No plan to use Posco land for any other purpose: Odisha govt

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Government today said it has no plan to utilise the land acquired for Posco’s proposed mega plant near Paradip for any other purpose after the South Korean Steel major reportedly announced temporary freezing of the Rs 51,000 crore project.

“The Posco authorities who proposed to set up a 12 MTPA greenfeild steel mill near Paradip, have not yet informed the state government about withdrawal from the project,” state Steel and Mines Minister Prafulla Kumar Mallick told the Assembly.

He said quoting media reports that the company decided to keep the project under temporary freeze.

“Therefore, the state government so far has not thought of utilising the land for any other purpose,” Malliack said replying to a question by Congress member Bhujabal Majhi.

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The minister said the company had also not so far given its implementation schedule.

The state government had earlier acquired 2752.3 acre of land against Posco’s first phase requirement of 2,700 acre.

The state-run Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) meanwhile handed over 1880.110 acre of land to the steel major and remaining land was in the process of being given to the company.

Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) president Abhay Sahu said as the state government had acquired the land after demolishing betel vines, it should return the land to the affected people.

He said the state government should take a lesson from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who returned untilised land to the original farmers in Singur.

Sahu said people have started cultivating the land.