The Orissa Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) on Tuesday sought the intervention of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to shift the site of the proposed Posco project to barren land near the present location in Jagatsinghpur district.
Pradesh Congress president Niranjan Patnaik met the Prime Minister in Delhi and told him that nearly 7,000 acres of barren land was available only 6 km from the present site. He later told sections of the media that it was the fault of the BJP-led state government that the project has been delayed by over five years. ''I told the prime minister that it is better late than never,'' he said.
"The Orissa government did not apply its mind properly while identifying the site for the proposed Posco steel plant," Patnaik said after his maiden meeting with the prime minister.
"When the Congress was in power in the state it had refused the same site to the Indian Oil Corporation and Oswal Fertiliser as around 25,000 farmers are dependent on it for their livelihood," he said.
The OPCC president also informed the prime minister that the district administration had not been able to enter the core area of the proposed plant site due to stiff opposition from children, women and elderly people.
Patnaik, a former state industries minister, said the $12 billion project was getting delayed because of stiff resistance at the plant site.