Jayajit Dash | Bhubaneswar May 9, 2013 Last Updated at 17:53 IST
Moving ahead in its land acquisition spree for the Posco project, the Jagatsinghpur district administration aims to complete acquisition of 700 acres of land for the mega steel project in a week.
The state government has already acquired 2,000 acres of land for the Posco project. In the current phase of land procurement, an additional 700 acres were to be acquired.
This is necessary since Posco India had sought at least 2,700 acres of land to commence construction activity on an eight million tonne per annum (mtpa) steel mill in the first phase.
The proponent would later ramp up output to full scale 12 mtpa on receipt of its full land requirement of 4,004 acres.
“We expect to complete acquisition of 700 acres of land for the Posco project in a week. Close to 600 acres have already been acquired. Trenching work for boundary wall construction is also going on at Gobindpur”, sad Jagatsinghpur collector Satya Kumar Mallick.
Asked if protests at the project site would impede land acquisition, “The protests would not impact land acquisition activity since we hope to resolve all issues amicably through discussions.”’
Recently, the land acquisition drive for the Posco project had suffered a setback when villagers opposed the process, alleging massive irregularities in measurement of vines.
The affected people also objected to starting trench cutting necessary for commencement of boundary wall construction for the steel project.
The pro-Posco villagers alleged that the company authorities and officials of Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Idco) have started trench cutting process for erection of boundary wall for the project without finalizing compensation, fixation of land rate, job opportunities, identification of betel vine labourers and other issues.
In a recent status note prepared on the Posco project, the state government said it has already handed over 546 acres to Posco India. An additional 1554 acres were ready to be handed over to the company.
Posco India needed 4004 acres of land in all. The land was to be acquired in eight villages- Nuagaon, Dhinkia, Noliasahi, Gobindpur, Polang, Bayanalkandha, Bhuyanpal and Jatadhar.
The state government admitted that law and order problems at the project site and delay in obtaining approval of forest diversion from the Union ministry of environment & forest (MoEF) impeded progress in project implementation.
While according approval of forest diversion for 2959 acres of forest land, MoEF did not appreciate the swapping clause of the original MoU (memorandum of understanding) signed with the steel major that expired in June 2010.
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