Expressing its commitment to restore peace at Posco’s proposed project site near Paradip, Orissa government has promised a “good package” for the people likely to be affected by the mega steel plant of the Korean company.
“I have told the delegation of United Action Committee (UAC) that a good rehabilitation package will be worked out,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told reporters yesterday after an hour-long talk with a delegation of a pro-project group.
Mr. Patnaik, who held a similar discussion with the anti-Posco group on June 13, said, “Peace must be maintained at the project site.”
Mr. Patnaik also accepted an invitation from the UAC to visit the proposed plant site villages at an “appropriate time.”
A 15-member UAC delegation, led by its president Anadi Rout also urged the chief minister to address a public meeting and announce establishment of the Rs. 52,000-crore steel project mooted by the South Korean steel major.
Unlike CPI-backed Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS), UAC made it clear that they favoured establishment of the steel plant as it would improve socio-economic condition of the people who were virtually staying in an island surrounded by rivers.
“We have drawn attention of the chief minister to the reign of terror created by PPSS activities on the people who support the project,” UAC president said, adding that at least 79 families hailing from Patana village (52) and Gobindpur village (27) were staying out of their homes due to attack and assault by the rival group.
UAC also sought the state government’s help in making arrangement to ensure return of 79 families to their houses at Gobindpur and Patana villages so that they could be part of the ongoing socio-economic survey activities.
“PPSS run a parallel administration in Dhinkia gram panchayat as no government official or police was allowed to enter into the area,” UAC member Tamil Pradhan said.
In a memorandum addressed to Patnaik, UAC demanded immediate demolition of check gates raised by PPSS activists and seizure of arms and bombs stored by them to create violence.