Naveen to hold talks with Posco agitators

Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday agreed to hold talks with POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti representatives in a bid to end the five-year-old deadlock.

Last Updated: Jun 11, 2010, 23:39 PM IST

Bhubaneswar: Bowing to pressure from
agitators opposing South Korean steel major`s Rs 52,000-crore
project, Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday agreed to
hold talks with POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS)
representatives in a bid to end the five-year-old deadlock.

The state government also decided to stop the ongoing
socio-economic and forest land survey work at the proposed
plant site villages near Paradip pending discussion with the
PPSS activists.

"I will have direct talks with the PPSS activists on
Sunday evening," Patnaik told reporters after meeting a
delegation of six political parties -- CPI, CPI(M), Forward
Bloc, RJD, SJP and JMM.

Though Patnaik was initially reluctant to have direct
talks with the people, he accepted the demand of the six
parties, CPI-M state secretary Janardan Pati said.

"Patnaik has also promised not to conduct survey work and
keep police force away from the villages," he added.

Voicing displeasure over the "attitude" of bureaucracy,
CPI leader Abani Boral said, "we feel bureaucracy is the major
hurdle between the people and the chief minister."

While Patnaik is regularly meeting POSCO officials, there
should be no difficulty in having talks with the people who
would lose their land and livelihood, said CPI state secretary
Dibakar Nayak.

PTI