MAC: Mines and Communities

Bamaloi Grama Panchayat People Facing Second Displacement

Published by MAC on 2006-11-15
Source: Statesman News Service

A people facing second displacement

Statesman News Service

SAMBALPUR, Jan. 15: There seems to be no end to the misery of Bamaloi grama panchayat people, who ~ led by the Sambalpur Zilla Durniti Nibarana Mahila Mancha ~ have been staging a protest and sitting on a relay hunger-strike in front of the Sambalpur collector's office for the past one-and-a-half month braving cold.

Most of these people were dispossessed of the land for Hirakud dam project.

And they now face spectre of another displacement due to a proposed aluminium project which they fight tooth and nail. "We are yet to make our backbone straight following the displacement from our parental homes submerged under Hirakud reservoir. Another one will ruin us," said Mr Parikshit Kissan.

From an interaction with the villagers, who ~ facing all odds ~ are continuing their relay hunger-strike, it has become clear that they do not oppose the project to come in. What they demand is the exclusion of Bamaloi grama panchayat from the project area.

"Our demand is genuine since a second displacement is totally inhuman for a people," said Mr Bhagabati Kissa and Mr Gochandan Rohidas who requested the local and state administration to give a second thought to the project location and leave their grama panchayat.

"But no one listens to us and we are sitting under open sky from 24 November 2006 to make our voice heard," they said.

The collector of Sambalpur, Mr LN Nayak, said that he had already made second round of discussion with the people. "But they are yet to make specific demands," Mr Nayak said. Apart from land, they are also facing dust and other environmental problems in their villages. "Once they make their demands specific, it would be easier to sort out their problems. However, we are going to end the strike soon by considering their genuine demands," Mr Nayak said.

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