Odisha villagers protest cement plant
Villagers of Khamar Nuagan and Kolathapangi under Athagarh block have threatened to stage an indefinite dharna in front of Cuttack Collector office from January 2 protesting against the administration for handing over 90 acres of pasture land to Aditya Birla Group of Companies for setting up Ultratech Cement Plant.
The villagers have alleged that though they have been resorting to protests against the proposed cement plant and a thermal power unit near their villages for the last seven years, the administration turned a deaf ear to their demand and handed over the pasture land.The pasture land which acts as a natural corridor for communication of elephants from Sankhapoi Reserve Forest to Subasi Reserve Forest will be affected, they stated.
The administration has also demarcated land on December 11 and 12 by imposing Section 144 to suppress the public, they stated and added that there are a wide variety of medicinal plants on the land which have been handed over to the company. This apart, the severe water crisis which the locals face during summer will only increase further, they added.If timely action is not taken to revoke the prohibition order and cancel the agreement for setting up cement plant, they would be compelled to stage dharna, the villagers threatened.