Protesters yesterday burnt copies of the new Rs400-crore rehabilitation package offered by Posco for project displaced people. They accused chief minister Naveen Patnaik of going back on his promise to visit the site of Posco's proposed steel plant in Orissa's Jagatsinghpur district ''to take stock of the situation.''
Last week, Posco offered the highest ever compensation package for over 2,000 people who face displacement due to the construction of the steel plant.
The Rehabilitation and Periphery Development Advisory Committee for the project has meanwhile fixed the price of private land at Rs17 lakh per acre, Rs11.5 lakh an acre for betel vines and unemployment allowance of Rs2,250 a month to landless labour. (See: Posco 'comfortable' about Paradip project after rehab package)
However, this has failed to cut any ice with the Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS), which has been at the forefront of the anti-Posco agitation. Though it had allowed a socio-economic survey of the affected area last month, it held a huge public meeting at the proposed site for the plant re-erecting barricades to prevent entry to authorities.
At a public meeting at Dhinkia, 120 km from Bhubaneswar, the samiti said the state chief minister had "betrayed" the people with his announcement of a rehabilitation package without visiting the area that the project proposes to cover.
An official copy of the package was burnt at the meeting, which was attended by about 3,000 people, mostly women.