February 27, 2015

By Bijay Rout Angul, Feb 27: The work on the stalled expansion project of Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) here will start soon, said Angul Collector Sachin Ramachandra Jadhav after holding a tripartite meeting today.jspl-logoTalking to journalists after the meeting, the Collector said that all the outstanding issues of the affected villagers will be sorted out by the administration on time bound and priority basis.The meeting was attended Jadhav, Superintendent of Police Rajesh Pandit Uttaam Rao, officials of JSPL and leaders of the project affected people.However, Birankeswar Silpanchal Khyatigrastha Praja Sangh (BSKPS) that is spreading the agitation against the company demanding more land compensation and employment over the land already acquired by the company boycotted the meeting.The Collector was highly critical of BSKPS for boycotting the meeting today for the fourth time saying that a handful of people cannot block development of the region.Irked by the repeated boycott of the meetings by Praja Sangh where JSPL authorities were present, Jadhav questioned the legality of the outfit since it is not a registered body and practically not the sole representative of the affected people.“We started roping in leaders of affected villages other than the BSKPS as they cannot monopolise the issues not being the sole representative of the people affected by the JSPL.A big ticket project cannot be held for ransom by some people who avoid any talks with administration on the contentious issues,” said Jadhav.He said normally administration does want to use force but if it is warranted it will not hesitate using the force.As the BSKPS three years ago put up fresh demand of more compensation and employments over the acquired land, the highest policy making body Rehabilitation and Peripheral Development Advisory Committee headed by the Revenue Divisional Commissioner last year formed a sub-committee headed by Collector to initiate talks with the outfit to solve the issue.The sub-committee headed by the Collector has since been trying to find out a solution but the always meetings called by it were skipped by the Praja Sangh.Praja Sangh sources said that they boycotted the meeting as the administration invited people other than the Sangh to the meeting.It is to be noted that JSPL has acquired land in two phases for its 6 mtpa integrated steel project at Chhendipada block of Angul district.It has completed 2 mtpa steel plants along with an 810 MW power plant.Land acquisition for its rest 4 mtpa capacities has been complete.But the people oppose the possession of land demanding more compensation and other benefits like employments.

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