Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Govt not to acquire land for Posco from Patana village

PARADIP (ODISHA), March 6, 2013 PTI

Odisha government has decided not to acquire any area for now at Patana village where three anti-Posco activists died while allegedly making bombs even as land acquisition for Posco steel plant in Jagatsinghpur district continued for the fourth day on Wednesday.

"Land acquisition was carried out and 10 betel vine plantations were razed to the ground at Gobindpur village with the cooperation of villagers," Additional District Magistrate (Paradip) Surjit Das said.

As many as 65 trees were also cut during today's operations, he said, adding Rs 17 lakh would be paid to the farmers whose betel vineyards were demolished and trees cut.

About 200 acres of land had been acquired since the current phase of acquisition began on Sunday, Das said, adding the process would continue as many villagers were voluntarily coming forward to hand over land.

About 250 acres of land had been acquired during four days of acquisition drive undertaken last month, the ADM said.

However, it has been decided not to undertake any land acquisition operation at Patana village for now, he said adding that earlier it had been made clear that no land would be acquired in Dhinkia village for the mega steel project.

Three anti-Posco activists were killed and another was critically injured while allegedly preparing bombs on Saturday near a house at Patana village.

While police maintained that explosion took place during bomb preparation, Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS), an anti-project body, alleged there was a bomb attack by supporters of Posco.

As land acquisition resumed on Sunday after remaining suspended since February 6, armed policemen in strength camped in the area to ensure trouble-free operation.

Patna village under Dhinkia grampanchayat, considered the epi-centre of the anti-Posco agitation, continued to remain cordoned off by armed policemen.

PPSS leaders said they would oppose land acquisition for the mega steel project as it would affect local farmers.

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