Posco hopes to get land soon for first phase work

Bhubaneswar: Posco India CMD Yong-Won Yoon on Friday expressed hope that the State government would soon hand over the company the remaining 600 acres of land required to start first phase of an 8 MTPA Greenfield steel project in Dhinkia area of Jagatsinghpur district.
After a ‘courtesy’ call with chief minister Naveen Patnaik here at the secretariat Yoon said, “Until when the land would be acquired we are not sure, but with the recent mining case going in favour of us plus the state government taking positive initiative to clear the land, we are hopeful that it will be handed over to us soon.”
Yoon’s statement, which hinted at the May 10 Supreme Court order was a clear indication that the company was banking on the decision of the Union government on iron ore mining in Khandadhar hills in Sundergarh district.
The apex court on May 10 had set aside the Orissa high court ruling which had quashed State government's petition for prospecting licence to Posco in Khandadhar hills and directed the Centre to consider ‘all objections raised by various parties’ to the allocation of the Khandadhar mines to Posco.
Replying to media persons’ queries regarding Posco’s MoU renewal, Yoon said that the company was ‘hopeful’ to get it soon.
Though the State Government’s Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Posco India has lapsed since June 22, 2010, it was not renewed or revised even as the district administration of Jagatsinghpur carried out land acquisition for the Posco project.
The Posco official also expressed his willingness to discuss with the State government regarding the company’s social responsibility (CSR) activities which the South Korean steel major wanted to proceed with the land acquisition process.
“…..since its a big project we need to plan a proper CSR master plan and accordingly we'll implement,” Yoon stated.
Officials engaged in the recent land acquisition exercise said, Odisha government had been able to acquire 2,630 acres of land against the initial requirement of 2,700 acre of land for setting up the steel facility.
Stating that the Jagatsinghpur district administration was close to finish the land acquisition activities soon, they added Posco had already been handed over 2,100 acres of land so far.