Paradip, July 17 (LocalWire): Villagers in Govindpur detained a driver of JSW Steel Limited hostage, and seized a vehicle and other survey equipment on Tuesday to stop the company from conducting surveys for the proposed steel plant.
The villagers were protesting against the decision of JSW Steel to conduct surveys without their consent.
Villagers allege that a team of JSW had been conducted survey using GPS system while hiding in Govindpur village for three days.
On receiving information about the survey, villagers of Govindpur reached the spot to stop the work and while three employees of the JSW group managed to flee from the spot, irate villagers managed to seize one Boeloro and detain its driver Pratap Rout at Govindpur primary school.
In an earlier instance, last month, JSW officials detained by the villagers were released only after the assurance from the company that no survey or any other work will be done in the area without their permission.
The villagers under the banner of the Nabeghar Forest Committee and Balishai Forest Committee had held a meeting in the Nuagaon village in the presence of JSW officials, including their HR manager Subash Chandra Pani, deputy manager (project) Bibhuprad Nanda and other JSW employees and normalcy was restored in Nuagaon and Gadakujang panchayat after a written assurance was given by the officials.
It may be recalled that the state government had last year decided to hand over the 2,700 acres of land meant for the Posco project to JSW Steel of Jindal Group for its proposed steel plant.
During the land acquisition process, over 5,000 betel vine workers were left jobless following the dismantling of betel vines in these villages on the Posco project site.
As per the agreement, the company had consented to give sustenance allowance of Rs 2,500 to each betel vine worker and also 20% of the compensation award made to their respective vineyard owners.
However, 90% betel vine laboures are yet to receive their sustenance allowance and compensation.
Locals allege that betel vine workers and other village forest committees to have not yet received any compensation and villagers of Nuagaon, Gadakujang, Dhinkia have long been demanding their compensation and benefits, but neither the state government nor the local administration has taken any step to redress their grievances.
The company had allegedly started the survey work after withdrawal of Posco Steel project without paying the compensation, forcing the irked villagers oppose the steel plant project.