FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
ITAGAR, June 30: The Pare Project Land Affected Welfare Committee (PPLAWC) on Wednesday staged a sit-on dhar in front of the Project Head Office at Doimukh in protest against its failure to give job opportunities to the youths belonging to the area. A large number of project affected people from Rose and Dakte Hoj Panchayat under Papum Pare district along with those 50 trained students of the area, who were sent by NEEPCO for ITI with an assurance of jobs, staged the dhar holding banners and shouting slogans against NEEPCO authority from morning till afternoon.
Committee Chairman Gyamar Kuka flayed the NEEPCO for playing with the sentiments of the project affected people by not absorbing the trained youths by the project authority even after several rounds of agreements with the State Government and local people.
“We are not against the development; we have never objected to the tiol developmental project,” he said, and lambasted the NEEPCO authority for its indifferent attitude and showing disregard to the project affected people and their demand.
Secretary Bengia Tada also criticized the NEEPCO authority for breach of agreement.
“As per the agreement, the NEEPCO was to appoint all those 50 youths after their passing out. But, after their passing out from Roing and Tezpur ITIs, NEEPCO took a U-turn and refused to absorb them saying that GOI (MOP) has ‘banned’ further appointments,” he said.
“But in contradiction to the NEEPCO claim, there was a notification in Employment Exchange for appointment in NEEPCO, specially for ST, SC and OBC candidates,” he added.
Tada threatened to launch a series of democratic movement, including bandh in the project site involving like-minded organizations/civil society until its demand is fulfilled.
Local MLA bam Rebia said that the demand of the local and project affected people are genuine. They are entitled for employment under NEEPCO, he opined and urged the NEEPCO authority to fulfil its assurance.
“They (NEEPCO) trained 50 youths with an assurance to absorb them. But, it is very sad that they are now refusing to employ them,” Rebia said, and called upon NEEPCO authority to understand the sentiment of the local people.
Later, a meeting was held between the Committee and NEEPCO authority from Shillong under the chairmanship of General Mager (HR) HQ Anil Kumar, but without any positive outcome.