Centre seeks status report on Posco

Bhubaneswar: The Centre has sought the status report on Posco project from state government ahead of the next round of India-Republic of Korea foreign office consultation beginning on February 27.

The two-day foreign office consultation between the two countries would be held in Seoul and the communication for the status report was received from the Ministry of Steel, official sources said today.

Earlier, the Posco issue had been discussed at the top political level when South Korean president Lee Myung-Bak visited the country in 2010.

Posco-India has not been implemented its proposed greenfield mega steel facility in  Jagatsinghpur district at an investment of Rs 52,000 crore even seven years after signing the MoU with the state government. The MoU lapsed two years ago.

The project had obtained final forest clearance and environmental clearance from the Centre but work could not progress due to resistance from the people of seven villages near the project site at Paradip.

The situation turned volatile in December last year when one person was killed in a clash during construction of coastal corridor connecting Paradip township with the proposed plant site in Dhinkia area. The state government has since restricted the visit of foreign nationals, including South Koreans to the proposed plant site areas.

The state-owned Industrial Infrstracture Development Corporation (IDCO), the government agency assigned to acquire land for the project and develop it for industrial use maintained that it had already acquired about 2,000 acres for the purpose. However, the land could not be handed over to the company due to opposition from the local people.