Villagers offer conditional support to Dalmia cement plant – The New Indian Express

By Express press service

MALKANGIRI: The district administration on Saturday held a public hearing for the environmental clearance of the Dalmia cement plant project in Kattamateru within the boundaries of Motu tehsil. Nearly 250 people from the various affected villages of Mattapakka, Niliguda and Sikhpally attended the meeting. They extended conditional support for the cement plant while voicing demands such as jobs, healthcare, road connectivity and other facilities for land losers.

Irma Madkami from Purnaguda village said many affected villagers, especially those who are illiterate, want to be sure that their demands will be met once the project is cleared. Another youth, Anand Sodi, from the village of Orkelguda, said: “The project will only benefit people if the unemployed youths get jobs at the factory. The company must tackle our fundamental problems like health, employment and education. Anand also demanded the provision of mobile towers and ambulances for the villagers.

Addressing the affected villagers, Deputy Executive Director of Dalmia Cement SK Rout said all issues have been clarified. The company will soon install two Jio towers for mobile connectivity and provide ambulance service to villagers. “We will continue with the people’s support and do what is necessary for the villagers,” he said. The plant will have an annual production capacity of 3 million tonnes.

The hearing was attended by ADM Birasen Pradhan, Pollution Control Board Regional Officer Prashant Kar and Rout. Around 20 police platoons were deployed around the site. Dalmia Cement Bharat Limited has secured the bid for Kattamateru Limestone Mine after a tender was issued by the Odisha government earlier. The plant will be installed on a land of 801.171 hectares (ha). According to Malkangiri DFO Pratap Kottapalli, 462 ha of forest land including 186 ha of protected forest and 276 ha of income forest land will be affected.

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