Orissa govt to discuss POSCO land acquisition with villagers

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Bhubaneshwar, Nov 20 (UNI) Orissa government will hold a discussion in the first week of January next with those villagers to be displaced with the setting up of a mega steel plant by POSCO at Paradeep, Steel and Mines Minister Padmanav Behera here today said.

Replying to a question of CPI leader N Narayan Reddy, the minister said notice would be issued for the purpose soon.

Mr Behera said the land acquisition process for the Rs 52,000 crore steel plant by the South Korean steel major was on.

''Of the total 4004.24 acres of land the company had applied for the plant, 3566.56 acres belonged to the government,'' the minister stated.

The government, he said, had written to the Union Forest and Environment Ministry in June 2007 for acquisition of 2951.56 acres of forest land.

Meanwhile, the government had already leased out 506 acres of non forest government land.

Mr Behera said discussion would be held with the land owners for the evaluation so that they could be compensated duely.

Replying to another question, he said the land acquisition for the plant was delayed due to opposition by some local people adding that so far administrative approval had already been given for the acquisition of 437.690 acres of private land.

Meanwhile, the steel and mines department had given permission at different times to issue notification for the acquisition of 433.23 acres of land, he said.

''There was no possibility of winding up of the project,'' he informed.

UNI

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