Land acquisition provides a new ray of hope for Posco

Paradip: Posco steel project has found a new lease of life with the government now showing a new urgency to acquire the remaining 700 acres of land so that construction work can commence. The land acquisition for the $12 billion steel project entered the second day on Monday with the administration succeeding in dismantling nine more betel vines in Gobindapur area, which is considered to be an anti-Posco stronghold. In comparison to Sunday’s protests, the acquisition process on Monday proceeded without any hiccups.

Jagatsinghpur collector Satya Kumar Mallick said that the administration held discussions with the villagers to foster a congenial atmosphere where all outstanding issues can be resolved amicably. According to the collector, there was no involuntary or forced acquisition of land. The authorities acquired only those lands whose owners had made prior requests to give up their betel vines voluntarily and expressed readiness to accept the compensation money on the spot.

Yesterday, the district administration had dismantled 15 betel vines and disbursed a compensation of about Rs 32 lakh to the beneficiaries.

The authority had already acquired 2,000 acres of land in Gadakujang and Nuagaon Panchayat two years ago. They have the target of acquiring 700 more acres of land in Gobindapur village within this month.

Posco had signed an MOU with the state government in 2005 to build a steel plant of 12 MTPA in 4000 acres. But after stiff opposition from villagers of Dhinkia, the company had agreed to scale down the capacity of the plant to 8 MTPA which would be set up in 2,700 acres.