Villagers protest Public Hearing on Land acquisition for construction of NLC thermal plant at Jharsuguda

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Jharsuguda : The villagers of Hirma, Kumhari, Tareikela, Tumbekela and Luherankachar  under Hirma Panchayat on Tuesday had staged a protest and boycotted a public hearing on Social Impact Assessment held by Jharsuguda District Administration and Neyveli Lignite Corporation Limited (NLC) officials in Gariadihi Village under Jharsuguda.

As reported, Neyveli Lignite Corporation Limited (NLC), a ‘Navratna’ government of India company is going to set up 3200 MW thermal Plant in Jharsuguda and Sambalpur border area, which would spread in a total 1221.61 Acres of Land including  Jharsuguda and Sambalpur District, respectively.

In Jharsuguda around 880.35 Acres of land and in Sambalpur around 341.26 acres of land will be acquired for this project.

During the first phase, the company is planned to set up around 2400 MW (800MWx3) and later in the Second Phase 800MW (800MWx1) will be setup. The coal required for this thermal plant will be taken from Talabira II & Talabira III Open Cast mines through Pipe Conveyor, whereas the water, will be drawn from Hirakud Reservoir.  

On Tuesday, the people of Hirma, Kumhari, Tareikela, Tumbekela and Luherankachar and neighbouring affected Villages had boycotted the public hearing on Social Impact Assessment.

“When we learnt about NLC which is proposed to setup a plant in our area, we had given a letter to Jharsuguda District Collector that we don’t want any more factory. In Jharsuguda there have been so many Industries but not even single Industries have fulfilled their promises. They just give false promises and would cheat us, even this plant will do the same. So we don’t want to be cheated.” said Rajeev Lochan Panigrahi, a resident of Tareikela

“After big Industries like Bhusan Steel and Power and Vedanta Ltd., none of the villager’s conditions have been improved. These industry people would come to our place only to destroy us by giving false promises. So we want to boycott this public hearing.” said Santanu Panigrahi, resident of Tareikela

“We are surviving just because of our lands and if any factory will come up and take away our Maa Mati (Land) then how can we survive. So we demand that factory should not come here,” said Budhram Garia, resident of Gariadihi Village

P. Satya Murty, General Manager, HR (NLC)  said that” We are planning to setup 3200MW Thermal Plant in Jharsuguda. We have planned for land acquisitions for which an initial Social Impact Assessment is being conducted. We have applied land acquisition for 1221 acres of land through Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) and would provide all facilities to land out see as per the govt. norms.”  

Jharsuguda Sub collector Shiba Toppo, said that “NLC India’s Thermal Power Plant is proposed in Jharsuguda, under which five Village of Jharsuguda District will be affected, in this regard a public hearing was conducted on Tuesday, but the villagers had protested and didn’t turn up for this and it was not successful. So it has been postponed as if now.” 

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