613 families to be displaced for POSCO project: Govt

Bhubaneswar: Seeking cooperation from the local people for establishment of the Rs 52,000 crore POSCO project near Paradip, state government on Tuesday said only 613 families would be displaced for the mega steel plant.

While the number of families facing displacement for POSCO project was initially put at 803, it came down to 613 after the state government decided not to acquire private land at Dhinkia village, said steel minister Raghunath Mohanty.

"As the people of Dhinkia are opposed to the project and unwilling to vacate their land, the government has decided not to acquire land from the village," he said.

With exclusion of private land from Dhinkia village, number of families to be displaced dropped from 803 to 613, he said adding 190 families would benefit from the decision.

POSCO project which initially required 4004 acre land, would now be set up over 3719.22 acre of land. "The South Korean steel major has also accepted the state government`s decision of excluding Dhinkia village from its original plan," said Priyabrat Patnaik, nodal officer for POSCO project.

Of the 3719.22 acre of land for Posco project, private land was only 152.69 acre while 3566 acre were government land, the minister said adding he was hopeful that the local people would not oppose the project, billed as the biggest foreign direct investment in the country.

Of the 3,566 acre government land, 2,958.79 acre were categorised as forest land and 607.74 acre non-forest revenue land. "We need diversification of forest land before handing it over to the company for starting work," Mohanty said.

On renewal of memorandum of understanding (MoU) with POSCO-India, the minister said: "We have been processing the file in this matter. IPICOL had already prepared a draft for the renewal of MoU".

Sources said the state government was waiting for opinion of the law department on inclusion of an additional clause in the new MoU.

The state government would ask POSCO to reserve certain amount of jobs for the local youths in its proposed 12 MTPA steel mill, he said.