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Panem asserts rehab

Dumka, Nov. 26: Panem management came forward to claim they had “largely implemented” the MoU signed with villagers even as the stand-off between displaced people and the firm entered its 11th consecutive day with Babulal Marandi and Stephen Marandi leading the agitation.

“Panem tops in terms of providing the best R&R (relief and rehabilitation) package to its displaced people,” said its general manager T.K. Ghosh.

He said displaced persons were shifted to a newly constructed colony with a carpet area of 850sqft for each family. “These units have separate arrangement for cattle and 24x7 electricity,” he claimed.

“We gave jobs to 607 villagers. We are delivering medication and spending Rs 2 lakh per month on children’s education,” he added.

Panem officials had laid these claims before the Marandi duo but to no avail.

In response, Babulal issued a questionnaire seeking data on displaced people with regard to compensation, jobs, health and education. “Panem is making desperate attempts to mislead people. Where are the primary and high schools on CBSE pattern? Where is the 50-bed hospital?” he asked.

“Anyone visiting the area can see the truth of Panem’s claims. Meagre R&R work has been done,” Stephen said.

A Delhi University research scholar Anirban Kar compiled instances of deprivation. The booklet Jharkhand mein visthapan aur prartirodh says heavy machinery did most of the excavation. Panem engaged hardly 100 residents in temporary jobs. The report claimed that land losers didn’t know the actual compensation sum and were only entitled to the monthly bank interest not exceeding Rs 500 per month.

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