ROURKELA: Decks have been cleared for setting up of the stalled Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK)-II at Bankia in Rourkela. The project had hit a roadblock after a group of tribals alleged land dispute and obtained a stay order from the Orissa High Court in April 2016. But in December 16 2021, the HC in its final order dismissed the petition stating that there was no factual basis on the petitioners’ claim of the land belonging to them or they were in possession of it.
According to revenue officials, the Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) in 1977 had surrendered 79.74 acre of unused land to Odisha government. In March 2012, the government had provided 50 acre to Odisha University of Agriculture Technology (OUAT), the host institute for KVK-II of the Indian Council of Agriculture Research. However, during construction of the perimeter wall of the KVK-II campus, a section of tribals claiming to be displaced persons of RSP physically stopped work and also obtained a stay order.
Sources said the KVK-II campus also proposes to have a 20-seat Agriculture Polytechnic Centre of the OUAT.
Rourkela tehsildar C Mallick said the HC order has come in favour of the government. The administration will take further action as per the order.Administrative sources said the order has formed a legal basis for argument as several other development projects have been stalled with the so-called displaced persons of RSP alleging land dispute. Incidentally in 2018, the National Commission for Scheduled Tribe (NCST) had issued direction to Sundargarh administration stating that no projects should be taken up on land surrendered by RSP till settlement of claims of the displaced persons.
Due to protests by tribals, the fly ash project of NTPC-SAIL Power Company Ltd at Barkani, truck terminal at Beldihi and wholesale market yard at Balughat are stuck since 2015.However, work on the wholesale market yard and the road-over bridge project at Kukudagate level-crossing has started recently. Sundargarh Collector Nikhil Pawan Kalyan said the HC order would help in expediting pending works.