Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Paradip, Jun 8:
The uncertainty over setting up of the South Korean steel major Posco’s steel plant in Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur district has had its effect on the Human Resources Development (HRD) centre at Paradip as it has downed its shutters leaving local youth high and dry.
Posco-India had planned to recruit locals for its activities and operations for which the HRD centre was to provide the necessary vocational training to facilitate job opportunities.
It had envisaged to train five lakh unemployed local youths to engage them in its unit here and had earmarked an estimated investment of about 10 million dollars for setting up the training centre.
With the fate of the centre still unclear, the local youths who were hopeful of getting employment opportunities at the steel unit are a distraught lot now. Uncertainty stares at their future vis-a-vis the mega steel project dubbed as the highest-ever FDI in India.
The skill development centre set up in 2007 had enrolled 33 local youths in the first batch in December that year. The centre offered various training modules, including electrician, fitter, welding, plumbing, fabrication, carpenter etc, to train unskilled youths.
However, an eerie silence haunts the multi-storey centre as the training activities have come to a halt since long. The workshops have been locked and the equipment exposed to decay.
According to sources, three security personnel employed by a private firm are guarding the centre. Despite this, some valuables have allegedly been siphoned off from the unit.
Meanwhile, officials have auctioned some electronic equipment in the skill upgradation centre, which were about to rot due to lack of proper maintenance.
Notably, Posco India Private Limited, the subsidiary of the South Korean steel major, had announced to set up the HRD centre in 2006 on the eve of the company’s 38th foundation day on April 1, which incidentally coincides with Odisha’s foundation day.