The Odisha government on Monday resumed land acquisition for Korean steel maker Posco’s 12 million tonne per annum steel project in Jagatsinghpur district after suspending it for about two and a half months.
Even as villagers took out protest rallies against land acquisition in Gobindpur, Dhinkia and Patana villages, site for site for Posco’s proposed $12 billion (Rs 54,000 crore) plant about 200 km east of Bhubaneswar, the district administration dismantled 20 betel vines in Gobindpur and disbursed more than Rs. 20 lakh as compensation to vine farmers.
“The land acquisition was peaceful and villagers fully cooperated with the administration,” said Jagatsinghpur collector SK Mallick.
Posco had signed an MoU with the Odisha government in June 2005 to set up the green field steel project, touted as India’s single largest foreign direct investment. The MoU has expired in 2010 and has yet to be renewed.
People of eight villagers under Dhinkia, Nuagaon and Gadakujanga gram panchayats have been opposing the plant under the leadership of Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS).
The state government has already acquired about 2200 acres in a phased manner amidst protest and needs to acquire another 500 acres for the commencement of the project.