Posco land acquisition on hold

Bhubaneswar: The administration halted Posco land acquisition on Tuesday in Jagatsinghpur as the anti- Posco agitation is gaining momentum.

CPI MP Gurudas Dasgputa visited the proposed Posco site on Tuesday to extend their support, while many social activists, including Medha Patkar , Ekta Parishad’s president PV Rajagopal, Swami Agnivesh and  delegations from political parties like  state Congress and State Bharatiya Janata Party also visited the spot during the last three days.

Earlier on Monday, Medha Patkar said that the civil rights groups would stand by the people agitating against Posco`s mega steel project in Jagathsinghpur district and demanded that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik visit the ground Zero immediately.

The Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS)  has also announced to observe June 22 (Wednesday) as Black Day to reiterate its opposition to the Posco project. It was on June 22, 2005 that the State government had signed the memorandum of understanding for the project.

The local administration has claimed to have acquired nearly half of the 4004 acres needed for the steel project in the Jagatsinghpur district, but officials have not been able to enter the troubled Dhinkia and Govindpur area to acquire the remaining land due to strong opposition.

Meanwhile, Posco on Tuesday has said that it would proceed with its mega steel project in the State even as the administration has halted the land acquisition for the project due to the opposition by villagers.

There is no change in their stance on the project and we will proceed with the project, a Posco spokesman said. He also stated that they expect the State government will continue with their talks with villagers over land acquisition.