Ranchi, April 22: A JVM delegation led by party principal general secretary Pradip Yadav today called on Governor Syed Ahmed, urging him to review the land lease agreements with Jindal Steel & Power Limited (JSPL) in Ramgarh and Godda districts.
Yadav alleged that the company was flouting the agreed terms and harassing land owners on different pretexts.
JSPL plans to set up a steel plant with a capacity of 6 million tonne per annum and 1500 MW power plant in Patratu. Besides, it intends to own a 1,320 MW power plant in Godda.
JSPL’s Patratu plant has already begun productions though partially. President Pranab Mukherjee will lay the foundation stone of the plant in Godda on April 30.
Yadav decried that resentments prevailed among the land donors who felt being cheated by the company. He alleged that those who were given jobs in lieu of their land in Patratu were thrown out after two years while many land donors had been denied any job, contrary to the agreed terms.
Also the JSPL’s agreement with the government in June 2008 didn’t specify how much land was required for the power plant in Godda.
Also, the agreement did not spell out the manpower requirements at these plants and what benefits the people of these two districts would get.
He alleged that over 70 people from other states were hired for Godda plant, ignoring the locals.
The party demanded that the company’s corporate social responsibilities be fixed and a high level inquiry committee be formed to examine irregular transfer of public land like burial grounds and grazing yards, with the help of fake gram sabhas. The land ownership rights of ryots, who are giving away their land on a 30-year-lease basis, should be protected.
“We demand that those who have been evicted for setting up Patratu plant should be given regular jobs. Steps should be taken to prevent the company from pressurising landowners to give away more land,” Yadav later told The Telegraph.
He also demanded that all fake cases against the villagers be withdrawn and further transfer of land be stopped till the new land acquisition law and rehabilitation and resettlement policy was enacted.
JSPL AVP A.K. Biruli, however, denied the allegations. He argued that all land acquisitions had been done through mutual consent, since the Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act was in force, which did not approve sale, purchase of land in the entire region.