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Govt gives assurance on Posco steel project

Bhubaneswar: Amidst uncertainty over the implementation of the Rs 52,000 crore Posco project, the government on Monday assured that the mega steel plant would certainly come up near Paradip as planned.

The assurance was given during a meeting by Chief Secretary B K Patnaik and a four-member team of Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) here, official sources said.
"Out of seven villages under Ersama block, five villages are in support of the project. Therefore, it will not be difficult to set up the plant near Paradip," he told the team.

Patnaik later told reporters that the delay in the implementation of the country`s biggest FDI was mostly due to late final forest clearance for the project which was given by the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) only in May, 2011, he said.

Most of the about 4,000 acres required for the project is under forest category and therefore the clearance from the ministry was `very essential` before land acquisition for the purpose.

The KBS team said that it came to Orissa to assertain the reason behind the delay in the implementation of the Posco project. "The people of South Korea are anxious to know about the fate of Posco project in India," said Sim Inbo, a member of the team, which also visited the proposed plant site villages where people had been sitting on dharna since June.

"We have appealed to the people of Korea through KBS to oppose the Posco`s project as it is being planned in multi-crop land," said Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti president Abhay Sahu."We have also told the team how the company (Posco) had no concern for the poor," he added.

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