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Tata Steel to revise package for families displaced by Gopalpur project in Odisha

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Brahmapur, Nov 2:

Tata Steel has submitted a proposal to the Odisha government on revision of compensation package for the families, who have been displaced by its Gopalpur project in Ganjam district.

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The company will announce its revised package after the state government approves the proposal, said Arun Mishra, vice-president of the project here on Saturday.

It may be recalled that the people of Sindhigaon, Badapaur, Patrapur, Kalipalli and Paikapada villages near Gopalpur were displaced after the company acquired 2,970 acres for the then proposed shore-based mega steel plant in 1996.

However, the company later shelved the project and decided to set up an industrial park and multi-product special economic zone (SEZ) for which the foundation stone for the proposed project was laid by chief minister Naveen Patnaik in August 2010.

Expressing resentment over the inordinate delay in the execution of the project, the displaced families, in a memorandum to the Tata Rehabilitation Village Development Committee, had demanded a special Resettlement and Rehabilitation (R & R) package and a permanent job to one member of each affected family.

The Committee later submitted the memorandum to Tata Group’s chairman Cyrus P Mistry during his visit to the area on September 2 demanding compensation of Rs 15 lakh to each affected family and fresh enumeration of those displaced by the project.

As per the decision of the company, it would formulate a recruitment policy and submit it to the district administration, informed Mishra, adding that a skill development centre will be set up in the district to train local youths.

Stating that Gopalpur project was a priority for the company, he said the company will set up a ferro chrome plant of 55,000 tonne per annum capacity as an anchor project in the proposed park at a cost of Rs 400 crore that would be operationalised by March next year.

The proposed plant will have direct and indirect employment opportunities for nearly 350 people, he added.