Odisha to resume Posco land acquisition after a year

Odisha to resume Posco land acquisition after a year Bhubaneswar: After halting land acquisition at the proposed plant site areas of Posco steel project near Paradip, Odisha government on Thursday announced plans to resume land acquisition tomorrow after a gap of one year.

"State government has decided to start activities at proposed plant site villages from tomorrow. We have already taken consent of local people before beginning work," Jagatsinghpur district collector S K Mallick told PTI over phone.

The district Collector and senior officers today held a meeting with local people at Nuagaon village. "The villagers are ready to co-operate with the government's effort to acquire additional 700 acre of land required for the mega steel project," Mallick said.

The activities were halted at the proposed plant site area since December 14, 2011 following the killing of a man over construction of coastal road to connect Dhinkia area of Jagatsinghpur district. The state government's efforts to resume activities also further suffered due a suspension of the forest and environmental clearance by the National Green Tribunal on March 29, 2012.

However, the state government had meanwhile managed to make people understand the need of Posco's Rs 52,000 crore project, the collector said adding officials of the district administration and Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) would visit Nuagaon and Gobindpur village tomorrow.

The officials were asked to start payment of compensation amount among the farmers whose betel vines and other horticulture garden were demolished for the project.

The state government, which had so far acquired above 2,000 acre of land, requires another 700 acre land for start of the 8 mtpa steel mill in two phases.

Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS), a CPI backed body, which had been opposing the project from the day one, claimed that the administration can not go for land acquisition activities when the matter was pending in the National Green Tribunal.

"Since NGT has suspended all activities, it is illegal on part of the state government to announce resumption of the process at the proposed plant site," PPSS president Abhay Sahu said.

PTI