UAC not to cooperate if demands are not met

Bhubaneswar: After three hours of marathon meeting on Monday in the Ersama lock office; the meeting attended by the United Action Committee (UAC) officials and district administration did not find any solution. 

In the meeting, UAC — the pro-Posco outfit asked the administration not to start the land acquisition process unless its demands are met. It also asked the administration to first renew its MOU with the South Korean steel major and then go for land acquisition and failing any of these demands UAC is not going to cooperate in the land acquisition process. 
In the meeting, while the district collector informed everybody about the plan to begin land acquisition from May, 18, the Committee asked not to get into the acquisition process before meeting its set of demands.  

Earlier UAC had come up with 29 charter of demands; out of which at least six demands figured in today’s meeting.

The demands included employment to at least one member of each displaced family, individual compensation for the betel vines demolished, the increased compensation amount of 30 per cent, bigger ex-gratia sum for homestead land, inclusion of betel vines demolished in 2008 in the enumeration exercise and offering priority to locals in construction and contracts work.

Earlier on May 9, in a UAC meeting in Gadkujang, the decision was taken ‘not to cooperate, if the demands are not met.’ This time the meeting joined by the UAC officials, the district collector of Jagatsighpur and Prasant Muduli, MLA, Balikuda-Ersama assembly did not produce much results.

However, the highlight of the meeting was the Committee’s demand for the renewal of the agreement with Posco, which the Union Environment Minster Jairam Ramesh had emphasized in his last visit. 

Vijay Patnaik, the Chief Secretary said that it is now up to the district collector to decide when to go for the acquisition of land.