SAMBALPUR: Villagers of Budhiapali and Sahupada, located close to the open cast mining project at Talabira, have alleged that a massive explosion at the site on Saturday led to cracks in many houses at both the villages.
Almost every house in Sahupada village is a kutcha structure and villagers alleged that at least 20 houses have been damaged.
They stated they have decided to approach the district administration to shift them to a safer place if the NLC India Limited implementing the mining project, plans to continue blasting the area.
“It’s unsafe to live in the village. The intensity of the blast was so high that we felt walls of our thatched houses would collapse. Our houses would be completely damaged if the blasts continue,” said Umasankar Sahu, whose house developed a crack.
Brundabati Sahu, who ran out of her kitchen after the explosion on Saturday, said her family apprehending that roof of the house would collapse, took shelter in their relative’s house at Budhiapali. “My husband sells vegetables and I roll bidis for a living. We cannot afford building another house”, she said.
The fear of damage to their houses notwithstanding, villagers are hesitant to reach out to the district administration because of their past encounters.earlier on February 13, police had picked around 38 villagers of Budhiapali who were staging dharna at the site. Later, police arrested 15 of them and they were released on bail after two days.
Though a few supervisors from the mining project site had come to inspect cracks in the houses at the villages, Sambalpur Sub-Collector Aniruddha Padhan said no complaints have been received from the affected villagers in this regard.