Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Orissa has accused Mahanadi Coal Fields Ltd (MCL), a central government PSU under Ministry of Coal, of willfully violating the Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R&R) policy of the state government meant for project-affected people.
Senior BJP leders who joined the affected people of Angul, Jharsuguda and Sundargarh districts in a day-long dharna in front of the state assembly recently urged Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to intervene and take up the issue with Prime Minister immediately.
?After UPA government assumed office at the Centre, concerns of the affected people have become the greatest casualty?, the memorandum submitted to the Chief Minister said and added: ?Any delay in redressing the grievances of the affected people could complicate the socio-economic resentment in the area.?
The memorandum signed by state BJP president Suresh Pujari, Party MPs Dharmendra Pradhan, Rudra Narayan Pani, Surendra Lath, former Union Minister Dr. Debendra Pradhan and several other party leaders said: ?The peripheral developmental work, which MCL takes up in its operational area, has come to a standstill, as in 2004-05 financial year not even a penny has been spent on the peripheral developmental front?, justifying it as a fit case for intervention by the Chief Minister.
The newly elected state president of the party who after taking over the top post of the party organisation joined public protest and called upon the party workers to fight against central government'sapathy towards Orissa.
Reclamation of earth on the over-ground mines and sand filling in the underground mines have not been done for the last few years, leaders accused.
Supply of drinking water through pipe water supply scheme to all affected areas and setting-up of hospitals to take care of medical needs of all people belonging to the affected areas have been a long-standing demand of the people. ?We urge you to take up this issue with appropriate authorities?, they told the Chief Minister.
?During NDA regime, royalty of the coal was revised. Now it is time to urge the Centre to revise the royalty so that Orissa could gain from its natural resource?coal.?
If Centre fails to meet the demands of the affected people, BJP district units of Angul, Jharsuguda and Sundargarh would resort to the path of mass agitation and senior BJP leaders assured them full support in their fight for their right.