MAC: Mines and Communities

Posco Project: Women Lock Ri Office

Published by MAC on 2006-02-24

Posco project: Women lock RI office

24th February 2006

PARADIP: Hundreds of women, protesting the proposed Posco project, on Thursday locked the Revenue Inspector's (RI) office at Nuagaon Circle, demanding cancellation of MoUs signed between the State Government and the South Korean company for setting up a steel plant here. Sources said Rashtriya Yuba Sangthan and Nav Nirman Samiti have been staging dharanas and hunger strikes in front of Nuagaon RI office since December 15.

Noted environmentalist Medha Patkar who had visited them earlier exhorted the people to remain united and told them not to spare an inch of land for the project. They also threatened to paralyse the RI office by sealing the office.

Meanwhile, Panchayatiraj Minister Damodar Rout and Revenue Minister Manmohan Samal faced protests by thousands of women and were not allowed to conduct an awareness meeting on the plant at Gadakujanga on Wednesday.

Sources said that both the Ministers had decided to conduct a public meeting on building awareness and rehabilitation of the affected people of Dhinkia, Naugaon and Gadakujanga area. Distribution of leaflets provoked thousands of villagers to stage a dharna. They also slept on the road to prevent the Ministers from entering the village.

The villages complained that Rout did not grant them audience at Bhubaneswar for discussing the issue. They questioned how the Revenue Minister came when the latter was not connected with the steel plant.

The Ministers later conducted a roadside meeting at Balitutha Bridge, eliciting support to the project. None from BJD turned up to show solidarity with the Ministers. The meeting was organised under the banners of Bhumiputra Sangram Sansad and Posco Jan Sampark Samiti.

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