Protest in front of Vedanta mine enters second day
Samal said that the agitation would continue until the company addresses the villagers’ demands.
ROURKELA: Demanding employment opportunities and development initiatives in the area, local villagers with the support of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) continued their protest for the second consecutive day on Saturday in front of the Nadidihi iron mine of Vedanta Ltd (VL) in the Koida Mining Circle (KMC) of Sundargarh district.
Bonai CPM MLA, Laxman Munda, CPM’s Sundargarh district secretary Pramod Samal, CITU-affiliated Sundargarh Mines & Transport Workers’ union general secretary Pravat Panda, Koida-A Zilla Parishad member Sushila Munda, and Kasira sarpanch Diwaker Naik lent support to the protest.
Samal said that the agitation would continue until the company addresses the villagers’ demands. “VL acquired the iron ore mine after the lease period of Rungta Group ended, but instead of retaining Rungta’s workers, outsiders were hired for the jobs,” Samal alleged, claiming that VL transports minerals by road to railway sidings in the adjacent Keonjhar district for railway transportation, which is done at the expense of the five railway sidings within KMC.
He further emphasised that CITU demands the VL to utilise the railway sidings within KMC limits, involve local contractors in mineral extraction, establish a health centre, provide safe drinking water, offer free bus services for local students, and carry out necessary peripheral development activities.