Jagatsinghpur (Orissa) Feb 7 : The much-awaited socio - economic survey began in the proposed 12 billion dollar steel plant planned by South Korean steel maker POSCO in Jagatsinghpur district on Feb 7. The villagers, agitating against the proposed mega steel plant, have agreed to allow the survey team after three days of intense negotiation. POSCO and the government have agreed to meet most of the demands made by agitators.
The socio-economic survey will continue for at least one month. There have been sporadic protests in the state both in favour and against the project, which would displace 500 families. POSCO, world's fourth largest steel maker, had signed a deal in June 2005 to set up a four-tranche 12 billion dollar steel project in India, marking what was billed the biggest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the country. The company had announced it would start steel production in its plants in India by 2010. The Orissa Government has granted POSCO mining lease rights for 30 years to supply a total of 600 million tonnes of iron ore to the new plant. The mining lease has been given in phases, depending on the progress of the plant.
The project also includes a dedicated port and power plant, iron mines, a hot-rolled coil mill and possible help to build railway lines between the mines and the plant.