PM Modi has no heart for land losers of Paradip refinery project: Prasad

BHUBANESWAR: Odisha Congress president Prasad Harichandan on Sunday criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who dedicated Paradip refinery project to the nation, for not announcing any special package for the project affected people and the people of the state.

“Nearly 1750 people have lost their lands, and 150 people have been evicted from their ancestral homes. But it was an irony that Modi didn’t utter a single word for those people,” alleged Harichandan.

When in May 2000, the then Prime Minster Vajpayee laid the foundation stone of the project, it was declared that the project was supposed to be completed by August 2003.

Harichandan claimed that nothing had been done till Congress-led UPA-I came to power and kicked off the construction work in 2006 by augmenting the estimated capacity of the refinery project from earlier 6 million tonne to 15 million tonne.

The work of refinery was almost completed by March 2014 but due to enforcement of model code of conduct for the general elections in the country in April that year, the project couldn’t be dedicated to the nation, he said.

Making a mockery of Narendra Modi’s statement that “had the project been completed 15 years back he would have been happy”, Harichandan said Modi was either misinformed or not informed about the timing as 15 years back there was NDA government at the centre.

Disproving Modi’s statement that UPA government often failed to complete projects within stipulated time, Harichandan said that NDA government has no history of successfully completing a project across the country.

Commenting on Modi’s silence on Naveen’s demand of special category status to Odisha, Harichandan said that Modi‘s going mute on this issue speaks volumes how much he loved Odisha.

Harichandan expressed deep concern over the status of the Biju Patnaik National Steel Institute (BPSI) set up near Puri during the Vajpayee government.

“Modi could have taken stock of the situation of an institute of national repute like BPNSI, which is in bad shape now,” said Harichandan.