Demanding employment and compensation to the project affected families, as promised during the land grab for the construction of National Mineral Development Corporation’s (NMDC) Nagarnar Steel Plant, hundreds of Nagarnar villagers, along with the workers of the plant, held a day-long Rasta Roko (Road Roko) in front of the plant on May 15.
The strike was organised by Sanyukt Ispat Majdur Sangthan (SIMS), whose leaders have submitted a memorandum with 16 demands to the Executive Director of the plant., while threatening They are also preparing to launch an indefinite protests in the coming months, if the demands are not fulfilled in time. Among the demands areTheir demands include the immediate recruitment of the nominated persons who gave up their land in 2010, inclusion of the ITI skilled workers to be included in RS- II cadre, reduction of the training period for MCPRL post to be reduced from six6 years to 18 months, and compensation for the families whose nominated workers are dead.
While the a large number of villagers, mostly Tribals, havehad given up their land to NMDC, hoping to get hoping employment opportunities and proper compensation in return, only a token number of people were able toended up receivinge the promised benefits.
“Nearly 900 persons who were promised with jobs in 2010, but none of them have been recruited so far. are yet to be recruited, but, so far medical examinations were conducted to only 100 of them. On the other sidehand, various compensations including healthcare, education and rehabilitation for the affected families are being neglected”, said Maheswar Nag, President of SC/ST Employees association of NMDC NISP, Nagarnar. NagHe further added that the employee’s organisations and the members of affected families of Nagarnar will decide on their future plan, if NMDC’s promises are not meted within the prescribed time, which is before October, 2018.
Another major distress that the affected families and the employees are facing is the government’s attempt to privatise the plant. In December 2016, Niti Aayog suggested strategic disinvestment of the nearly Rs 15,000 crore in the plant. Simultaneously, with the NMDC’s approval for privatisation, eEmployees, job aspirants and members of affected families have, since then waged, engaged in numerous struggles against it NMDC’s approval for privatisation..
Nagarnar Steel Plant is a Greenfield Integrated Steel Plant located in Nagarnar, Bastar District in Chhattisgarh. Since 1997, the NMDC has beganbeen acquiring land for the plant and so far it had acquired about 2,000 acres of land, mostly from Tribals and beganfor building the 3three Million Tonnes Per Annum (MPTA) Steel Plant.