Odisha Government has finally achieved its target of acquisition of land for the South Korean steel giant Posco’s proposed steel plant near Paradip on Thursday, July 4, 2013. They demolished 25 more betel vines at Gobindpur village in order to acquire the land. “We have acquired 2,700 acres of land for Posco’s first phase of 8mtpa capacity steel mill. The local administration acquired 700 acres of land during this last phase. The acquired land will be handed over to the state owned Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) soon,” said Jagatsinghpur District Collector Satya Kumar Mallick.
Although there were a lot of villagers protesting against this land acquisition process, yet, the government was able to acquire the land by its last phase. They have demolished a total of 488 betel vines of the villagers from their land and in return gave them a compensation of total of Rs 6.72 crore.
A MoU was signed between the Odisha government and Posco in June 2005 for setting up a 12 MnTPA capacity steel plant in a total of 4004 acres of land near the Paradip Port. The land required by the government was used by the villagers for their livelihood and they used to cultivate betel vines in the land. The land acquisitions by the government lead the villagers to protest against it. People from eight different villages under the Dhinkia, Nuagaon and Gadakujanga gram panchayats opposed the project of land acquisition under the leadership of Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS).
The government then scaled down their requirement to only 2700 acres of land and a plant of 8 MnTPA capacity was to be set by Posco now. Thus in 2011, the administration demolished more than 600 betel vines to acquire 2000 acres of land and in return disbursed a compensation of Rs 9 crore to the villagers in return of their land.
The authorities of Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) have asked the Posco steel plant to finalize their plans of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) soon and also submit it before the renewal of the MoU of the land project.