Posco affected villagers demand justified: Govt

Bhubaneswar: In a boost to ongoing land acquisition for Posco project near Paradip, the state government on Monday accepted all the six core demands of the residents of plant site villages including jobs and other facilities, official sources said.

"The demands of villagers are justified and therefore we accepted them. We have assured the members of United Action Committee (UAC) that the state government will consider their case sympathetically," Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC) P K Mohapatra told reporters after the much awaited meeting between the government and the villagers.

Mohapatra said affected families would certainly be benefited from today`s meeting. The meeting was part of the Rehabilitation and Peripheral Development Advisory Committee (RPDAC), said the RDC adding that it was held in an encouraging atmosphere and deliberations were "successful."

"The talks with the RDC were successful as we were assured by the Government that all our six demands would be fulfilled," said UAC president Anadi Rout.

Besides the 12-member UAC core committee, the meeting with RDC was attended among others by local legislator and former minister Damodar Rout, Jagatsingpur District Collector, local Tehsildar and BDO.

UAC, considered as a pro-project forum, had demanded a job for each affected family, increase in the price of agricultural as well as homestead land to be given for Posco project, actual estimation of betel vines, more compensation for betel vine workers, compensation for damaged betel vines and contract work to local youths.

Though they supported the project, activists of UAC had agitated and opposed land acquisition when it was resumed on May 18. However, they cooperated when the administration assured them that their demands would be met after a meeting with RDC.