Mega Jindal Steel Plant To Come Up On POSCO Land

Bhubaneswar: The proposed Rs 50,000 crore-steel project of Jindal Steel (JSW Utkal Steel) cleared another hurdle as Ministry of Environment and Forest has given its green signal for transfer of land which was earlier allotted to POSCO in Jagatsinghpur district.

As per reports, the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) has approved the transfer of POSCO land for JSW’s Integrated Steel Plant and Captive Port in Jagatsinghpur district. The six terms and conditions for facilitating the land transfer is almost same which were earlier meant for POSCO project.

Out of the total 1,253 hectare of land acquired for POSCO project, which was subsequently abandoned by the South Korean steel major, 1,073 hectare will be transferred to JSW while remaining 169 hectares will be returned to the Forest department.

Sources said nearly 400 people of six villages of Kujang block will be affected by the proposed steel plant project of JSW.

The decision of transfer of land to JSW has now sparked resentment among the locals and other outfits who had earlier spearheaded the anti-POSCO agitation.

“There is large tract of fertile farming land which should be returned to people. Any kind of attempt to push industrialization on such land cannot bring development. People and other organizations will continue with their agitation,” said Abhaya Sahu, anti-POSCO activist.

“The company will take our land and we will lose our livelihood. There are many people who are against the project and such protests will continue,” said a local resident.

Earlier in 2005, Odisha government had signed MoU with POSCO to set up a steel plant in Jagatsinghpur. Though Odisha had provided land for the mega project near Gadakujanga area, the acquired land returned to the State’s land bank after POSCO shelved its project amid protests.

“POSCO project did not materialize as Odisha could not provide land for the mega project due to unrest. There is lack of commitment on part of the Odisha government that has cast a shadow over the new project. However, there will be development if the proposed project comes up,” said BJP Spokesperson, Golak Mohapatra.

Odisha government, on the other hand, claimed that adequate steps are being taken for rapid industrialisation in the State.

“Through discussions we will try resolve all the issues,” said Industries Minister, Dibya Shankar Mishra.