Bhubaneswar: Work at the proposed Posco steel
project site near Paradip was disrupted for hours on Sunday due to
dharna by local youths alleging non-fulfilment of their
demands and resumed only after intervention by officials.
Ongoing work for the boundary wall came to a halt at
Polanga in Gadakujang panchayat area of Jagatsinghpur district
as a large number of youths from nearby Nuagaon area thronged
the site and stalled all activities, official sources said.
The protesters staged a dharna accusing the Orissa
government of failing to meet their six-point charter of
demands including increase in the compensation amount for the
land losers and jobs in the project for affected families,
As the youths vowed to continue their dharna till the
demands were met, ground levelling, digging, filling and other
work was stalled for over three hours in the area where the
state government claims to have acquired about 1800 acres.
Work resumed after the demonstrators ended their dharna
following intervention by senior district officials who
assured the youths that their demands would be considered on
priority basis, they said.
"Work is now in progress on land already acquired by the
government for the Posco project. Work will continue tomorrow
also," Kujang Tehsildar Basudeb Pradhan said.
The ground work has progressed over 1800 acres so far
acquired in Gada Kujang and Nuagaon panchayats, a senior
district official said.
The state government, which announced temporary suspension
of land acquisition mid way due to stiff opposition from
locals, started negotiating with agitating people to convince
them that the Posco project would benefit them.
"The district administration of Jagatsinghpur is
negotiating with the local people for carrying forward the
suspended land acquisition work," Chief Secretary B K Patnaik
said, adding that the Rs 52,000 crore-project required about
Meanwhile, anti-project activists continued their dharna
near Gobindpur village under the banner of Posco Pratirodh
Sangram Samiti (PPSS) to prevent entry of officials and police
into Dhinkia area.