Land acquisition by the Orissa government for Posco’s Rs. 52,000 crore steel project in Jagatsinghpur district could not be resumed for the second day on Saturday due to heavy rains even as social activists and leaders rushed to the area to support the anti-displacement brigade.
“Like yesterday, heavy rains prevented acquisition of land today also. Our teams were ready, but work could not be started because of rains,” Additional District Magistrate Paradip Sarojkanta Choudhury said.
The acquisition, which was halted for five days since Sunday because of the local ‘Raja’ festival, could be taken up on Monday if weather permits.
“Everything depends on the weather,” Jagatsinghpur district special land acquisition officer Surjit Das said.
The district administration had made elaborate security arrangements with deployment of police force in the proposed plant site near Paradip to prevent any untoward incident in view of protests by anti-Posco activists.
The Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS), spearheading the agitation against the mega steel project for the last six years, had planned to oppose the acquisition by forming human chains.
Politicians, social and civil right activists along with educationists are now making a beeline to Dhinkia village in the proposed plant site.
A group of activists led by Swami Agnivesh rushed to the proposed project area. “It is illegal to hand over fertile land to a multinational company. The government has no right to destroy a well developed agrarian economy in the name of establishing the country’s biggest FDI,” Agnivesh said.
While a delegation of Congress is slated to visit Dhinkia soon, leaders of CPI and CPI(M) are and a BJP team are scheduled to tour the area next week.