There seems to be no end to the sufferings of the Posco project hit villages of Dhinkia, Gadakujang and Nuagaon gram panchayats falling under Kujang block of Jagatsinghpur district. The health services in these areas are effected as the health officials stopped to enter the villages for the last two years following the blockage of all entry points to these villages by the villagers to prevent the entry of the government officials.
The health services are in shambles in these seaside gram panchayats. The villagers are protesting against the decision of the government to acquire 4,004 acres of land in this areas for the South Korean steel company Posco o build a steel plant with an investment of Rs 51,000 crores.
Commenting on the anti-Posco movement, Sishir Mohapatra, secretary, Posco Pratirodhaka Sangram Samiti (PPSS) said, "Police filed false cases against more than five hundred anti-POSCO villagers allegedly for attacking government officials, forcefully locking the village post office, assaulting pro-Posco villagers and blocking the roads by erecting wooden gates and committing other crimes due to which many anti-Posco villagers are not coming out of these villages - the bastion of anti-land acquisition movement".
The nearby community health center at Kujang is located near the police station of Kujang. And, the villagers are reluctant to visit the government hospital. Some villagers go to the port town Paradeep through sea route. But, it is not possible for many villagers to reach Paradeep through sea route. Last month, police arrested three anti-land acquisition villagers in Paradeep and Kujang when they slyly came out from the villages.
The innocent villagers are being harrased by the police for putting resistence against the land acquisition. A large number of innocent villagers were arrested. Abhaya Sahoo, president, PPSS was suffering from spinal cord problem for which he had gone to Hydrabad. But on his return to Dhinkia, he was arrested by the police near Kujang four months back, Mohapatra said.
"We recently sought the help of some doctors of West Bengal to provide medical helps to the anti-land acquisition villagers. A team of four doctors of Mazdoor Kranti Parisada visited Dhinkia and other villages and treated several villagers. They also provided medicines free of costs to these villagers. The doctors spent three days and treated a large numbers of villagers", said Manaroma Khatua, an anti-land acquisition leader of Dhinkia.
Due to the road block by the anti-land acquisition villagers, health officials are also feared to enter the bastion of anti-Posco movement, said Gadadhar Das a villager of Kujang. "We cut the roads and blocked all the entry points to prevent government officials to enter our villagers to acquire our lands. But we never prevented any health officials to enter our villagers. Some government officials with an ulterior motive are not allowing health officials to enter our villages due to which several villagers are not getting any treatments from the doctors", said Prakash Jena a villager of Dhinkia.
When contacted, Dr Narayan Sahoo, Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO), Jagatsinghpur told this journalist,"All the health workers like ASHA , Anganabadi workers and health officials of Kujang and Earasama are providing health services to the villagers of Dhinkia and its nearby areas. We have never faced any impediments from the villagers to visit their villagers to treat them ".
The villagers of the Posco effected areas have already suffered a lot due to the state repression against the anti-land acquisition movement. It is high time that the state administration take a proper care of these poor villagers. And, the political process should be intensified to resolve the long pending demands of these innocent villagers.