INDIACSR News Network
LANJIGARH: ‘Videshi NGO Hatao, Lanjigarh Vikash Banchao’ and ‘Vedanta Refinery Chalukara, Jibika Pradan Kara’ – such were the slogans of thousands of perturbed and agitated locals of Lanjigarh, Ambodala, Dahikhal area of Kalahandi and Rayagada districts who gathered at the main gate of Vedanta Aluminium Limited (VAL), Lanjigarh today and met the President & COO of the company and handed over a memorandum demanding restart of the plant which is shut since December 5, 2012.
The company COO in reply agreed that the closure of the plant has hit the economy of the area and assured to restart the refinery soon. “I am aware that after closure of the refinery the economy of Lanjigarh and its nearby area has been adversely impacted. Lots of people have lost their livelihood. However, we are trying all possible steps to restart the plant at partial capacity by sourcing bauxite from neighbouring states and Gujarat.” On April 24, 2013, the locals had met the COO in thousands in number but finding no solution they again took such step today.
As per the locals, many people have lost their jobs after the closure and if the plant will not run, it will affect the region in the long run. The locals were also criticised the international and other NGOs who are playing their role to stop the plant. “The foreign GNOs are responsible for this closure of the plant. We will not tolerate their activities here. How can an outsider decide our fate when we the local people want the plant to run in any way?” expressed Sridhara Pesnia, President of Lanjigarh Anchalika Vikash Parishad.
Another local Chandra Behera who is the president of Truck Owners Association was of the view that “Many people have developed economically after the plant was set up. People have taken loans to buy vehicles and do other business. The state and the Central Govt must take immediate measures to restart the plant.”