Paradip, June 2 (LocalWire): The district administration and JSW company are trying their best to move with the proposed JSW steel project in Dhinkia without consulting the villagers of three Panchayats for which, the villagers of Dhinkia submitted a proposal to the administration for the formation of a committee with the people of the three Panchayats Dhinkia, Nuagaon and Gadakujang.
Sources said that the lockdown for the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic paralyzed the livelihood of many betel vine farmers of Dhinkia Panchayat, as they were unable to sell their betel leaves and hence faced huge losses.
Hundreds of farmers sought the intervention of the administration to hand over their land to the JSW Company for their proposed steel company, through which they would be able to generate income by availing of the compensation and other benefits including employment opportunities.
Hence, the administration today conducted a meeting with the betel vine farmers of Dhinkia Panchayat for seeking their views and cooperation in handing over of their land to the JSW Company for its steel plant project.
Local MLA cum Minister for Water Resource Raghunandan Das, Collector Sangram Keshari Mohapatra, ADM of Paradip Kanhu Charan Dhir, Additional Superintendent of Police Bishnu Prasad Mishra and other officials were present in the meeting.
Minister Das thanked the betel vine farmers for handing over their land to the company, and also committed himself towards ensuring the provision of all compensation and benefits, saying that he would resign his position upon failing his commitment.
Collector Mohapatra said, “There is no scope for the supply of betel leaves to Mumbai and other states because of the uncertainty over the lockdown due to COVID-19. Besides, spitting in public places has become a punishable offense in view of the pandemic and hence the market for betel leaves is declining.
The administration of Maharashtra refused to accept betel leaves from Odisha due to these reasons.
Hence, hundreds of betel vine farmers have agreed to give their land to JSW company for which steps will be taken for the rehabilitation of 5200 families and efforts made to provide a job to at least one person in each family,” he added.
Pro industry leader Nirvya Samantray said, “Today’s meeting was conducted with the participation of only 15 to 20 villagers of Dhinkia Panchayat.
Interestingly, the majority of the villagers have no betel vine farms. Villagers affected by the land acquisition of POSCO project have not yet received compensation for which a committee was formed of three panchayats in order to seek their consent for the proposed JSW steel plant,” he added.
Panchayat Samiti member Debendra Swain has informed, “Majority of the villagers are not interested to hand over their land to JSW company because they have decided to use their land for other cultivations like cashew, paddy, prawn and other cultivation to generate income”.