The villagers opposing the mega steel project of Posco near Paradip on Friday observed ‘Black Day’ even as the South Korean steel major’s MoU with the state government completed seven years on Friday. Waving black flags and wearing black ribbons round their wrists and foreheads, the villagers under the banner of Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) staged a demonstration at Dhinkia. The group has been observing June 22 as ‘Black Day’ every year since the state signed the pact with Posco for the 12 million tonne per annum capacity steel plant on June 22, 2005.
KENDRAPADA: Anti-land acquisition villagers observed the seventh anniversary of the signing of the Posco MoU by holding a protest meet at Dhinkia on Friday. The protesters said the project would deprive them of their livelihood and they won’t give an inch of land for the mega steel plant.
They were supported by leaders of different political parties. CPI leader A B Bardhan said the state government had sold itself to the MNC at the cost of the people. He urged the villagers to oppose any move of the state government to acquire their fertile lands for Posco. Bardhan’s view was supported by senior CPM leader and MP Basudev Acharya. He said the state government has no right to give fertile land to any MNC to establish any industry when agriculture production is insufficient in the state.
Umesh Swain, a senior Congress leader, said chief minister Naveen Patnaik has been trying to do a Kalinga Nagar in Dhinkia to scare away the people. More than 50,000 people have to be evicted from the area if the project has to come up, he said.
Abhaya Sahoo, the president of PPSS, said it is high time the government shifts the project and gives land to Posco where rehabilitation problems can be solved. Former CPI MLA Narayan Reddy, CPM state secretary Janardan Pati, SP leader Rabi Behera and SUCI leader Sabhunath Nayak were present.