PARADIP: The South Korean steel major Posco’s declaration before the National Green Tribunal that it would not be able to set up its proposed steel plant in Odisha till 2017 has evoked mixed reaction from the anti and pro-industry groups here.
At a meeting at Dhinkia on Friday, villagers of Dhinkia, Nuagaon and Gadkujang panchayats under the aegis of Posco Pratirodha Sangram Samiti (PPSS) expressed happiness at the decision. They said their longstanding demand has finally been fulfilled. A woman leader of PPSS, Manorama Khatua, said the State Government should now withdraw false cases against 1,200 anti-Posco activists.
On the other hand, pro-Posco villagers demanded compensation from the company towards their land and betel vines that they had given up for the steel plant. Pro-Posco group leader Nirbhay Samantray said, the company’s decision would put the future of many villagers at risk as they have given up their land and betel vines hoping for employment in the steel plant after it is set up.
Earlier, Posco management had a written letter to the district administration to refund Rs.25 lakh towards 10 acres of land for the steel plant in Paradip and `one crore towards afforestation programme in the affected villages. Collector Bijay Ketan Upadhaya said a clarification in this regard has been sought from the IDCO.