Villagers in Orissa's Jagatsinghpur district observed “Black Day” on Tuesday that marked the completion of five years of the State government signing a memorandum of understanding with South Korean steel major Posco for setting up a 12 million-tonne steel plant, at an estimated cost of Rs. 52,000 crore.
The villagers have been opposing the project saying it will affect their livelihood.
A rally, attended by leaders of anti-land acquisition movements and six political parties opposed to locating the project on fertile agricultural land, was taken out from Dhinkia village.
At a public meeting held at Patna market, near the proposed Posco project area, president of the Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti, Abhaya Sahoo, said: “The State government should scrap the project as it will adversely affect livelihood of villagers depending on agriculture and fish resources.”
Similarly, leaders of the CPI (M), the CPI, the Forward Bloc, the Samajwadi Party, the Rastriya Janata Dal and the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha announced that they would spread the movement to areas where the South Korean steel major sought to mine iron ore and source water for the project.
They demanded that the State government desist from renewing the MoU with Posco. The State unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday made a similar demand.
However, Naveen Patnaik's government is all set to renew the MoU and has resolved to expedite the land acquisition process. According to reports, residents of Dhinkia village are not co-operating with the land surveying teams.