Tribals Demand for Unused land in Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP), Odisha

Reported by

Sandeep PattnaikLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

November 4, 2019

Location of Conflict




Reason or Cause of Conflict

Special Economic Zones (SEZ)



People Affected by Conflict


Land Area Affected (in Hectares)







The Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP), the first integrated steel plant in the public sector in India, was set up with German Collaboration at Rourkela city of Sundhargarh district Odisha. The Orissa government had acquired about 15,000 acres spread across 33 villages for the SAILowned RSP and started operation in the year 1959 with an installed capacity of 1 million tons. For over a decade, the steel plant had made losses and the tribals allege that the venture did not expand operations significantly, which spurred the displaced families to demand the unused land. The displaced tribals are demanding jobs for 3,000 displaced persons and the return of 4,500 acres of surrendered land, as also around 4,000 acres of unused land at the Rourkela Steel Plant be returned to the original owners, claiming that the project has not been able to expand operations and does not need the surplus land. On Jan 10, 2006, they have a blockade in the Rourkela city and paralyzed train traffic on the busy MumbaiHowrah route and then onwards series of blockade made in the city. Dr. Rameshawar Oran, Honble Chairperson of National ST Commission accompanied by the other members of the commission visited Rourkela from 22.02.2016 to 24.02.16 and heard the grievances of the displaced tribals of Rourkela steel plant. On 7 July 2017 the National Commission for Scheduled Tribe sent a directive to the district collector of Sundargarh and directed to stop all construction works, other works and, even tree plantation activities on the unutilized land, which was acquired by the Rourkela Steel Plant.

Region Classification

Type of Land


Private and Common

Type of Common Land

Forest and Non-Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Land Area Affected
(in Hectares):



Starting Year


Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:

Government of Odisha

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Rourkela Steel Plant Authority

Has the Conflict Ended?

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

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