Odisha farmers defy 144; stop boundary work of platic park

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Paradip, Feb 27:

Tension prevailed in Rangiagada village near the port town of Paradip in Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur district as over 2,000 farmers and villagers from Rangiagada and Siju villages Thursday force stalled construction of a boundary wall on 425 acres of land by IDCO for the proposed plastic park despite promulgation of section 144 CrPc in the area.

plastic park

Farmers and villagers of Rangiagada and Siju who came in a procession from the Banbihari Mutt to the construction site led by former Jagatsinghpur MP Bibhu Tarai and stalled work on the construction of a boundary wall by IDCO at the proposed plastic park site breaking prohibitory orders clamped by the district administration.

Tarai, along with the farmers, later sat on a dharna at the construction site. The district administration had imposed section 144 CrPc in the area as farmers had opposed construction of boundary wall earlier.

Farmers alleged that while IDCO had acquired their land by paying a compensation of Rs 13.49 lakh per acre but later sold it off to an industrial firm at the rate of Rs 19 lakh an acre. Moreover, despite acquiring land belonging to local farmers, IDCO had engaged a contractor from outside for construction of the boundary wall.

Villagers had protested against this a few adays back. What further infuriated them was the construction of the boundary wall went apace with the imposition of Sec 144 in the area.

In 2007, IDCO had issued a notice for acquisition of 425 acres of land in Siju and Rangiagada villages under Kujang tehsil. While the land acquisition process continued till 2012, 80 percent of the farmers had received their compensation amounts in lieu of their land. The remaining 20 percent farmers have not accepted their compensation amounts yet.

Former MP Tarai complained that IDCO had started construction of boundary wall on the acquired land though the payment of compensation was yet to be over.

He demanded compensation to farmers, who have lost their land to the project, at the rate of Rs 25 lakh per acre, award of construction work on the boundary wall to a person from among family members of those who have lost their land for the project, jobs for land losers both in construction as well as after commissioning of the industrial unit.

On being asked by reporters to comment on the situation,Tehsildar Basudev Satpathy said that a decision in this regard will be taken after consultations with his higher-ups.

While agitating farmers had left the site, farmers owing allegiance to Banabihari Ekta Manch said they would continue with their token dharna till their demands are met.

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