New threat to Titilagarh from Thermal plant

CGNet Swara moderator S. Chowdhury has transmitted the version of Balakrishna Sandh of Titilagarh in a mail. It informs that the private Sahara company is trying to acquire lands on the bank of River Tel for a Thermal Power Plant it wants to commission soon. Titilagarh is marked for intolerable high temperature. Last year the mercury had exceeded 50 and if the Thermal Plant is allowed, the temperature would rise further.

It is intriguing that the Government officials are framing up false cases against whosoever refuses to give his/her land to the Company. Despite people’s case pending in the High Court of Orissa, Naveen Patnaik’s government is siding with Sahara to acquire the huge stretch of land by police force and nefarious tricks to the total detriment of the self-employed farming community’s interest.

He has send us the recorded version of Sri Sandh.

The Lesson Titilagarh Teaches: Proprietors of Industries are Not the Owners of the Workers


Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Titilagarh is a piece of peaceful highland. Its inhabitants were accustomed to the exploitation by the princes from generation to generation. They are accustomed to post-independence exploitation by political mafia and their allies, the traders. Yet a factory manager stationed there has succumbed to burn injuries received under circumstances of industrial unrest. He is A.K.Ray, Deputy General manager of Powmex Steel ltd. Tortured workers allegedly torched his vehicle at the main gate of the factory.

For last many months Powmex was under avoidable unrest as the management was not heeding to workers’ demand for fair wages. Their union leaders were subjected to ruthless oppression, suspension and termination, simply because their demands for a pay package for the workers with proper standing orders were anathema to the motive of the employer.

Powmex is a private industry and moneyed persons may be proprietors of private industries when an elected government serves capitalism. But sadly, industrial proprietors pride in themselves as proprietors of the workers that serve their industries and hence they never tolerate any demand for better service condition of the workers. And the exploitive State collaborates with them by providing protection to industries to the extent of pressing the police against the workers and in pampering a judiciary that, as in Bajaj Automobile case, punishes the workers to protect the employer’s interest. Labor law machinery serves the industries than the workers.

In such an environment, if Titilagarh takes a drastic turn, who to blame?

No body knows who set the manager’s vehicle to fire. But the right-wingers have started vomiting that the miscreants must be the dismissed / suspended workers.

We certainly feel sad over the untimely death of the factory’s DGM. But, to us, it is an instance of how workers’ wrath may manifest if exploitation goes on unabated.