February 15, 2015

jajpurRajashree DashJajpur, Feb 16: The bizarre decision of the Tata Steel to set up model schools across Odisha excluding its own plant area in Kalinganagar has evoked sharp resentment among the thousands of affected people.The private steel company, according to all rules and compulsion, is supposed to set up own model school in its own affected areas as a part of its corporate social responsibility programme as stipulated by the Centre as well as the State government from time to time.Seriously perturbed over Tata Steel’s decision for overlooking at its own area where its six million tone plant is being set up in Kalinganagar under Sukinda block, the local legislator and Biju Janata Dal leader Pritiranjan Ghadei has written a letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik questioning the private steel plant’s concern for the affected people and credibility for debarring Sukinda block for setting up model school.Surprisingly, in Jajpur district, Tata Steel is setting up nine model schools in nine blocks excluding Sukinda block.The steel major has planned to construct 30 model schools in 30 blocks in the State at a cost around Rs.135 crore to bring quality education infrastructure to the students in far flung areas of the State.According to reports, the Tata Steels has acquired about 3000 acres of homestead and arable land from the local people to set up its 6 million tone steel plant in Kalinganagar which comes under Sukinda block.As many as 14 people, including three women, had died in police firing during their agitation against Tata plant and 2000 tribal families of the areas have been displaced for the project.“Overlooking its own block where its plant is coming up, Tata Steel is exposing its mindset that it is anti-locals and has no concern for the affected people,” said Ghadei.While corporate houses are to concentrate most of their CSR activities in their own locality, Tata Steel debarring Sukinda block for setting up a model school is most shocking, he said.In his complaint, Ghadei said that people of Sukinda are greatly being affected air and water pollution, scarcity of drinking water and spread of various diseases like dengue, cancer, jaundice, tuberculosis and kidney related ailments, but they are being deprived of development.The worst suffered Sukinda people should enjoy the priority over others in any developmental activities being taken by the steel company.”I have requested the Chief Minister to take step to include Sukinda block in model school list,” he said.When contacted, Jajpur District Collector Anil Kumar Samal said that he had received a copy of the letter to the chief minister by the Sukinda legislator and assured to look into the matter.

February 15, 2015 0 Comment

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