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Tension in village over laying of pipeline by JSPL

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Reported by Jaladhar Pradhan

Angul, Mar 7:

Tension mounted in Kankarei village under Nisha Industrial police station limits in Chhendipada block of Angul district today following the detention of 150 villagers including 100 women 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.

Kankarei villagers who were opposed to the laying of pipelines in their village earlier, have been also opposing JSPL’s laying of pipelines in the neighbouring village of Balichandrapur on the outskirts of Kankarei since February 21 by staging a dharna at the pipeline laying site.

The situation turned violent this morning when work on the project which had stopped since public opposition on February 21 began with policemen uprooting tents from the dharna site and taking around 150 villagers into their custody.

Police has detained the villagers at the Angul stadium, 15 km away, sources said.

12 platoons of policemen have been stationed at the dharna site as another group of local people, mainly school children led by a BJP Zilla Parishad member Rajendra Singh, are staging dharna.

Reports said the school children pelted stones at the policemen.

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

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 and acquired another neighbouring village.

When JSPL intended to lay its pipelines through Kankarei, the villagers demanded for compensation at 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.