four years, fringe tribal groups have been trying to polarise the tribals with Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) (PESA) Act, 1996 being the uniting force.
In July 2012, agitators had paralysed the ring road area near Chhend Colony for two days protesting the construction of a tribal girls’ hostel. They claimed that the land belonged to their forefathers.
Sundargarh Collector Bhupendra Singh Poonia said the administration is aware of the situation. Nobody would be allowed to create disharmony or take law into his hand, he added.