Posco: Land-losers face uncertain future

Bhubaneswar: With two skips in quick succession – first from the joint statement of the two countries and now from the CEOs’ Forum speech, it has now become almost evident that the Posco chapter will go missing from India’s industrialisation horizon.

Billed as the largest FDI in India, the Rs 52,000-crore project might be like any other big project for the Centre and State, but the villagers of Dhinkia in Jagatsingpur district who lost their land with a promise of job in the proposed plant, are now left with nothing except a mere one-time monetary compensation from the government.

The village, which once had hit newspaper headlines across the globe, now wears a deserted look. With no ongoing construction work or activities at the camp office of the South Korean company, the village is like a barren land.

Few months ago, at least the land-owners had something to do to feed their families. But after acres of beetle vine yards were razed, they have no option but to sit idle at home.

More painful is the paltry compensation paid by the State government against their land. “For how many days we will run our families with this small amount?” asked a farmer who had lost 2 acre of land where he was growing beetle for years.

“Education of children and health issues of our parents are now the biggest challenge for us and there is nobody to hear us. Will the government give back our land so that we can resume our age-old vine yard,” he asked.

The scenario is same in all the periphery villages where acres land have been acquired for the project. With no work in their area to earn livelihood, the life of all the land-losers has become miserable.