ODISHA :Tata Steel is awaiting the state government’s nod to provide fresh compensation package to the families ousted by its Gopalpur project in Ganjam district
“We have already given our opinion at the stakeholders’ meeting conveyed by the district collector. The government will approve it after considering the report of the collector” said Arun Mishra, vice president, Gopalpur project of Tata Steel.Mishra was here to attend a function to distribute prizes to the meritorious students by Tata Steel. He, however, did not spell out the company’s proposal for the fresh compensation package.
As many as 656 core families and 989 extended families of at least five villages near Gopalpur were displaced in 1996, when the steel giant acquired around 2,970 acres of land for setting up a shore-based mega steel plant. While the families of Sindhigaon, Badapaur, Patrapur, Kalipalli and Paikapada were displaced for the project, families of eight other villages lost their land.
The company later shelved the steel plant project and decided to set up an industrial park and multi-product SEZ (Special Economic Zone). Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had laid the foundation stone for the industrial park in August 2010. Inordinate delay in execution of the industrial park project was the cause of discontent among the displaced people. Besides, on the basis of the recent rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R) policy, the displaced and affected people have demanded a revised compensation package including permanent job for at least one member from each of the families of the land losers. The demand for a fresh rehabilitation package was raised time and again by the Tata rehabilitation village development committee. The demands included Rs 15 lakh to each displaced family, fresh enumeration of the displaced families, providing employment, re-construction of the old buildings and giving land titles of the houses to displaced persons residing in the rehabilitation colony.