JAJPUR, 04/05/2017 ( Odisha Samachar / Akshaya Rout ) – Large numbers of workers of Maithan steel plant in Kalinganagar of the district sat in dharana under Kalinganagar Mazdoor union on Thursday to press their demands for permanent jobs ,the increase of salaries and other demands. Ananta Jena of Trijanga village , one of the landowners whose ten acres of fertile land was acquired by the state government for steel plant ” We were assured jobs for our children in the plant but the
assurances remained just on the lips. Now, I reside along with my three sons and wife in a two roomed house near the plant. He is one of the many farmers who have lost land for steel plant in Kalinganagar.
Pratap Jena a villager of Trijanga said “We have no choice but to hold protests. It has been 10 years since the government acquired our lands for a song to set up industries , but the majority of the residents have not received proper compensation, alternate land or jobs”. “We have lost our agricultural land and face severe pollution. We have also been denied jobs. The steel plant refused us jobs, saying there are no vacancies”, said Madan Jena a villager of Khapuriapada.
“Our agricultural land is destroyed because of fly ash dumped all around. We have no electricity or drinking water supply. Fly ash and dust emission from the plants settle everywhere and on everything. The river Ganda is being polluted by the steel plant “, complains Makar Sahoo of Trijanga village.
On Thursday , large numbers of locals sat in dharna to protest against the slipshod attitude of the officials of the steel plant to provide jobs to the locals. Addressing the workers and land looses MLA Sukinda Pritiranjan Ghadei the president of Kalinganagar mazdoor union said “ Steel
industries and chromites mines in Sukinda Valley are discharging industrial and mines wastes in the Brahmani system, completely disregarding the laws of the land. The authority is concerned only to provide water to big industrial houses at Kalinganagar area of the district . But the authority pays only lip service to poor tribals. In these areas agriculture is more dependent on rainfall due to non availability of irrigation systems many locals face problems to raise paddy and other crops on their fields. Many locals lost their land as many companies assured them to provide jobs. But now the companies and mines betrayed locals by not providing any employment. Our trade union is determined to help the workers who are not getting proper salaries”. .