Posco: Agnivesh offers to facilitate talks

Last Updated: Saturday, June 18, 2011 - 18:00

Bhubaneswar: Social activist Swami Agnivesh on Saturday said peaceful settlement of POSCO impasse was possible through talks and offered to work as a facilitator between Orissa government and anti-POSCO agitators.

"Peaceful settlement of the POSCO issue is quite possible. I am willing to play the role of a facilitator for talks between the state government and agitators for a solution," Agnivesh told a news agency.

Expressing solidarity with the anti-POSCO agitators, he said there would be no displacement and no loss of fertile land if both the state government and POSCO agreed to shift the plant site. It was wrong to allow a multi-national company to have its captive port.

"The proposed captive port by POSCO will certainly pose a threat to the national security. I am surprised as to how Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh allowed it," he said.

Agnivesh said that the earlier talks between the state government and the Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) failed to yield any result as the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik remained silent all along the discussion.

The deadlock could easily be resolved if Patnaik directly spoke to the affected people instead of engaging officers, he said.

Holding the Centre equally responsible for the prevailing situation, Agnivesh said he would take up the matter with the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

"I`ll request the PM to ask Orissa Government not to use force for acquiring land for industries and relocate the proposed plant site," he said.

"I`ll also hold talks with Ramesh and ask him as to how he accorded forest and environment clearance to POSCO project despite adverse reports by separate central committees," he said.

Worried over the situation in the area where children have given up studies and joined anti-Posco stir, Agnivesh said he had been trying to talk to Ramesh, but in vain.

"The union minister`s office told me over phone to arrange a talk with Ramesh within 10 minutes. But, I have been waiting a call from him for three hours now," Agnivesh said.

Stressing on the urgency of the chief minister`s visit to the place, he said "If we are able to reach Dhinkia from Delhi, why can`t Naveen come down from Bhubaneswar."

PTI



First Published: Saturday, June 18, 2011 - 18:00

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