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Land acquisition for Posco resumes, company CMD meets official

Paradip/Bhubaneswar: Land acquisition for the Rs 52,000 crore Posco steel project resumed in Odisha's Jagatsinghpur district on Monday after being suspended for about two-and-a-half months.

The restarting of the demolition of betel vines at Gobindpur village at the proposed plant site near Paradip coincided with Posco-India CMD Y W Yoon meeting Development Commissioner J K Mohapatra at the state secretariat in Bhubaneswar.

Though Yoon described the meeting as a courtesy call, sources said matters relating to the mega project, including land acquisition work, were discussed.

Yoon's meeting with Mohapatra assumed significance with the state government planning to give pace to land acquisition for the steel project. A total of 2,100 acres have already been acquired and of this, about 1,700 acres handed over to the company.

Meanwhile, 19 betel vines were dismantled during the day without any resistance by locals and about Rs 21 lakh paid to the land losers, Jagatsinghpur Collector S K Mallick said.

"Land acquisition involving dismantling of betel vines resumed this morning. The villagers are cooperating in the work undertaken by the administration," he said, adding that the process would continue tomorrow as people are willing to cooperate.

Two teams were engaged in dismantling the betel vines of consenting farmers, while another group conducted a survey of trees and horticultural plants, Additional District Magistrate (Paradip) Surjeet Das said.

Demolition of betel vines was carried out by separate groups led by tehsildars of Kujanga and Ersama and the work progressed smoothly with the use of machines, he said.

Adequate security personnel had been deployed in the area to prevent any untoward incident, he added. .

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