Land acquisition for Posco fails to take off

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SummaryLand acquisition drive for Posco steel unit project in Odisha's Jagatsinghpur district which was scheduled to commence from today failed to take off.

Land acquisition drive for Posco steel unit project in Odisha's Jagatsinghpur district which was scheduled to commence from today failed to take off.

"The work was to recommence today. But due to unavoidable reasons it could not be taken up. It'll start soon," Paradip additional district magistrate Surajit Das said.

The land acquisition work had been suspended in the area since a violence in the area on June 10, 2011.

The state government has already acquired about 2,000 acres for the greenfield project and required only 700 acres more for commencement of the project work.

The district administration had sought cooperation of the villagers to acquire the required additional 700 acres of forest land for the South Korean steel major.

The district collector last week had convened a series of meetings with residents of Gobindpur, Gadakujang and Nuagaon villages, which are at the proposed plant site. The villagers had insisted on fulfilment of their demands which include adequate compensation, convening of meeting by the revenue divisional commissioner and initiating of efforts to restore normalcy in the three panchayats.

Meanwhile, over 600 anti-land acquisition supporters led by Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) held a demonstration near Gobindpur during the day opposing the setting up of the proposed plant at the site.

"If the district administration attempts to resume land acquisition work, we will oppose it and not allow it at any cost", PPSS leader Abhay Sahoo said.

He said no environmental clearance has been obtained for land acquisition, court cases against it are still pending and none of the demands of the local people has been met by the government.

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