Paradip: Orissa government today resumed
land acquisition at Posco`s proposed Rs 51,000 crore mega
steel plant site near here after a two-day halt to the process
after facing stiff opposition from villagers.
"We have distributed compensation to six betel
farmers, who agreed to part with their betel vines today. In
all eight betel vines have so far been acquired in Posco`s
proposed plant site area," Land Acquisition Officer (LAO)
Nrusingh Swain said.
About Rs 6.7 lakh was paid as compensation to the vine
owners at the rate of Rs 11 lakh per acre as announced by the
South Korean steel major, he said, adding the betel vines
acquired today are located at Polang village under Gada Kujang
gram panchayat falling in the project area.
More than 1,700 betel vines spread over 300 acres of
government land would be acquired soon, he said.
Pro-project United Action Committee (UAC), which has
changed its stand, has opposed the government`s move to
acquire land before finalising the price for agricultural
land, betel vines and prawn ponds.
Welcoming the UAC`s stand, Posco Pratirodh Sangram
Samiti president Abhay Sahu said it should put pressure on the
administration to stop acquisition till Forest Rights Act
rules are met.
Sahu alleged that the betel vines which were handed
over to the administration were left barren for some days.
"There was not a single betel plant in the vines put
for acquisition," Sisir Mohapatra, the sarpanch of Dhinkia
which falls within the project area, said.
A joint-committee of the ministry of forest and
environment and tribal affairs had raised objection to land
acquisition at the villages in the proposed site, saying
Forest Rights Act was grossly violated in the process.
Asish Kothari, a committee member, had said on July 27
that the forest ministry would be recommended to withdraw
clearance given to Posco-India project.