Paradip: Anti-Posco agitators
today burnt down copies of the new compensation package and
vowed not to allow setting upof the proposed steel project
near here accusing Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik of
betraying innocent locals by backtracking from his promise of
visiting the area to take stock of the situation.
Dubbing the package as meaningless, leaders of Posco
Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) and others agitating against
the Rs 51,000 crore project asserted that residents of three
gram panchayat in Jagatsinghpur district would never allow the
mega steel plant to come up in the area.
The protesters held a public meeting near Dhinkia and
erected barricades to prevent police and officials from
entering the area while vowing to oppose the project tooth and
Hitting out at the chief minister, PPSS President
Abhay Sahu described him as a "betrayer" and said the
villagers allowed peaceful socio-economic and forest survey as
Naveen Patnaik promised to visit the area before going ahead
with any other project related work.
"By paving way for announcement of a compensation
package before visiting the area, the chief minister has
backtracked from the assurance he had given to the people,
mainly farmers whose livelihood is endangered due to the
proposed plant by the South Korean steel major," he said.
Sahu said the chief minister should have visited the
area to see the prospering and well developed agrarian economy
which would be wiped out if the mega steel plant was set up
ignoring people`s sentiments.
Though approval and announcement of the compensation
package at the Rehabilitation and Peripheral Development
Advisory Committee (RPDAC) meeting at Jagatsinghpur in July
8 sparked new hope among officials of Posco-India, it was
rejected outright by PPSS and others opposing the project.
Social activists like Prafulla Samantara and Rabi Das,
who addressed the anti-Posco public meeting, said the package
announced at this juncture lacked sanctity as the MoU signed
between Posco-India and Orissa government on June 22, 2005
lapsed on June 21 after its tenure of five years.
Asserting that they successfully prevented any headway
in the proposed project in last five years, they said the
local people were prepared to go to any extent to stop the
plant from being set up in the area.
Sahu and others said the barricaded area would be
guarded by villagers round-the-clock and none from police,
administration and Posco would be allowed to enter the