Jharsuguda: Hundreds of youth belonging to this industrial district search for job every day as rising unemployment level here has crippled their financial standing and livelihood, a report said.
According to sources, many educated youths are compelled to work in small factories and shops outside the state, leaving their home behind. Left with no other choice, uneducated youths in the district also battle for contractual employment through private service providers.
The district employment department organises job fairs once or twice a year. However, most of the industrial units here are known to be ignoring job fairs on pretext of having no vacancies at their ends or for lack of necessary educational qualification of the local candidates.
Industrial houses in the district secretly give appointments only to kin of influential people and political leaders, locals alleged. In the absence of adequate revival measures, industries which have had ample opportunities for employment have lie closed for past several years, local youths alleged.
A media report said unemployment and poverty have fuelled theft of coal in Jharsuguda district. It may be mentioned here that seven years ago, about 12 persons were buried alive while illegally picking coal from Basundhara mine. But the incident has not deterred the villagers from continuing the risky practice.
Worthy to note, Orient Paper Mills of Brajarajnagar which happens to be the oldest industrial unit of Jharsuguda district has remained closed since 1999. Many of the employees lost their jobs after MSP Metallics closed in 2016. Ind-Barath Energy Utkal Limited located at Sahajbahal was closed three years back, while it was functioning.
Moreover, job opportunities in the industrial units like Mahanadi, Ib Valley and Lakhanpur coalfields have drastically reduced. These units could have been large employers for youths of Jharsuguda district.
Notably, eleven large and small industries are there in Jharsuguda district. Liberal policies of the state government have resulted in acute unemployment here, sources said. While dismal state of industrialisation has already dashed hopes for employment generation, the western Odisha town is staring at devastating unemployment.