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Bhubaneswar: Members of Odisha Assembly cutting across party lines on Wednesday alleged that the industries operating in the state were not hiring local youths.

The issue cropped up during the Zero Hour of the Assembly when members of the ruling BJD and opposition BJP and the Congress alleged that the companies were ignoring the state government's directive on employing local residents in 90 per cent of the unskilled jobs.

The state government, in a circular issued earlier, had asked all the industrial establishments to hire 90 per cent of their unskilled workforce from their vicinity.

Treasury bench members Kishore Mohanty (Brajrajnagar), Rohit Pujari (Rairakhole) and Braja Pradhan (Talcher) targeted Mahanadi Coalfield Limited (MCL) over non-compliance with the directive while BJP member Kusum Tete from Sundargarh hit out at the National Thermal Power Corporation over the issue.

Kishore Mohanty, also a former speaker of the Assembly, said a major law and order crisis may erupt in Jharsuguda district if the MCL continued ignoring the interests of the local people.

"Of the 2,373 candidates who qualified for jobs in the MCL on November 24, only 10 were from the state. Those who lost their lands to the MCL were also not hired," he said.

Mohanty also alleged that the MCL does not use Odia language in its official work.

"Not using Odia in MCL is a dishonour towards the state," he said.

Senior BJD member Amar Prasad Satpathy demanded a ruling from the chair on employment of locals by industries.

BJP members Bishnu Charan Sethi and Nauri Naik also alleged that the local labour and employment officers are denied entry into the MCL premises.

The MLAs alleged that the local people are ignored by the companies, including MCL, even though they bear the adverse impact of pollution and lose lands to the projects.

Speaker Surya Narayan Patro directed the mining department to look into the issues raised by the legislators.

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