OPCC urges PM to shift Posco plant site

Bhubaneswar: Holding the Naveen Patnaik government responsible for the delay in the implementation of the proposed POSCO steel project, Orissa Pradesh Congress Committee on Tuesday sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s intervention to shift it to barren land near the present site in Jagatsinghpur.

"I told the Prime Minister about the fertile and multi-crop land at Dhinkia where the state government has identified land for setting up the POSCO project … I informed him that vast barren land was available barely 7km away," OPCC president Niranjan Patnaik said after meeting Singh in New Delhi.

The POSCO project, the MoU for which was signed in 2005 and expired in June 2010 can never be implemented unless there is shift of the project site. "I told the PM that it is better late than never," he said.

The political leadership in the Biju Janata Dal government had not applied its mind before selecting the site for the country`s biggest Foreign Direct Investment project and the project was facing opposition from the local people due to wrong selection of the site.

However, the previous Congress government in the state had denied permission to IOCL and a fertiliser company to set up their projects in the area.

Patnaik said he also appraised the prime minister that the district administration was unable to enter the core area of the proposed plant site due to stiff opposition from children, women and elderly people.

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