Anti-Posco activists intensify opposition, dig roads

Bhubaneswar, Feb 13 (PTI) A day after DGP of Orissapolice and CMD of Industrial Infrastructure DevelopmentCorporation (IDCO) undertook a joint survey at the troubledPosco plant site near Paradip, the connecting road was todaydug up at seveal places.

"We will prevent government officials and companystaff from entering the proposed plant site. The villagerswill stall any attempt to repair the road," Posco PratirodhSangram Samiti (PPSS) president Abhay Sahu told reporters.

DGP Manmohan Praharaj and IDCO CMD Priyabrat Patnaikyesterday visited Posco''s proposed captive port site atJatadhar and peripherial area to take stock of the situation.

Patnaik also revealed state government''s plan toconstruct road to the proposed plant site from Paradip.

While villagers guarded proposed plant site erectingbamboo gates and prevented entry of officials and police, theadministration chalked out a plan to develop the alternativeroad instead of confronting agitators, sources said.

The state government had already made it clear itwould not acquire over 300 acre private land from Dhinkiavillage, the epi-centre of anti-Posco agitation. "The companyhad also agreed to leave some 300 acre of private land atDhinkia due to opposition," Chief Secretary B K Patnaik said.

According to the new strategy adopted by the stategovernment to expedite the project, delayed by over fiveyears, it would start work over government land in initialphase leaving behind the land owned by private persons.

Of the 4004 acre of land originally planned for the Rs52,000 crore project, people own around 438 acre of privateland. The government land also comprised about 2958.82 acreforest land which required diversion clearance from theMinistry of Environment and Forest before starting work.

"We will start work at an appropriate time aftergetting due permission from the MoEF," Steel and MinesMinister Raghunath Mohanty said.

Before the land is handed over to the South Koreancompany, the state owned IDCO would construct the road to theplant site and the boundary wall.

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