Monday, November 29, 1999

Bhushan Steel``s ground-breaking ceremony amid protests

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Jamshedpur, May 16 (PTI) Bhushan Power and Steel Limited (BPSL) today performed ground-breaking ceremony for its proposed steel plant amid mass protest and ''janata curfew'' in several villages in Potka block in Jharkhand. BPSL, which proposes to set up three million tonne steel and 900 MW power plant in Potka in east Singhbhum district, had to shift the venue 200 yards away following protest by villagers against the unit. Director BPSL H C Verma performed the ceremony. The villagers, under the banner of Vishapan Virodhi Ekta Manch, a conglomeration of over 14 anti-displacement bodies of villagers from Kolhan region, put up barricades in several villages and imposed ''janata curfew''. The villagers did not allow vehicles to ply for sometime and even tried to stop newsmen from covering the incident. The Manch convenors Kumar Chandra Mardi and Arvind Anjum said they did not want industries and demanded that the Government take initiative to promote agriculture. Chairman and Managing Director of Bhushan Steel, Sanjay Singal did not attend the function in view of the prevailing situation. Chief guest Arjun Munda, the BJP national general secretary and MP, also could not attend the function. The villagers also did not allow BJP MLA from Potka Menka Sardar''s vehicle to pass through at Roladih and she had to walk to the venue.

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