Bhadrak: The farmers of Basudevpur block of Bhadrak district are on the verge of losing their livelihood as the State Government has started erecting high-tension power transmission towers on their farmland allegedly without paying them compensation or getting their consent.
Sources said the Odisha Power Transmission Corporation Limited (OPTCL) owned by the State government has given the contract of constructing the project to TATA Power.
Reports said, the installation of the towers have already started at Arandua, Bada Chandrabhanupur and Sugunda villages in the district. However, local farmers rue that the construction of the power transmission towers is being done without serving them notice.
The farmers claimed that the towers will take away major portions of their agricultural land thus forcing them to quit farming, their only source of livelihood.
A farmer, Khagendra Nayak alleged, “The transmission companies did not inform or even served us any notice regarding the installation of the towers. Each tower is being built in around 2 to 2.5 decimal area and the lines will be drawn from the tower will cover multiple acres of land.”
The farmers further alleged that the concerned officials are forcefully building the project without offering them any compensation for loss of their land.
“On being asked, the officials refused to give any compensation. They are forcefully installing the towers and think we are illiterate and so they can fool us. I will not allow anyone to construct tower on my land and if forced, I will attempt self-immolation,” threatened another farmer, Prahlad Nayak.
North Eastern Electricity Supply Company of Odisha (Nesco) officials clarified that the work for the installation of high-tension power transmission towers is being done by the OPTCL.
On the other hand, local tehsildar informed that if the tower installation is being done without the prior consent of the farmers, appropriate steps will be taken against the concerned authorities.
Basudevpur Tehsildar, Soumyashri Mishra stated, “We have not received any such complaint till date. If the farmers come up with any grievance regarding the forceful installation of towers on their land, we will take appropriate legal steps.”