The district administration will not acquire lands in Dhinkia village and Patana hamlet, bordering Gobindapur, for the proposed Posco steel plant. Collector Satya Kumar Mallick told this to anti-Posco activists at a press meet after the former created a ruckus on the issue on Wednesday.
During the day, the administration dismantled 10 betel vines, felled 29 fruit bearing trees and paid compensation of Rs 27.39 lakh.
During land acquisition when the officials and workers reached the border areas of Patana and Govindapur, anti-Posco activists reached the spot and created furore over the issue by stating that even as Government had assured not to acquire land in Dhinkia and Patana, the land acquisition officials were violating it.
The district administration held a meeting and clarified its stand on the issue.
“No land will be acquired for the project in either Dhinkia or Patana and Posco will spend `200 crore on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) works in the region. Of this, `58 crore will be spent in the first phase and `179 crore would be utilised for afforestation in 1,253 hectare of land,” the Collector said.
Later in the day, the Collector said land acquisition will be held up from Thursday as per the instruction of the government.
Speaking on the occasion, SP Satyabrat Bhoi said deployment of police forces will be gradually decreased from Gobindapur after normalcy is restored.
As on Wednesday, four platoons of police forces have been deployed. He informed that a police outpost-cum-revenue inspector office will be opened at Gadakujang panchayat.
Meanwhile, police have registered cases against protestors including PPSS leader Abhaya Sahu for violating prohibitory orders on Tuesday.
Women to launch ‘naked protest’
Women leaders of PPSS have threatened to start ‘naked protest’ from Thursday against the ‘forcible land acquisition’ at Govindapur.
They said amid the Posco fiasco, it is the women who are the worst-hit. “Women are not safe in the area. We are neglected and often humiliated by land acquisition officials,” said a woman leader of PPSS Manorama Khatua.
Meanwhile, CPI(ML) leader KN Ramachandran, president of Akhil Bharatiya Krantikari Mahila Sangthan Urmila and general secretary Sarmistha Chaudhry and other women activists visited Dhinkia.
They were critical of the district administration of continuing with land acquisition even as three persons had died in a bomb blast in the area.
South Korea Ambassador reviews work
South Korea’s Ambassador Kim Joong Keun on Wednesday visited Paradip and interacted with local Posco officials to know the progress of the proposed steel
plant. Though Keun was scheduled to visit Govindapur, it was cancelled due to the prevailing law and order situation.
Posco India CMD Yong Won Yoon, who accompanied Keun, informed him that of 2700 acre of land required for the project, Posco has already received 1701 acre and the rest will be acquired soon.
“Since land acquisition will be completed soon, the company has decided to start peripheral development work and corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities at the Posco site,” Yoon said.
It may be noted that land acquisition for the Posco project was resumed on March 3.