Jagatsingpur,Oct 19 (UNI) The POSCO Pratirodha Samgram Samiti (PPSS) spearheading the agitation against the mega steel plant by the South Korea steel major,today said they would rather prepare for a bloodbath but not allow the project to come up in their villages.
Reacting to a statement of Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and POSCO Chief Executive Officer Ku-Taek Lee that the steel plant would start in April 2008, PPSS President Abhaya Sahu said the villagers are determined not to allow any officials to enter into their villages whatever the consequences might be.
He dubbed the statement of the Chief Minister and Mr.Lee as nothing but a ''traditional'' announcement and said the state government had no right to take away their land and displace them in the name of industrialisation.
Mr Sahu said the villagers, including women and children of the proposed POSCO project area have been resorting to road blockade for last two and half years by erecting wooden gates in Dhinkia ,Nuagaon and Gadakujang pachayats to prevent the police and government officials from entering into their villages.
He said they would soon mobilise the students and college goers of their areas by strengthening their protest near the gates and barricades to protest the decision of the POSCO to go ahead with the project work in April next.
POSCO CEO, who was in New Delhi in connection with the Company's sixth Board meeting, met the Orissa Chief Minister today and indicated that the construction of the project will begin in April next year.
The 12 million-tonne-capacity steel plant at an estimated cost of Rs.51,000 crores,considered to be the largest FDI in the country so far,has run into rough weather ever since the company had signed the MoU with the Orissa government in June 2005.
The project has been delayed due to stiff resistance by the local people.The company has not been able to acquire any land for the project.Its proposal for mining lease was also pending with the government.