The villagers affected by the six million tonne steel plant of Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL) at Nisha near here on Monday launched a blockade around the project site to press for fulfillment of their demands pertaining to higher land compensation and jobs in the project.
They were also peeved over the government apathy to convene a meeting of the Rehabilitation and Peripheral Development Advisory Committee (RPDAC) in the last six months to resolve their problems.
Hundreds of locals from about 60 villages in the periphery of the plant put up the blockade at three points around the project site since this morning blocking all sorts of vehicle movements into and from the complex.
However, the project construction has not been affected as the workers inside the plant continued to work, according to company sources.
The agitating locals have two main demands - Rs 50 lakh per acre as land compensation and permanent job to one member of each land losing family.
The locals, who staged the stir under the banner of Birankswar Silpanchal Praja Sangh, complained that during an earlier agitation in February this year, the district administration had promised to convene a meeting of RPDAC soon to sort out their demands.
Pointing out that the government has not kept its word during the last six months, the agitators said, they will not relent until definite dates are announced for the RPDAC meeting.
Expressing concern over the development, D K Saraogi, executive director, JSPL called upon the locals to desist from the path of agitation. “JSPL will do whatever possible keeping in view the legitimate demands of the people and as per the policy of the state government,” he added.
Meanwhile, Arabinda Padhi, the Revenue Divisional Commissioner, took stock of the situation along with other government official. He is reportedly to have directed the district collector Sib Prasad Mishra to convene the RPDAC soon to sort out the issues.