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Officials responsible for unrest at Posco project site, says Dr Rout


Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Feb 19:

Health minister and Paradip MLA Damodar Rout has held a section of the officials of both Posco and the district administration responsible for the ongoing agitation at the project site by the people of Nuagaon village, demanding a hike in the compensation to land losers and participation of local people in the construction of the boundary wall of the project area.

Nuagaon villagers pulling down boundary wall ( pic-Binay K Ray )
Nuagaon villagers pulling down boundary wall ( pic-Binay K Ray )

Speaking to the media here minister Rout who hails from Erasama said he had personal knowledge of attempts by some Indian employees of Posco and officials of the Jagatsinghpur district administration to mislead the people living in the villages around the proposed plant site.

Rout alleged some people were not being paid compensation as per the decision of the RPDAC (Rehabilitation and Peripheral Development Advisory Committee) and said there were reports that a handful of people were getting the maximum benefit while others were being taken for a ride.

The Health minister was referring to the ongoing agitation by the project supporters in front of the Tehsil office at Kujang since the last three days.

He said although it was decided at the RPDAC meeting that the local villagers would be given the opportunity to work during construction phase, the local youths were kept out of the boundary wall construction activities.

Jagatsinghpur district collector S K Mallick however, dismissed Rout’s allegations and said people who have lost their betel vines or land are being given compensation at the rate of Rs 11.50 lakh per acre. He also claimed all the decisions made at the RPDAC meeting in 2010 were being complied with.

Meanwhile, the agitating people said that although they have been supporting the project since the very beginning, they were being ignored in the boundary construction work at the project site.

Tamil Pradhan, a leader of the pro Posco group said, the local people can not remain silent when the company goes ahead with the boundary wall construction work without addressing our genuine demands.

Meanwhile, the anti-Posco front, Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti has expressed solidarity with the agitating people of Nuagaon.