In another setback to the beleaguered Posco project, the people who will be displaced when the South Korean steel major sets up a $12 billion steel plant have rejected the rehabilitation and compensation package offered to them.
The anti-Posco agitation, which is headed by Posco Pratirodha Samiti, burnt copies of the package Sunday.
‘The package which was announced by Posco has cheated those who were supporting it. We call upon those who are supporting Posco to come forward to oppose Posco to save the natural resources of this locality,’ said Abhaya Sahu, the leader of Samiti, which has been holding a protest near Balitutha of Orissa’s Paradip district since Jan 26.
The package that has been announced by the steel major has not only been rejected by anti-Posco members but its supporters too. The United Action Committee (UAC) which is considered to be pro-POSCO has expressed dissatisfaction over the package announced by Posco.
‘We are not against industry but the company should address the demands of the local people. Betel vine farmers should be properly compensated,’ said Tamil Pradhan, a member of the UAC.
Meanwhile, Posco authorities have said that the package has been announced according to the rehabilitation package of the state government and would be satisfactory to all parties.
‘We are hopeful that the package would satisfy everyone. We are clueless about what more can be done,’ said Simant Mohanty, general manager (external relations) of Posco.
The steel major has announced a compensation of Rs.7,000 per decimal for the loss of land meant for betel vines, Rs.1 lakh per acre for prawn farms and Rs.75,000 per acre for cultivable land.
The steel maker requires about 4,004 acres of land for the project, of which 2,900 acres is forest land. The project has been delayed for over two years due to various reasons, including protests by locals.
Thousands of locals have been protesting the project, saying it will displace them and ruin their betel-leaf farms. Posco and the government maintain the project will bring revenue and employment to the state.