Chandikhol: Work on a Rs-50-crore power grid project in Barchana block of Jajpur has been in a limbo over years due to opposition from locals and legal issues.
Meanwhile, the High Court has directed the district administration to hold a hearing involving two sides – the complainants and the project supporters – by October 25.
A two-member division bench of the HC gave the ruling August 23 and asked the Collector to issue a notification for hearing to sort out the issue.
The Collector has been asked to submit a report to it by November 1. “If the complainants are not happy over the hearing, the next course of action can be taken to resolve the issue,” the court said.
Notably, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has laid the foundation stone for a 220/33 grid station at Palei in March, 2019. The grid project was estimated at Rs 50 crore.
29 months after the foundation-laying ceremony, the administration took up steps for its construction. However, local people strongly opposed the project and staged a dharna.
The project has been proposed at Barabari Padia, sprawling over 43 acres at Palei. Paradip-Haridaspur railway line passes through the area. The revenue department has leased out 15 acres to OPTCL for the project for 99 years.
The locals alleged before handing over the land to the OPTCL, local people were not taken into confidence.
They said the area to be used for the power grid has five cremation grounds, playgrounds, pasture land. The project will deprive them of their facilities. Locals and people’s representatives had taken up the issue with the administration, but the latter allegedly did nothing to resolve the issue.
Dillip Samal, a former samiti member of Bikramtiran panchayat, had then moved the High Court against the administration. The locals argued that the project should be built up in one side of the Barabati Padia so that cremation and sports activities would not be hampered in future.