The Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) has decided to organise a rally at Gobindpur village on Monday to reiterate its opposition to land acquisition for the mega steel project of Posco.
This comes at a time when the Odisha government is getting ready to acquire more land for the proposed project.
The rally is being organised to oppose the government’s move to acquire another 700 acres of land in and around the village by creating a division among the villagers, PPSS spokesperson Prashant Paikray told The Hindu on Saturday.
The 700 acres of government land (coming under forest and non-forest category) had more than 500 betel vines, the main source of livelihood for the villagers, said Mr. Paikray.
The land also had about one lakh casuarina trees.
The rally will be held at Balitikira, the place where the PPSS had been continuing with a dharna since June 2011 to prevent the authorities from acquiring more land for the proposed steel mill.
Hundreds of people from the three gram panchayats of Dhinkia, Nuagaon and Gadakujang will take part in the rally.
“We will resist any move of the government to acquire more land for the project in order to prevent the loss of livelihood sources for thousands of people,” Mr. Paikray said.
The State government, which had acquired 2,000 acres for the project, had decided to acquire another 700 acres to enable the company to establish a steel mill of 8 million tonne per annum capacity plant in two phases. The company had originally planned to set up a 12 million tonne capacity plant in three phases over 4,004 acres of land.
Mr. Paikray further said PPSS had also decided not to take part in the Rehabilitation and Peripheral Development Advisory Committee (RPDAC) meeting which the administration was planning to organise to discuss enhancement of the rehabilitation and resettlement package for those facing displacement.
“We have rejected the package, and we are firm in our demand for the withdrawal of the project from the area,” said Mr. Paikray.
The State government had, so far, not been able to revise the memorandum of understanding signed with Posco in June 2005 which had expired in June 2010.
Keywords: Posco steel project