Posco’s exit sparks speculation over fate of acquired lands

Bhubaneswar: After Posco-India’s exit from Odisha, the lands in Jagatsinghpur districts acquired by the State for the single largest FDI have become centre of attraction for many. Question arises that who will take this lands and for what purpose?

After the steel major pulled out, speculation started doing rounds on the fate of these lands whether government would take measures to invite new industries to utilise these lands or the same would remain in store. It is also said that ESSAR and JSW are keen on setting up steel plant in the concerned area. JSW chairman Sajjan Jindal had also shown interest in establishing steel unit while discussing with Odisha with CM Naveen Patnaik earlier in last year.

The government has decided to keep the acquired lands in its own custody. “No private lands would be kept. The government lands and the lands which were acquired by the government with due payment would be kept for further industrialisation”, Industries minister Debi Mishra said.

On the other hand, Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS), the outfit which has been spearheading movement against industries in Jagatsinghpur, suggested the government to return the lands to farmers.

“The government should refrain from committing another mistake by storing the lands in IDCO land bank. The lands should be returned to the farmers”, PPSS chief Abhaya Sahoo said.

Experts felt that government can not materialise its dream to set up any industries there without the consent of locals. “The issues of both supporters and anti-industry group should be sorted out first. Otherwise, it would not be easy for any company to set up a unit there”, veteran scribe Dillip Satpathy said.