Land acquisition for Posco will be over in a week: Dist admin

Bhubaneswar: Amid several protests and bumpy rides since Posco project's inception in 2005, the Jagatsinghpur district administration has finally set a week’s time to complete the land acquisition process for Posco’s $12 billion steel project in the state.

“Since the state government has already acquired 2,000 acres for the project, we expect to acquire the remaining 700 acres within a week,” Jagatsinghpur collector Satya Kumar Mallick said.

Following land acquisition issues, the South Korean steel behemoth had scaled down its 12 million tonne per annum (mtpa) project to eight mtpa and sought at least 2,700 acres of land to start first phase construction of the plant.

The company however had said to ramp up to full committed level of 12 mtpa when the rest of the required 4,004 acres of land is acquired.

On Thursday, the district administration had engaged excavating machineries to start the trench cutting work for boundary wall construction at Gobindpur despite stiff resistance from anti-Posco brigade.

According to officials, the trench work would be completed soon.

The project understandably got a fillip with the arrest of anti-Posco leader Abhay Sahu on Saturday in connection with several cases including a bomb blast in the proposed project site. Sources said supporters of Sahu who was spearheading an agitation against the project and leading Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti since 2005 will not dare for fresh agitation, since Sahu was arrested in connection with four fresh cases involving a bomb explosion and obstruction in Government work.

Meanwhile the Friday Supreme Court order, asking Centre to take a decision on Khandadhar mine, has raised the prospect that Posco could be allocated the iron ore mine.