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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Resentment is now spreading among locals ahead of the public hearing for JSW's proposed project in Paradip. The proposed steel plant will come up on the land earlier allocated to South Korean steel major Posco. The company plans to set up a 13.2 MTPA steel plant, a 10 MTPA cement grinding unit and a 900-MW captive power plant. The firm is also planning to set up a captive port on the mouth of Jatadhari River.

Posco Sangram Samiti, which spearheaded the anti-Posco agitation in the district, is now rearing its head as JSW Pratirodha Sangram Samiti. Rallies are being conducted against the proposed JSW project in the area. The villagers allege that if such a mega project comes up, it will badly affect the livelihood as well as the environment.

“We do not know what we will do as we are clueless. What we will do if our land is lost and where we will go? What assistance will the government give us?” questioned Bishnucharan Patra, a resident of Nuagaon.

“The project will take away livelihood of people and will adversely affect the ecology of the area,” said Lalatendu Mohapatra, president of the JSW Pratirodha Sangram Samiti. We will oppose the upcoming public hearing, he added.

“Why the proposed project is being allowed near human settlement which will also disturb the ecology?” said environmentalist Prafulla Samantaray.

Keeping in view the proposed public hearing on December 20, the district administration has beefed up security. The administrative officials are now camping in the area to ensure that the public hearing is conducted successfully.

The move to beef up security comes in the backdrop of resentment and protest by Govindpur villagers over distribution of school bags by the company in some schools in the area.

Meanwhile, the company officials informed that project will come up with support of the locals. “Our focus is on people and we are meeting them. We will fulfil their requirements and go ahead with the project,” said Biraja Shankar Das, a senior JSW official.

Jagatsinghpur Collector, Sangram Mohapatra said, “All the people are supporting the project and their demands have been presented to the JSW officials.”

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