Opposition parties, including the Congress and BJP, in Odisha have strongly criticised the state government’s decision to resume land acquisition for the multi-crore Posco steel project.
The work, which was re-launched on Sunday, continued for the second day on Monday. In a letter to the chief minister, Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Niranjan Patnaik demanded that the state government should take immediate steps to shift the Posco project site to another place in order to end the bloodbath and loss of human lives. He was referring to the crude bomb blast in the project site on Saturday in which three people were killed and another sustained serious injuries.
“We repeat our demand to shift the plant site to another nearby locality which is not too far from the present one and is also vacant,” the PCC chief said in his letter. The state government had failed to keep its earlier promise not to go for forcible land acquisition for the controversial steel project.
Joel Oram, president of the BJP’s state unit, appealed to the government to stop the acquisition at least till a decision is taken in Parliament on the new Land Acquisition Bill.
The left parties which have extended their direct support to the anti-Posco villagers in Jagatsinghpur have already held demonstrations in capital Bhubaneswar protesting the re-launching of the land acquisition process as well as the Saturday’s blast.
The state government is yet to react to the opposition parties’ demands. However, the Jagatsinghpur district administration has clarified that the land acquisition is going on with the consent of the betel farmers who are willing to give up the land.
[Source — Deccan Herald]