Protesters to seal Posco plant site villages

Paradip (Orissa), Feb 1 (PTI) Intensifying theiragitation against the South Korean steel major Posco''sproposed 12 mtpa greenfield steel plant in Orissa, opponentstoday decided to seal all entry points into the proposedproject site villages near here.

The decision in this regard was taken at a publicmeeting organised by the Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti(PPSS), a CPI-backed agrarian body.

"We have decided not to allow entry of any governmentofficial, Posco personnel or policemen into the proposed plantsite villages from tomorrow," said PPSS president Abhay Sahu.

The PPSS protest meeting was organised a day after theCentre accorded conditional clearance for the Rs 51,000 croresteel project, the work for which remained suspended for thepast five years.

PPSS got support from political parties like CPI,CPI(M), Forward Bloc, RJD and JMM. Though opposition Congressand BJP were also opposed to the project at the presentlocation, they kept away from the today''s meeting held atPatana village, one of the demarcated areas for housing themega steel plant.

Vowing not to allow the South Korean steel major''sproject, the villagers shouted "Posco Go Back" and "JairamRamesh Hai Hai".

"We will prefer to die than evacuating land for Posco.

Why the project is not taken to some barren land," askedNarahari Mantri, a farmer.

Criticising Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh,PPSS secretary and sarpanch of Dhinkia gram panchayat SisirMohapatra said the villagers were united to fight the project.

"The villagers including women and children are readyto sacrifice their lives to protect their homeland," he said.

The people supporting the project on the other handcelebrated the conditional clearance to the project. They,however, said the United Action Committee (UAC) would extendsupport if the company provided a job to each affected family.

"We will certainly support the project. But it has tosatisfy the affected people," said UAC leader Anadi Rout. PTICOR AAMNN

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