Posco officials defy district administration, visit site after six months

After a long gap, the officials of Posco-India led by its director K Lee have visited the site of the company’s mega steel plant near Paradip and interacted with few villagers in Nuagaon to assess their reaction before initiating any step to start work on the project.

Interestingly, the Posco officials visited the site even as the Jagatsinghpur district administration is yet to lift the restriction on entry of South Koreans into the plant area.

The district administration had imposed this restriction under the Foreigners’ Act, 1946 and the Foreigners (report to the police) Order, 1971 in the aftermath of violence over construction of a coastal road linking the site in December last year. The order effectively meant that South Korean executives of Posco India cannot visit the proposed site without prior permission from the administration.

Meanwhile, additional district magistrate, Paradip, Surjeet Das said, “administration has no information about the movement of Posco officials in Nuagaon as they have not taken any permission to enter into project site.”

In this backdrop, the visit by Posco officials also elicited sharp reaction even from among the erstwhile supporters of the project. The leaders of United Action Committee, known to be a pro Posco outfit, have criticized it. Nuagaon sarpanch Anjali Pradhan, a UAC member, said, the hush-hush visit of the Posco officials to the project site violated the directive of the police and administration. “We would not co-operate with Posco if the demands of the villagers are not fulfilled. So Posco should start work on the project after convincing the villagers,” she added.

[Source – Business Standard]

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