613 families to be displaced for Posco project: Govt

While the number of families facing displacement due to the project was initially put at 803, it came down to 613 after the state government decided not to acquire private land at Dhinkia village, steel minister Raghunath Mohanty said.

"As the people of Dhinkia are opposed to the project and unwilling to vacate their land, the government has decided not to acquire land from the village," he said.

With exclusion of private land from Dhinkia village, number of families to be displaced dropped from 803 to 613, he said, adding, 190 families would benefit from the decision.

Posco project, which initially required 4004 acre land, would now be set up over 3719.22 acre of land. "The South Korean steel major has also accepted the state government's decision of excluding Dhinkia village from its original plan," said Priyabrat Patnaik, nodal officer for the project.

Of the 3719.22 acre of land for Posco project, private land was only 152.69 acre while 3566 acre was government land, the minister said, adding, he was hopeful that the local people would not oppose the project, billed as the biggest foreign direct investment in the country.

Of the 3566 acre government land, 2958.79 acre were categorised as forest land and 607.74 acre non-forest revenue land. "We need diversification of forest land before handing it over to the company for starting work," Mohanty said.

On renewal of MoU with Posco-India, the minister said, "We have been processing the file in this matter. IPICOL had already prepared a draft for the renewal of MoU."

Sources said the state government was waiting for the opinion of the law department on inclusion of an additional clause in the new MoU.

The state government would ask Posco to reserve certain jobs for the local youths in its proposed 12 MTPA steel mill, he said.

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