ROURKELA: Disgruntled villagers displaced by the Jamkani coal mine of Vedanta Ltd (VL) in Sundagarh’s Hemgir block stopped mining operations on Saturday amid a huge deployment of the police force. Leader of the agitation Niranjan Bhoi said the villagers had informed the Sundargarh administration, Hemgir police and Vedanta authorities about their decision in advance.
He blamed the administration and Vedanta for the delay in disbursement of higher land compensation and other rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R) benefits as agreed by the company in a deal facilitated by the district officials on February 10.
Sources said mining personnel of VL refrained from any confrontation with the agitators and stopped work. Earlier on December 23 last year, the displaced villagers had turned violent and clashed with Vedanta’s mining and security personnel leading to widespread damage to property.
Sundargarh ADM (Revenue) Abhimanyu Behera said the administration is keeping a watch on the agitators and their activities. Any law and order situation would be dealt with iron hand.He further said the administration alone should not be blamed for the delay in disbursement of compensation and R&R benefits. “There is no unanimity among the claimants of displaced families. I would visit the agitation site on Monday for discussion,” the ADM added.