HC takes up plea against Posco

Notice to Orissa govt over land acquisition for steel plant

The court’s notices were in response to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by villagers from Dhinkia, Nuagaon and Gada Kujang in Jagatsinghpur district. All these areas will be affected by the Rs 52,000 crore mega project.

The parties have been directed to submit their replies by May 24. The next hearing of the case has been scheduled for May 25.The villagers have charged the Biju Patnaik government and Jagatsinghpur district administration with  indulging in land acquisition for the South Koran project violating the forest act.

It is not yet known whether these villagers are members of Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS), the local organisation spearheading the anti-Posco agitation in the area.

Soon after the Union Forest and Environment Ministry granted final forest clearance to the controversial steel project early May, the PPSS had threatened to move the court against the decision. However, the outfit had changed its mind subsequently.

Meanwhile, the Jagatsinghpur district administration continued the land acquisition work for the third consecutive day on Friday despite opposition from the activists of United Action Committee(UAC), a pro-Posco local outfit which is at the moment at loggerheads with the state government over the demand for better compensation for affected farmers.

The UAC members had made an attempt to disrupt the land acquisition process on Thursday prompting the police deployment in the area for maintenance of law and order  to arrest them. They were released later.

However, on Friday the UAC members protested peacefully near the land acquisition site without creating any obstacle in the land acquisition process.Jagatsinghpur district administration officials said lands belonging to three farmers were acquired on Friday.  

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