Report by Sachidananda Patra; Bargarh: Bargarh Cement Works, formally known as ACC Ltd. or IDCOL or IDC Ltd. or Hira Cement Works has always played a pirotal role in the development of Bargarh District in particular and Orissa in general. It has rapidly gone through the process to badly harm to our unique and World Famous National property “Hirakud Dam”. Also it has never let down the hope, aspiration and pride of the policy makers or that of general public. But that confidence is steadily declining from the day it changed guard from being a government undertaking to a private company. Now it is perceived as an aggressor to the interest of peripheral villagers, a highjack to their rights, suppressor of labors rights and violator of established norms of law. By few socially active person of Bargarh constituted a committee and investigated some of the allegations and found the following facts which need immediate attention.
1. The ACC B.C.W is now expanded a new captive power plant. For which it was acquiring additional land adjacent to its existing boundary and fencing / constructing boundary over the newly acquired land. This acquiring of new land was shrouded in secrecy and the process of acquiring was arousing suspicion. There is no record to show that the said land belongs to B.C.W. not it is showing any proof of ownership.
2. The ACC B.C.W has filling up are big reserving in village Pipilipali and Khaliapali which has been catering the needs of the local people on all respects stating from bathing, drinking water to irrigation. This is evident from the report prepared by Tahasildar, Bargarh and send to the Sub-Collector vide office memo no. 1827 dt.21.06.07. Tahasildar Bargarh has further observed that the filling up the reservoir peripherally will squeeze-up the area and will hamper the needs and benefits to the people.
3. The B.C.W. is becoming a big polluter to air and water. Tahasildar Bargarh has observed that 'The Cement factory is draining all its waste and sewage water into the reservoir which in turn is polluting it for the use of the general public.
The B.C.W. has unauthorized constructed over natural streams and water courses without making any alternative water discharge arrangement. The Tahasildar, Bargarh has expressed his concern as the drainage of the rain water into the reserving has also been modified which may cause artificial flood at any point of time. His concern transformed into reality, which is evident in the statement of B.D.O., Bargarh as 'B.C.W. has created artificial flood in Siddheswar Nagar, which is a part of Bargarh'.
4. The B.C.W. has checked the flow of natural water, which in turn making the down stream land barren.
5. The B.C.W. has annexed the funeral ground and burial grounds of all the faith.
6. The B.C.W. has fenced the road to the village. It is the only road connecting the village to outside world. The allotted road is so narrow that not even a medium sized vehicle or ambulance can go through it.
7. The B.C.W. has annexed the 'Ratha Danda' / 'Car festival place' which was enjoyed by the people for ages.
8. The B.C.W. has prohibited the use of colony road by the public, which they were enjoying for ages.
9. The B.C.W. has prohibited the free trade by local businessmen in colony area their by depriving them of their right to live.
10. Some of the hired labors employed by contractors were deprived of medical facilities available in the plant area and they were also deprived to be treated by Employees State Insurance dispensing situated within the plant premises.
11. The Employee Provident Fund of many workers also not deposited properly.
12. The accidents of both Plant & Project Side are hidden by the authorities.
13. The ACC B.C.W. senior officials misbehave the local labors including many local bodies during discussion many times. Also create feeling with Odiya people and ignoring their problems instead of solving the problems.
14. Illegally heavy blasting near the Barapahar (A wall of Hirakud Dam reserver) area for mining cause damage the wall in near future. By the said mining found many cracks in the Barapahad and leak more than lakh of galane water of the Hirakud Dam Reserver daily. It’s may be the main cause of decreasing the water level of the dam also.
Now many times AAWHAN a Social Organisation of Bargarh arise voice against Non Development of the Periphery by ACC B.C.W. as well as the loss of our nation said Subash Chandra Barik, President, AAWHAN. It’s necessary to more voice to save our World Famous National Property Hirakud Dam. Also need of immediate attention and action by Govt. to save our World Famous National Property “Hirakud Dam” for the sake of the local people.