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Posco opponents ask State govt to honour Dhinkia GS views

Bhubaneswar: With the Supreme Court leaving the fate of Vedanta's proposed bauxite mining project at Niyamgiri Hills in hands of gram sabhas, Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) on Friday asked the Odisha government to honour the views of a similar Gram Sabha in case of Posco project.
"Gram Sabha of Dhinkia Panchayat in Jagatsinghpur district of Odisha held on October 18, 2012, had passed a resolution unanimously against the diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes," said PPSS spokesman Prashant Paikaray.
"The gram sabha was attended by 1600 men and women. Dhinkia gram panchayat comprised three villages like Dhinkia, Trilochanpur and Gobindpur," said PPSS president Abhay Sahu.
Of the 4,004 acre of land required by the steel major to set up a 12mtpa mega steel facility near Paradip in Jagatsinghpur district,2959 acres comes under forest category, 609 acres were non-forest and 437 acres of land were private.
Meanwhile, official sources said the state government has taken steps to clear forest land by cutting trees, demolishing betel vines, cutting horticultural plants and demolition of prawn ponds after the central government accorded State-II of forest diversion proposal.
"Till date, 1600 acre of forest land has been cleared and handed over to Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO)," they said.

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