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Tension in Angul as villagers protest laying of JSPL pipeline


Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Angul, Feb 21:

Tension mounted in Kankarei village under Nisha Industrial police station limits in Chhendipada block of Odisha’s Angul district following the detention of 20 villagers who were protesting against the laying of pipelines by Jindal Steel and Power Ltd to draw water from Samal Barrage for its Angul plant, local sources said.

In protest, about 150 locals have blocked the Angul-Deogarh state highway in front of Monnet Ispat plant, sources added.

Kankarei villagers who were opposed to the laying of pipelines in their village earlier, today opposed JSPL’s laying of pipelines in the neighbouring village of Balichandrapur on the outskirts of Kankarei.

JSPL is carrying out the pipeline-laying on government land in Balichandrapur.

Five magistrates, 18 platoons of policemen including 50 police officers have been deployed in the area at the company’s request to provide security for the smooth laying of pipelines.

It may be mentioned here that Kankarei village was to be earlier acquired by MCL and the company had offered heavy compensation but later changed its plan to acquire another neighbouring village.

When JSPL intended to lay its pipelines through Kankarei, the villagers demanded for compensation on par with the package offered by MCL to which the company did not agree and decided to take its pipeline through Balichandrapur village on government land.

This is being opposed by Kankarei villagers, sources said.