Orissa starts drive to acquire 700 acre more for Posco plant
The process of acquiring land for Posco’s $12-billion steel plant near Orissa’s Paradip port in Jagatsinghpur district resumed on Sunday, leading to tension in the area. Officials from the Orissa government made a surprise entry into Gobindpur village early on Sunday morning led by district collector Satya Mallik accompanied by police.
The authorities faced resistance from women and children at Gobindpur, the epicentre of the anti-Posco movement. However, the state officials uprooted betel vines and paid over R15 lakh as compensation to eight farmers.
“We have begun acquisition of land at Gobindpur village this morning. Betel vines and land of those who had already given their consent are being acquired,” PTI quoted additional district magistrate Surjit Das as saying.
Though leaders of Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS), the organisation spearheading the resistance movement against the project since 2005, alleged that about six people, including women were injured in lathicharge by police, Das said no force was used during the fresh land acquisition drive, which comes after a gap of more than a year.
PPSS convenor Abhay Sahoo also alleged that about seven persons were taken away by police, but police denied having detained anyone.
The fresh operation aims at acquiring an additional 700 acres of land required for the mega project by the South Korean steel giant, Das said. The government had earlier taken into possession 2,000 acres.
Later Sahoo, PPSS secretary general Sishir Mohapatra and local CPI MP Bibhu Prasad Tarai sat on