Bad weather halts Posco land acquisition process

Bad weather halts Posco land acquisition process

The district administration has announced to begin the process again on Saturday if weather permits. “We had decided to re-start the land acquisition process from Friday but had to cancel the plan because of heavy rain. The work will start again on Saturday if weather permits,” said Jagatsinghpur Additional District Collector Saroj Kanta Choudhury.
However, the weather may play spoilsport again on Saturday as the local met office here has predicted more rainfall in coastal Orissa during the next 24 hours because of the low pressure in the Bay of Bengal which had turned into a depression on Thursday.

With the Jagatsinghpur district administration preparing to re-start the land acquisition works, the Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS), the organisation spearheading the local villagers’ agitation against the proposed mega steel project, has decided to re-launch their dharna at Dhinkia, the epicentre of the anti-Posco strike.

According to PPSS sources, like earlier the village women and children would stage their squatting at Dhinkia to prevent the land acquisition teams and police from entering the area. At the same time another group of villagers would guard other entry points to stop “backdoor entry” of the district administration teams to demolish the betel vines.

Meanwhile, Dhinkia has turned into a favourite destination of activists and opposition political parties from both within the state and outside. Well known activist Swami Agnivesh, who arrived here on Friday, is scheduled to visit Dhinkia on Saturday.

The state unit of the Congress would also be sending a team to the area on Saturday to make an on the spot assessment of the situation. The principal opposition party has already warned the BJD government in the state not to indulge in forceful land acquisition. The BJP would also be sending a similar assessment team on Sunday.

Other political parties — the CPI, CPM, Forward Block, Samajwadi Party and RJD — who had already held a series of anti-Posco rallies in Jagatsinghpur in recent weeks organised a protest dharna here on Friday. They had also resorted to road blockade near Raj Bhawan here for a brief period.

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