Work remained stalled at Posco’s proposed plant site near Paradip for the fourth consecutive day on Wednesday, prompting Jagatsinghpur district administration to invite villagers disrupting project related activities for talks to end the deadlock.
“We have invited members of United Action Committee (UAC), who are opposing work for boundary wall and rehabilitation colony in Nuagaon and Gadakujang areas, for talks,” Jagatsinghpur Collector, N. C. Jena told PTI.
Stating that the administration was waiting for UAC’s response, he said the deadlock over UAC’s six—point charter of demands was likely to be resolved in two—three days to pave the way for resumption of project activities.
Similarly, efforts were on to initiate dialogue with anti-project brigade of Posco Pratirodh Sanrgam Samiti (PPSS), which continued its dharna along with children at Gobindpur, entry point to Dhinkia gram panchayat, the Collector said.
Though UAC is considered to be a group supporting the mega steel project, its activists stalled the work demanding fulfilment of their six—point charter of demands.
“We will ensure that no work is done at the acquired land in Gada Kujang and Nuagaon gram panchayats unless our demands are fulfilled,” Tamil Pradhan, a member of the UAC told PTI adding that they would not hold any talks with the administration now.
UAC’s demand include contract work for the local youths, rise in the price of homestead and agricultural land, increase in the compensation for betel vine workers and others.
The State government which temporarily suspended land acquisition activities after failing to enter into Dhinkia gram panchayat in the face of a human barricade at Gobindpur, had started construction of boundary wall, sand filling, tree cutting and other activities in Gada Kujang and Nuagaon gram panchayats over 1800 acres of land acquired so far.
“But the work over the acquired land is also halted for fourth day today,” said Rehabiliation and Resettlement Officer Surjit Das due to opposition from the UAC.
Chief Secretary B. K. Patnaik, however, said that he was certain that Posco project would be implemented through peaceful manner despite several reports of agitation, protest and other activities.
“The State government had already acquired half of the required land for the steel project. Out of about 4,000 acres of land, 3,500 acres belonged to the state government. Therefore, I do not see any difficulty in implementation of the project,” the chief secretary said.