Staff Reporter

The district administration ordered the company to stop the work following a group clash at the worksite.

BERHAMPUR: Efforts are on by local elected representatives and the district administration to restart the civil construction work of the Indo-Russian Titanium SEZ project near the Gopalpur port in Ganjam district.

The company officials had started civil construction work in the last week of June. There was a group clash at the worksite near Kanamana village on June 25. It led the Ganjam district administration to order the company to stop its work till further orders. Five persons were injured and three vehicles were damaged in the clash.

‘No opposition’

But there is almost no opposition to the project and locals want the work of the project to start soon, said Sub-Collector of Chatrapur, Ajit Mishra. CPI MLA of Chatrapur N.Narayan Reddy who had led the anti-Tisco agitation in the area in the past is also in support of this project. The administrative officials and Mr Reddy have decided to call a meeting of representatives of all villages to be affected by the project on Saturday to end the stumbling blocks in the path.

Mr Reddy who represents the area said the clash that occurred on June 25 was not related to any kind of opposition to the project. It was a clash between two groups who wanted employment during the construction work. “The issue aggravated as the company officials had not informed the local police or administration before start of work,” he said. He was confident that the work on the project would restart within a few days with full support of local inhabitants. “We will try to sort out every labour problem as well as any doubts in the minds of locals at Saturday meeting,” MR Reddy said.

The Indo-Russian venture has acquired about 250 acres near Kanamana, Sriramchandrapur and Tikiria villages for its first phase. The land comprises 200 acres of private and 52.66 acres of government land.

The land acquirement process for its second phase has already started. This first Indo-Russian project in the country worth around Rs. 2,000 crores would be on an area of over 550 acres near the Gopalpur port.

The main plant of the project needed 250 acres of land and on the rest there would be ancillary units related to titanium.