Bhubaneswar: In a setback to the
five-year long anti-Posco agitation, about 50 people of a
village, hitherto known for their opposition, today supported
the mega steel plant project and asked the authorities to take
up survey work in their area, officials said.
"Residents of Gobindpur came to my office and
submitted a written memorandum urging us to start survey work
as the villagers are supporting the project," Jagatsinghpur
district collector N C Jena said.
Gobindpur village under Dhinkia gram panchayat, so far
considered a bastion of anti-Posco movement, had changed
its stand as the people of nearby villages have already
supported the project, he said.
Some of the villagers disclosed that they were
terrorised by activists of Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti
(PPSS), Jena added.
Though the administration was yet to decide when to
start survey at Gobindpur village, people today invited local
police officials to their village defying PPSS order that
restricted entry of police and government officials into
Dhinkia gram panchayat area.
"We have so far completed survey work in five of the
seven villages identified for the 12mtpa mega steel plant,"
said Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC), central division,
P K Mohapatra.
Admitting that people of Dhinkia village were still
opposed to the South Korean steel major`s Rs 52,000 crore
project, the RDC said there was no problem in completing
socio-economic survey in villages barring Dhinkia.
Sources, on the other hand, said a section of people
of Dhinkia village was also planning to follow the path
adopted by residents of Gobindpur village and allow survey
activities in their area too.
Jagatsinghpur MP, Bibhuprasad Tarai (CPI) sought a
few more days to inform the administration on whether it
should also start survey work at Dhinkia village or not.
"The MP told me that his talks with the PPSS leaders
were continuing. Therefore, the administration should wait
till the end of negotiation," the district collector said.
With people of Gobindpur village changing their stand,
the CPI-backed PPSS held a series of parleys on the future
course of action, sources said.