Land acquisition for Posco completed

Paradip: Amid continuous protest and resistance by the anti-Posco brigade, Jagatsinghpur district administration completed the land acquisition process for the South Korean steel giant on Thursday. “The acquired lands will be handed over to state-owned Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) soon, Paradip ADM Surjit Das said.

At least 25 betel vines in Govindpur area were dismantled today on the last day of the exercise taking the total number of vineyards to 488, officials said. The government, which aimed at acquiring 700 acres of land during the final phase of the move, has reached its target disbursing Rs 6.72 cr to the land losers.

The land acquisition for Posco project was completed in five different phases spanning over two years, Jagatsinghpur district collector S K Mallick said rejecting allegation of use of force for the exercise. “We have acquired land from the people who agreed for it,” he said.

The steel major had asked the Odisha government for 2700 acres of land to start work on the 8 MTPA plant, responding which government had acquired 2,000 acres. However, the remaining 700 acres of land have been taken into government’s possession amid protest by the anti-project body which had been alleging use of police force during acquisition in different time.

The State Government and the South Korean steel major had signed MoU for setting up a 12 MTPA steel plant near Paradip at an investment of Rs 52,000 crore on June 22, 2005. The company however later acquiesced to bring down the capacity of the plant to 8 MTPA.

Meanwhile, the authorities of IDCO have asked Posco-India to finalize its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) plans at the earliest and submit it before renewal of the MoU for the project.

As the land acquisition activities have been completed, the state government wanted the company to scale up its peripheral development works in areas where the Greenfield project is coming up, they said.

The CSR Initiatives included periphery development work, setting up of rehabilitation colonies, building roads and bridges, erecting of protection wall, taking up massive plantation and other developmental activities.