Paradip, Dec 21 (LocalWire) Dhinkia villagers, as well as outsiders, have allegedly acquired government land for proposed steel plant by JSW Steel Limited of Jindal Group for compensation and jobs, said reports on Friday.
According to reports, villagers have planted betel vine and set up prawn ghery to forcibly acquire the government land for getting compensation and job opportunities in the upcoming steel project.
Recent declaration by Odisha industry minister Ananta Das to hand over 2900 acre of land earlier meant for a POSCO project to JSW Steel Limited for its proposed steel plant, has reportedly prompted locals and outsiders to acquire government land at Dhinkia panchyat.
The villagers claim revenue officials are aware of this acquisition.
Villagers, including outsiders, have also allegedly acquired 1016 acre of forest land in Dhinkia village, while the forest department and administration have yet not aken any steps to check this illegal acquisition of forest land.
Hundreds of acre of forest lands have been acquired where villagers, claiming themselves as forest dwellers, are cultivating betel vines, cashew and fish on forest land for seeking compensation and job opportunities.
A senior officer of revenue department said: “We have information of this illegal encroachment of forest land by local people for cultivating betel vines, cashew and prawn ghery, but forest officials are not taking any interest to check them.”
Panchyat samiti member Debendra Swain said: “We have vowed not to give one inch of land for upcoming industries, including JSW Steel Limited for its proposed steel plant.”
Forest Ranger, Kujang Pratap Chandra Mohanty said: “This forest land comes under Gramya Jungle, fallen forest land, which are under revenue department. So, forest department has no role to check the illegal encroachment.”