Uncertainty looms large over Posco work

Paradip/Bhubaneswar: An uneasy calm prevails at the Posco site where one man was killed on December 14 following fierce clashes between pro-project and anti-steel plant groups during the construction of the Coastal road joining the plant site with Paradip. Seven persons have been arrested in this connection including the main accused Bapi Sarkhel and anti-Posco leader Narayan Redyy. No one knows when would the project work start once again while the administration claimed that it was maintaining a strict vigil on the developments and work would resume after studying the reports from the ground.

The district administration and the pro-project group of people were hopeful that the project work would continue smoothly after the construction of the Coastal Road work began on December 13. But evreything went topsy-turvy the very next day. Posco site witness violent clashes between the two groups resulting in the death of one Divya Swain. It was followed by arrests of seve persons including Bapi Sarkhel and Narayan Redyy.

Both the groups are engaged in drawing strategies regarding future course of action. Rued Nirvaya Samantray, secretary, Joint Action Committe," The morale of the plant supporters has taken a beat. The people feel that while the opponents get kid glove treatment from the administration, the supporters have to face the ire.That is not good for the project." Countered Sisir Mohapatra, secretary, Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti," The movement would gain  momentum if more and more people are arrested by the administration. The movement would continue till the Poco is driven out completely.“

The government and district administration claimed it was observing the situation at the ground level. Said chief secretary, Bijay Pattanaik," We would take the next step only after studying the reports from the ground level." That means the status quo would continue for some days at least.