Last phase land acquisition process for Posco steel plant, which had resumed three days back after a gap of 20 days, in Gobindapur village had to be suspended again on Monday following protests by anti-Posco activists.
Residents of Dhinkia and Gobindapur villages led by CPI leader Narayan Reddy staged demonstration and took out rallies protesting forcible demolition of betel vines.
Collector Satya Kumar Mallick said, “We have no intention to expedite land acquisition process and demolish betel vines by creating law and order problem. Demolition is almost complete as only 30 to 40 betel vines are left to be dismantled.” The demolition process was stopped as tension ran high in the area. The work would resume on Tuesday, he added.
On Monday, the district officials led by ADM, Paradip Surjit Das began the demolition of betel vines. After a brief lull, anti-Posco protestors attempted to disrupt the land acquisition process. CPI leader Reddy and Samajwadi party leader Arun Jena vowed to face any situation to stop the land acquisition process. Protesters demanding immediate halt to demolition of betel demonstrated at Patana.
Following the resistance from anti-Posco activists, the administration decided to stop land acquisition operation for the day. Later, the district officials held a meeting at Posco transit camp office in Nuagaon in the presence of Posco and IDCO officials to chalk out a plan to expedite land acquisition process.
PPSS leader Sisir Mohapatra said, “The presence of CPI leader Reddy for three days in Dhinkia village has helped us intensify agitation against Posco project. We have vowed to restrict the entry of district officials for land acquisition.”
The protestors have threatened to resort to mass immolation if the administration will continue to demolish the betel vines forcibly.
The administration has dismantled around 59 betel vines during the last phase of land acquisition while not a single beneficiary has yet received the compensation. Only 21 beneficiaries are willing to receive their compensation of Rs 89.90 lakh.