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31 Dec 2016

Job protest at hydel project site

The protesters at Kalijhor on Friday. (Passang Yolmo)
RAJEEV RAVIDAS, TT, Kalimpong, Dec. 30: Around 50 villagers from Kalijhora demonstrated in front of the administrative office of the general manager of Teesta Low Dam Project (stage IV) today demanding employment for the local people at the site.
The NHPC Limited hydel project at Kalijhora, around 40km from here, was commissioned in August this year.
Around 10am, the agitators under the banner of Kalijhora Bayrojghari Burga started shouting slogans holding placards demanding jobs for the local people.
"The NHPC is going back on its promise of giving jobs to locals by hiring workers from outside. The NHPC had made a commitment to provide employment opportunities to locals at public hearings.... in the early half of the last decade. However, in collusion with contractors, they are hiring workers from outside at the cost of local manpower," alleged Rupesh Pradhan, a spokesman for the organisation.
Senior NHPC officials said local people were being engaged to do various works that had been outsourced to local contractors, but not all villagers could be accommodated.
"Their definition of locals is limited to Kalijhora. But a number of workers whom our contractors have engaged hail from areas near Kalijhora. We have about 180 permanent staff members and 250 temporary workers," said an NHPC official.
The protest went on for around five hours, after which the agitators dispersed.

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