The indefinite blockade by tribals objecting to any displacement for establishment of industrial projects entered its 14th day on Sunday.
Agitating under the banner of the Bisthapan Virodhi Jana Manch, the tribals have set up road blockades at about 15 places on a five km stretch of the Daitari-Paradip NH-200 Expressway between Duburi and Gobarghati, completely paralysing traffic.
The blockade was started by the tribals on January 2 after 12 persons, including three women, were killed in police firing. "The blockade will continue till our demands are met," Chakradhar Haiburu, president of the manch, said.
The demands, which virtually called for no further establishment of industries in the area, included compensation of Rs 20 lakh for the next of kin of the victims and Rs 10 lakh to the injured.
It also demanded that the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Finance Minister Prafulla Chandra Ghadei, who is also the local Biju Janata Dal legislator and several other ministers should step down.
The demands also included insitution of criminal proceedings against then Jajpur District Collector and SP and provision of employment of the displaced jobless in existing industries.
The blockade had affected the transport of iron ore to the Paradip port as trucks were forced to make a detour of 25 km to skirt the troubled spot.
According to Saroj Mishra, traffic manager of the Paradip Port Trust, the flow of iron ore to the port had got reduced by half within the first week of the January 2 tragedy.
In the second week, it was further reduced, he said. However, the loading and unloading operations at the port had not been affected as there was enough stock of iron ore at Paradip, he said.
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