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Locals protest against Medha Patkar's visit to Odisha village

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Bhubaneswar, June 6 (Ajit Weekly News) Activist Medha Patkar on Monday faced strong protest and public ire while visiting Dhinkia village in Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur district, where JSW has proposed to set up a mega steel plant.

After meeting Debendra Swain, who led the protest against the proposed JSW plant at the Kujang sub-jail, Patkar was heading to Dhinkia village to meet Swain’s family members.

However, the villagers, who support the project, staged a protest at the entrance of the village.

“Why have you come here, to stir a conflict,” the villagers asked Patkar.

“I don’t know why she is coming to our village. We are fine and living in harmony. So we will not allow any leader to enter our village and create disturbance,” said a protesting villager.

Facing public opposition, Patkar returned without meeting the family members of Swain.

“We came here to hear from the villagers. The people have said that they will get jobs if the JSW plant is set up,” Patkar told mediapersons at the protest site.

Sajjan Jindal-owned JSW Utkal Steel Ltd (JUSL) has proposed to set up a 13.2 million tonne per annum (mtpa) integrated steel project at the site near Paradip in Jagatsingh district with an investment of Rs 65,000 crore.

Earlier, Posco had planned to set up a 12 million tonne capacity steel project at the site with an investment of Rs 52,000 crore. However, following public resistance as well as regulatory hurdles, the South Korean steel major officially withdrew from the project in 2017.

–Ajit Weekly News
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