Orissa: CPI demands shifting of POSCO project

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Bhubaneshwar, May 21 (ANI): Rejecting the Orissa Government's formula of excluding 300 acres of private land from the proposed POSCO project site area near Paradip, the Communist Party of India (CPI) on Friday demanded that the entire site be shifted elsewhere.

Addressing the media CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan demanded an official statement on overall impact of the project on the state.

"Giving up only 300 acres of private land is a ridiculous idea. This cannot be a solution. We want the whole project to be shifted from the area identified near Paradip," Bardhan said.

Bardhan termed his meeting with Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik as "very disappointing."

On Thursday evening, Bardhan held a meeting with Patnaik along with state CPI leaders.

Bardhan said since over 4000 acres of land is needed for the plant, leaving out only 300 acres private land in Dhinkia village is meaningless.

He demanded to shift the project location elsewhere in Jagatsinghpur District or in areas bordering Puri District where displacement of people would be less.

"The government should realize that it is not just a piece of land but involves livelihood of the people depending on fertile land and betel vines for generations," Bardhan said adding "Forest dwellers in the area cannot be uprooted in an illegal manner without holding proper village meetings."

"Though it is billed as India's biggest FDI capable of creating jobs, government must publish details about its cost in terms of loss of land, minerals, water and its adverse impact on poor people," he added.

Describing Patnaik's proposal for talks between protesters and Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC) as opening of a small window, Bardhan said any attempt to acquire land or conduct survey for the proposed 12mtpa steel plant pending discussion would be opposed tooth and nail.

He also demanded to withdraw charges against over 800 anti-Posco agitators. (ANI)

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