A face-off took place between the police and some villagers after the latter stage a road block while protesting the public hearings on the expansion of Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Limited at Raigangpur block of Sundergarh District on Wednesday.
Expressing resentment over the public hearings in the past, the villagers along with the local MLA C S Rajeen Ekka blocked the road for the Officials of the district administration and the police who were on their way to conduct another round of public hearing at Kesharmala area to take feedback from the people who would be affected by the expansion of mining companies. The authorities were accompanied by the company officials.
They tried to pacify the protestors by assuring all possible help to people whose livelihood would be affected by the expansion of the project. The authorities also urged them to file written complaints on issues they might face in the future.
However, the villagers were far from being satisfied with the assurances and continued to stage demonstration. The agitating villagers claim that they have already informed the District collector about their problems but no action has been taken as yet.
Meanwhile, additional forces have been deployed in the area to avert any untoward incident.
“We have conducted a survey by an independent institution about the people whose livelihood would be affected by the land acquisition. We held a meeting to know the feedback on the report that has been published by the organisation. Some people have also expressed their problems. But apart from the people who will be affected, many unaffected people are also staging protest. We will also consider their problems,” said Sub-Collector Abhimanyu Behera.
By Ashutosh Mallik