OPGC begins ash pond construction amid tight security

Jharsuguda:  After repeated talks with local residents failed, Odisha Power Generation Corporation (OPGC) today began the construction work of its proposed  ash pond amid tight security at Tilia village near Lakhanpur in the district for the expansion of unit 3 and 4 of IB Thermal Power Station at Banharpali.

Top government and OPGC officials are monitoring the situation on the spot. As many as 17 platoons of police have been deployed at the construction site to avoid any untoward incident as the villagers have been protesting the expansion move since long demanding higher compensation.

Earlier, the villagers had prohibited entry of OPGC and other government officials repeatedly to the construction site. They had also torched a government vehicle last year protesting the expansion move.

As many as 836 acres of Government and 273 acres of private land have been handed over to OPGC through IDCO for the proposed ash pond. The district administration had engaged in dialogues with the agitating villagers repeatedly and failed to reach a consensus as the land losers were firm on their demand.

Sources said the villagers are demanding compensation package in line with the one paid by industrial houses including NTPC and Bhusan in the neighbouring Sundargarh district.