The Telegraph
Friday , May 23 , 2014
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Mecon gate protests swell

Residents of South Office Para, a private residential locality in Doranda area of the state capital, on Thursday threatened to launch a massive agitation against Mecon if it failed to open the gate in Shyamali Colony within seven days.

A press statement issued by a delegation of the residents, led by Ajay Malkani, Rajesh Kumar and Gaur Kumar Banerjee, said that locking the gate, which gave them free access to Shyamali Colony for the past 40 years, was in contravention of the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy.

“We have been assembling in front of the closed gate every evening since May 19 for peaceful demonstrations and will continue to do so till May 25. After that we will start blocking roads around Mecon if the gate is still not opened,” said the press statement.

On May 21, The Telegraph had carried a report, Mecon’s ‘gate out’ blow to 10000, highlighting how the 10,000-odd residents of South Office Para were facing difficulties ever since Mecon shut the Shyamali Colony gate leading to South Office Para because of security reasons.

The residents had claimed that they depended on the Mecon township for everything right from hospital to schools and hostels.

Taking cognisance of the report, DGM in-charge (corporate services), Mecon, Rana Chakravarty, sent a letter to The Telegraph on that day itself, saying that there were two gates — one small and another big — connecting Shyamali Colony and South Office Para. One of the gates has been left opened and two-wheelers and pedestrians can use it whenever required.

Chakravarty further said that the Mecon management had held a meeting with representatives of South Office Para, where it clearly stated that the gate had been shut as it gave free access to eve-teasers and snatchers.

“We are aware of the problems faced by the residents. Hence, we kept the small gate open. As far as opening the big gate is concerned, we are worried about the security of the residents of our own colony,” Chakravarty told The Telegraph on Thursday.

But the residents are not ready to buy any argument.

“There are three more gates near Dibdih, Nirmala College and Satellite Colony. When there is no security threat at those places, why is Mecon creating an issue about the gate leading to South Office Para, where mostly retired employees of Mecon and SAIL stay?” asked Ajay Malkani.