'Non-agricultural land for Posco better option'
Bhubaneswar: Stressing that the poor must
not be pushed aside to set up the Posco steel plant in Orissa,
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said if non-agricultural
land was available for the project, it would be a better
"If there is land available (for Posco project) which is
not agricultural land, it will be a better solution," the
Congress general secretary told reporters here before winding
up his two-day Orissa visit.
Asking the state government to fulfill 30 conditions set
by the Ministry of Environment and Forests with regard to the
Posco project, he said, "Our stand on Posco is very clear ...
the poor people should not be pushed aside."
Maintaining that there is no double standard on the part
of Congress regarding the Posco project, the Nehru-Gandhi
scion said it wants adequate compensation to the affected
people and their proper rehabilitation.
The young Congress leader was responding to queries on
the state Congress leaders opposing the mega project and
demanding its relocation to some barren land even after forest
and environmental clearance was given by the Centre.
"We want the rights of the people to be safeguarded and
fulfillment of 30 conditions by the state government while
setting up the project," he said, adding that it would be fine
if the state government meets all the requirements.
Pointing out that Posco and Bhatta Parsaul issues in
Uttar Pradesh are similar, Gandhi said both pertain to
transfer of land from the poor to the rich.
While there is no problem with the project and the
infrastucture, the basic issue revolves around what the people
are finally going to get, Gandhi said.