Agitation by land losers has put a question mark on the fate of under-construction DVC thermal power plants at Raghunathpur in Purulia.
Since Friday they are staging protests demanding job for those who have given their land for the construction of the plants.
The agitators have also blocked the main gate and kept six personnel locked inside. They have also barred entry of any outsider inside one of the plants.
According to sources, a plan was chalked out to set up two plants of 600 MW each in the first phase and it was scheduled to begin operations in 2012.
The foundation stone for two more plants was also laid in December 2012. DVC had already invested 5,500 crore in the project.
If the future of the Raghunathpur project remains uncertain in Bengal, it will deal a blow to its plan of generating more power.
About 1,600 acre for the plant, 350 acre for rail corridor and 47 acre for water corridor project was acquired from about 2,200 families.
All of them have been given Rs. 2 lakh for an acre as compensation.
Now, they are demanding job for the family members.
“This trouble at the plant might affect the overall power situation in West Bengal and Jharkhand since the switch yard of the plant is connected to the national grid and no one is being allowed to enter the plant. We are also facing daily loss of about Rs. 3.5 crore due to the agitation,” Debasish Mitra, the chief engineer of the plant, said.
The DVC authority had also held meetings with the district administration and informed them about the whole situation.
After the land acquisition process began in 2007, the locals were promised that they would get job in the power plant and some youths were also trained.
But none has been offered any job as of yet.
“The DVC authorities had assured us jobs while taking land from the locals. But now they have gone back on their promise. We want jobs for family members who have given land for the power plants. If it is not done, then we will intensify our agitation,” Debjit Banerjee, leader of the agitators, said.
When asked about the situation, Trinamool Congress leader Shantiram Mahato expressed concern over the issue.
“I hope that the problem will be solved soon. I have also apprised our chief minister and industries minister of the impasse,” said Mahato.
“It is a matter of great concern that land losers are forced to agitate like this and the government is not even bothered about them.
During our regime, if we had to acquire land, we used to discuss the matter with all parties before going ahead with acquisition,” Nirupam Sen, former industries minister and CPI(M) senior leader, told HT.