After 10 years of notification by the administration, there is no sign of displacement of villagers of Handia and in the process developmental activities had stopped since a decade worsening the situation.
Raising the issue on Tuesday, villagers under the banner of Gramya Surkhya Samiti, Handia squatted on mass dharna in front of Esaar plant to fulfil their demands.
Essar steel had proposed to acquire land at Handia village under Kujang tehsil for its integrated steel plant project. It wanted 394 acres of land and the administration had served notices under Section 4(1) of the Land Acquisition Act to discuss with the villagers regarding the land acquisition, compensation and other demands in 2008.
Even notice had served to displace nearly 80 families having the population of this village in 2008. Since the land was to be acquired for the steel project, the administration stopped developmental activity in the area.
Section 9 (1) notice was also issued in 2011 and compensation finalised. The company deposited Rs 8.64 lakh for land acquisition. Subsequently, Essar informed that it would not require the said land and no displacement was called for.
This was only in 2016. When villagers protested, they were promised jobs and training. But all the while the government washed off its hands and did not extend any scheme or developmental activity in the village leaving people high and dry be it in terms of drinking water, housing, toilet construction etc.
On Tuesday, the villagers gathered and staged a protest. Collector Mr Subash Chandra Nath Sharma accompanied with local police officials rushed to the spot and pacified with agitators and assured to step up activity in the village.