The company asked to submit a report on land use

The Ganjam district administration on Saturday directed Tata Steel to ensure employment for members of the families displaced or affected due to the shelved Gopalpur mega steel project of the company in the district. The administration also directed the Tata Steel authorities to submit a report regarding the use of the land acquired by it for the shelved steel project within next one week. These directives came up during a meeting chaired by District Collector Krishen Kumar at district headquarters town of Chatrapur. The meeting was attended by officials of the Tata Steel, former MLA and labour leader N. Narayan Reddy, Ganjam Superintendent of Police (SP) Ashis Singh, Additional District Magistrate (ADM) S.K. Raut.

It may be noted that in recent past resentment among the families affected by the land acquisition of the now shelved project of the Tata Steel had increased as the company had stopped employing local workers who had been deployed in the construction work of the proposed ferro-chrome plant proposed on a portion of the land acquired by the company almost 18 years ago. They were mostly menial labourers involved in construction of a boundary wall and other works.Tata Steel has shelved its proposed mega steel project in Ganjam district for which land had been acquired. Now the company has proposed to develop a same Special Economic Zone (SEZ) named Gopalpur Industrial Park (GIP) on the same land. Tata Steel has also proposed establishment of a ferro-chrome plant at its proposed GIP.

The Tata Steel authorities were directed by the Collector to reemploy all workers who had been employed by the company earlier by September 15. The administration felt it was the duty of the company to provide source of employment to at least 1800 persons who had lost their land or had been displaced due to the shelved steel project. The company was also ordered to provide payment to the employed workers on tenth of every month through banks. The workers would work for seven hours and the district labour officer would monitor their working condition and problems at regular intervals.

It was decided that the administration would assist in the infrastructure development in nine villages affected by the shelved proposed mega steel project.