The Orissa government announced on Monday that it would give all possible support to Posco-India to start the construction of its proposed 12 MTPA mega steel plant in Jagatsinghpur district.
“Whatever adequate support is required, we will give. The Posco plant will certainly come up in the state,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told reporters. The statement was in response to a query on whether the state government was ready to provide Posco-India with the necessary police support for commencement of construction activities at the controversial project site.
The government also offered peaceful talks with the Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS), which is opposed to the plant and had recently even abducted several company officials. “I am always ready to speak to anyone for practical and peaceful solution of the issue,” Patnaik said.
Posco-India’s land acquisition and construction work at the proposed site has been delayed due to protests by the PPSS for more than two years now. The firm now plans to begin construction from April 1, 2008. Posco-India officials on Monday denied reports carried in certain sections of the media that the Posco Board of Directors would prefer to shift the proposed plant to some other place.
“The Posco plant is an important project not only for Orissa but for the entire nation. Along with the plant construction, there will also be infrastructure development like railways, roads and ports. It will provide massive employment opportunities to young people and boost the revenue generation of the state,” he added.