Posco: Korean envoy meets Naveen amid tension
As tension continues at the Posco site over land acquisition after the blast that claimed three lives at Patana village, South Korean Ambassador Kim Joong Keun met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here on Wednesday and expressed concern over the delay.
Keun’s meeting with Naveen assumed significance as the land acquisition process, resumed four days back by the administration for the mega steel project, is moving at a slow pace due to continued tension in the region. The South Korean Ambassador told mediapersons after meeting that the project was indeed moving at a very slow pace. ‘’Of course it (Posco project) has been delayed. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was singed almost eight years ago...so it has been delayed very much.”
In a lighter vein, the Ambassador continued, “….If we compare with the Korean standard….Koreans are very quick.” Keun, however, hoped that the project work will commence soon. ‘’I believe that the Chief Minister and the State Government are doing their best to expedite the process...I hope that couple of difficulties would be cleared very shortly and the Posco project would be started within a short span of time,’’ he said.
During his last visit to the State in May 2012, Keun has said that Posco would start project construction work at the site after getting additional land of 700 acres. The State Government has taken into possession 2,000 acres of land required for the 8 million tonne per annum green field mega steel plant.
The State Government had signed the MoU with Posco India on June 22, 2005 to set up 12 mt per annum steel project at a cost of `52,000 cr. However, the project size was later scaled down to 8 mt following strong local protest against land acquisition. The State Government is, however, yet to renew the MoU though it has lapsed three years back.