Leading Indian steelmaker JSW has declared a special rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R) compensation package for the would be affected people before going ahead with its plans to set up a Rs 55,000 crore steel plant in Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur district.
The R&R compensation package for the project affected people with ration card in the land losing villages of Nuagaon, Gada Kujang and Dhinkia Gram Panchayat, for its integrated steel plant at Paradip, is announced based on discussions at the district, gram panchayat and village level with extensive participation of villagers, district administration and other stakeholders to elicit public opinion, an official said.
The Posco project in the same area was withdrawn earlier due to stiff resistance from the local people during the land acquisition activities. The compensation announced now by the JSW is way above the policy provisions outlined in the Rehabilitation & Resettlement Policy, Odisha, 2006, the official said.
“JSW has sustainability as a core value and in sync, we are stepping up CSR activities in our green-field project site for the all-round development of the region,” said Ranjan Nayak, COO, JSW Steel operations, Odisha.
“We are taking up livelihood of the people from the project villages as a priority area and are coming up with a roadmap to address it,” he added.
Nayak said that the VLC (village level committee) engagement process by JSW has received overwhelming response with close to 175 applications from all three GPs – close to 40 applications were received from Dhinkia GP, 100 from Nuagaon and about 35 from Gadakujang GP. The interview process was conducted smoothly and the selected candidate list would be made public shortly.
This apart, the process has been initiated for additional engagement of 1000 youth with both technical and non-technical background from the project affected villages. The last date for submission of application is December 20, 2021, following which, the shortlisting and recruitment process would commence.
Official sources said that JSW Steel require 2,950 acres of land for its 13.2 mtpa steel mill of which the state government has already allotted 272 acres of non-forest land to the company. The remaining 2,678 acres of land under forest category will be acquired as per the process with the cooperation of the local residents, a revenue department official of Kujang Tehsil said.
An estimated 142 families comprising 47 households (HHs) from Jogisahi, 20 HHs from Patna, 49 HHs from Gobindpur, 2 HHs from Nuagan and 24 HHs from Polng village, will be displaced for the proposed project while none required to displaced from Dhinkia village, which was the epicentre of anti-Posco movement a decade ago.
The company has also announced adequate compensation for loss of betel vines in the proposed project site. A compensation of Rs 17,500 per decimal has been declared which is above the government provision of Rs 6,000 per decimal, charted out in the government R&R policy. Additionally, a bonus of Rs 50,000 per betel vine, irrespective of size, provided it is demolished within a fortnight of announcement in the said village, has been declared.
For the first time, a differential compensation of Rs 6,000 per decimal is offered to all the old betel vine owners, who earlier received Rs 11,500 per decimal, has been announced.
For all ration card holders in the eight villages – namely Polang, Bayanalakandha, Jatadhara, Nuagaon, Gobindpur, Patana, Dhinkia and Mahala, who have not received betel vine compensation or have not received any labour compensation earlier from erstwhile projects, betel vine labour compensation of Rs 88,000 – Rs 44,000 as one-time financial assistance after demolition of all betel vines and Rs 44,000 balance as additional bonus after completion of boundary wall of the entire project area has been offered, a company spokesperson said quoting the R&R package.
For the villages from where betel vines have already been removed, eligible families will be paid Rs 44,000 after the demarcation of the boundary wall in the said village and rest Rs 44,000 after the boundary construction for the project is complete, she said.
Each Family under the ‘Jangal Surakhya’ Committee will be paid Rs 50,000 and the number of the families associated with the Jangal Surakhya Committee will be selected based on the records and proceedings of the committee for past three years. One representative member per ration card holding family will be eligible for this compensation and the amount will be disbursed after completion of the tree felling.
Similarly, for the prawn ponds with requisite permission from competent authority, a compensation is Rs 2.5 lakh per acre will be provided while fruit bearing trees, as per government norms and notification, compensation to be paid.
Meanwhile, the company plans a door-to-door survey in the land losing villages to identify one eligible member between the age group of 20-30 years from the ration card holder families for engagement would be taken up shortly. JSW would try to provide direct or indirect engagement to one member from each ration card holding family in land losing villages.
The engagement would be given in any of JSW group companies, associated company or contractors of the plant or project agencies, in a phased manner. Ration card holders, on the date of issue of proclamation in the land losing villages will be treated as eligible families unless and otherwise specifically excluded, the package said.
Besides, JSW is collaborating with the administration for renovation of schools in the region and for up-gradation of health services in the project site.
The company plans to set up a green-field steel plant with 13.2 MTPA capacity at an investment of about Rs 55,000 crore with a 900 MW captive power plant, 10 MT cement plant and 12 MTPA jetty at Paradip.