Arabinda Kumar Padhee, revenue divisional commissioner (central range) visited the site of Posco’s proposed greenfield steel project despite inclement weather. He interacted with Posco affected villagers, stressing on sustainable development, health, education, employment, electricity, road communication and other social security measures. Accompanied by Narayan Jena, Jagatsinghpur district collector and other district officials, Padhee visited Posco transit colony and interacted with the families living there. The families demanded hike in their maintenance allowance, construction of concrete road, boundary wall, maintenance of their building, health services and construction of latrine & boundary wall of this colony. Padhee also interacted with the villagers of Nuagaon where Anadi Rout, president of United Action Committee (UAC), a pro-Posco outfit focused on immediate fulfillment of six of the 29 demands that among others include job for one member of each affected family and provision for restoration of traditional livelihoods like betel cultivation and fishing.
KENDRAPRADA,: Pro-Posco villagers residing at camps in Jagatsinghpur’s Badagabapur village told senior government officials about their plight on Monday. These 300 villagers were driven out of Dhinkia gram panchayat by those opposing the Posco plant. “We were driven out of our village Gobindapur in Dhinkia gram panchayat for supporting Posco five years ago. Now we want to return home. We are not being allowed into our land, betel vines and cashewnut farms by anti-land acquisition villagers. We are languishing in this camp,” said Sangram Padhiari (34 ) to RDC (central) Arabinda Padhi. Padhiari lives in the camp with six members of his family.
“We lead a miserable life in this camp. Nine out of the 12 latrines built in this camp have been badly damaged. We have to wait in queue for long hours to use the lavatories and bathrooms in the camp,” said Pankajini Padhiari (64) of Dhinkia. The RDC with other officials visited the camp to review the situation.
“We have been living in the camp for the last five years. We are given Rs 20 a day to maintain our families, which is highly insufficient,” said Chandan Mohanty (52) of Dhinkia village who resides in two small tin rooms with his wife, two sons and a daughter. Senior government officials also visited Noliasahi, Polanga, Nuagaon and other villages in Jagatsinghpur district at the proposed steel plant site of Posco on Monday. They also held a meeting in Paradip. Padhi said “A Rehabilitation Periphery Development Advisory Committee ( RPDC) meeting will be held in Jagatsinghpur to resolve land acquisition, compensation, rehabilitation and other issues for Posco steel plant. The authorities have already acquired 2,000 acres of land in Nuagaon and Gadakujang gram panchayats and build a 15-km long road from Balimara to Ersama for the proposed steel plant. I also discussed about the status report and future course of action of the steel plant project with officials.”