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Hundreds of locals stage protest over ECL’s proposed plant

Statesman News Service | Jajpur |

Emami Cement Limited (ECL)’s proposed cement plant at Kalinga Nagar Industrial Complex in Jajpur district has witnessed protests by locals despite obtaining the required 100 acres of land from the state government to start the plant.

Hundreds of local of Manitira and other villages have been staging a demonstration before the main gate of the under-construction plant for the past two days.

The agitators have dug a trench before the proposed cement plant main entrance as a result of which men, machinery and material are not able to enter the plant premises.

The villagers are demanding jobs in the plant. “The ECL has purchased around 70 acres of land from our villagers for its proposed cement plant. We have given our arable land to the company and lost our livelihood.

We were given assurance of employment during sale of land. But, the cement company is yet to provide any employment to the land losers, despite repeated requests,” said Raghav Jena, an agitator of Manitira village.

When all our pleas to the company for employment unheard, we with no option left, started agitation and stopped entry of its men and machinery into the plant premises after digging its road, he said.

Following the agitation and cutting of road , the construction and mechanical works of the the proposed cement plant have been disrupted for the past two days. “The agitators have cut the road connected to the proposed cement plant by digging it like a trench. Men, machinaries and materials to the plant have been stopped following the digging of the road. As a result, both the civil and mechanical construction works of the plant have been fully disrupted for the last two days, “ said Anil Kumar Das, Human Resources head of ECL, Kalinga Nagar plant.

He said the plant is under construction and only the workers and the engineers have been engaged in it for the completion of the project. “We are setting up a cement grinding plant here which will have limited employment opportunities.

We will provide direct and indirect employment opportunities to the local people of the area as per the requirement,” he said. ECL has proposed to set up 2.0 MTPA Cement Grinding Unit in Kalinga Nagar under Danagadi tahasil limits with an investment of Rs 401 crore.