More reports on: Government policies, Steel
Orissa kicks off land acquisition for Posco amidst protests news
27 July 2010

The Orissa government today kicked off land acquisition for South Korean steel major Posco's proposed Rs51,000 crore ($12 billion) steel project in Jagatsinghpur district of the state, despite local opposition and criticism over Forest Rights Act violation by the central team, which termed the acquisition "illegal."

The district administration initiated the acquisition process by acquiring government land in Gada Kujang panchayat area.

The authorities acquired land from two persons, Rohit Behera and Basant Behera of Bhuyanpal village, paying them cheques for Rs1.15 lakh each for their betel-vine farm land admeasuring over ten decimal area each.

The land used for betel-vine cultivation originally belonged to the government and the farmers removed the betel vines of their own, the officials claimed.

The Posco Pratirodha Sangram Samiti (PPSS) sphereheading agitation against the project, however, contested the acquisition saying they needed consent of the gram sabha (village council) for it.

It is illegal, the villagers are traditional forest dwellers as they depended on forest land for a living and the government is violating forest right Act, they said.

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Orissa kicks off land acquisition for Posco amidst protests