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Utkal Students Join Anti-posco Stir

Published by MAC on 2006-05-25
Source: Statesman News Service

Utkal students join anti-Posco stir

Statesman News Service, JAGATSINGHPUR

25th May 2006

A group of students from Utkal University joined the activists of the Rastriya Yuva Sangathan and Nav Nirman Samiti ~ spearheading the anti-Posco movement ~ and interacted with the villagers here recently. It was an open forum of sorts at Dhinkia, Govindapur, Nolisahi and Nuagaon villages where people were asked to share their views on the proposed mega steel plant and also speak about their apprehensions. Livelihood issues as well as those related to environment and the promises made in the Resettlement and Rehabilitation policy figured prominently in the discussions. Students like Bikash Nayak narrated the plight of the displaced people in the nearby areas. Many, who lost land to the Oil Refinery in Paradip or the NINL in Jajpur, are now beggars or migrant labourers, he pointed out.

Villagers expressed concern over the loss of livelihood in terms of sustained income that they are getting from paddy cultivation, betel vines, fishing and cashew plantation. They felt that the cash compensation of Rs 6,000 per decimal area under betel vine was meager. Similarly, the offer of jobs was also rejected by the people as they were in favour of pursuing agriculture. "From land owners and farmers one cannot expect us to become landless labourers or peons in companies," the student leaders said. Villagers like Babuli Rout were vociferous in their protests against the proposed displacement.

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