Sundargarh: Unemployment problem has hit local youths here as hundreds of jobless youths scout for work everyday.
According to sources, educated youths are compelled to work in small factories and shops outside the state, leaving their homes behind. Left with no options, uneducated youths in the district also battle for contractual work through private service providers.
Local industrial units allegedly give priority to youths from outside the district as well as state, sparking resentment among local youths. Anointment of Rourkela as a smart city has stoked the aspiration level of local youths.
Renovation work of the Birsa Munda Stadium and construction work of a super speciality hospital on Rourkela Steel Plant premises are underway. Apart from these, sewerage pipelines are also being laid across the town in Sundargarh district these days.
Skilled and unskilled workers who are being engaged in these construction works have been brought from outside the state as the agencies who have been awarded work orders are not from Odisha.
Recently, over 80 per cent of workers from outside were engaged in a construction work of Rourkela Steel Plant which is under way at Deogaon area. This has raised eyebrows of local intelligentsia.
However, district employment department arranges for job fairs once or twice a year. Most of the industrial units do not hold job fairs on pretext of having no vacancies or for lack of necessary educational qualification of local candidates.
Industrial houses in the district secretly give appointments to kin of influential people and political leaders. In the absence of adequate revival measures, industries which have had ample job opportunities lie closed for several years, local youths alleged.
Several labour organisations including unemployed youths have resented the apathetic attitude of the district administration. Sundargarh district industrial workers union, a local outfit, which is affiliated with the Hind Mazdoor Sabha had staged protests February 20.