Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 23:
In a move that could ultimately lead to cancellation of the land acquired for the Posco steel project near Paradip in Odisha’s port town of Paradip, IDCO, the land acquisition arm of the state government, has written to the collector Jagatsinghpur recently to take possession of the 1703 acres of land already handed over to it since the company has failed to make the payment of about Rs 73 crore towards premium and Net Payment Value (NPV) of the land.
IDCO has also written to Posco India in this connection.
Posco India requires 2700 acre of land for its scaled down steel project of 8 MTPA out of which IDCO has already given advance possession of 1703.56 acres while holding back the remaining 1000 acres of land acquired by it for the project.
“For the revised 8 MTPA steel plant, Posco India requires Ac.2700 of land out of which Ac. 1703.56 of land is in stage of advance possession and lease had already been handed to Posco India,” said IDCO’s letter.
Posco India is yet to make outstanding payment of Rs 54.22 crore towards premium of the land and Rs 18.89 crore towards NPV against de-reserved forest land.
“Balance land to the extent of Ac 1088.59 was sanctioned vide letter No. 3438 dt. 30.12.2013 and letter No. 3434 30.12.2013 and will be leased out to Posco India soon after payment of premium amounting to Rs 54, 22, 92,318.00. For the de-reserved forest land, Net Payment Value (NPV) amounting Rs 18, 79, 83, 750/- (Rupees Eighteen crore seventy-nine lakh eighty-three thousand seven hundred fifty) is to be deposited by Posco,” the letter stated.
“Several reminders vide letter No.2577 dt. 05.02.2014 and 4650 dt. 03.03.2014 were issued to Posco India to deposit the sanctioned amount but the company has not deposited it till now,” the letter adds.
During his visit to the state on October 31 last year, the Posco CMD had discussed the matter with the Industry secretary.
Apart from land and water woes, Posco has to bid for iron ore mines as per the provisions of the amended MMDR Act 2015. The Centre has turned down Odisha government’s request for allocating Kandadhar iron ore mines to Posco on recommendation basis as part of an international commitment.
Experts are of the opinion that Posco may back out from its project in Odisha like Mittal did. There are reports of the Korean steel major exploring possibilities of setting up a plant in neighbouring Jharkhand in collaboration with public sector steel behemoth SAIL.