Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Kujang (Jagatsinghpur), Jun 23:
Activists of the Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) on Monday observed the 10th anniversary of the signing of the MoU between the Odisha government and the Posco, the South Korean steel major, as a Black Day at Patana village in Jagatsinghpur district.
Addressing a public meeting presided over by PPSS president Abhay Kumar Sahu, the speakers said not a single brick had been laid at the proposed site for the mega steel project of the company in the last 10 years.
Terming the project as anti-people and detrimental to the agriculture and economy of the local people, they said the rigid stance of the state government had ruined the economy of the people who lost their land and house for the proposed project.
“Considering the pitiable plight of the displaced people, the state government should immediately withdraw the project,” they demanded.
Coming down heavily on the state government, the speakers said the state government did everything to divide the people and create animosity among them for the sake of the project. Besides, in the name of the project, the government destroyed the greenery of the locality by indiscriminately felling lakhs of trees.
“Not only this, the government also mercilessly brought down the betel vines of the people and made them beggars. But there has been no sign of the plant coming up in the area,” they noted.
In his address, the PPSS president asked the state government to return the 2700 acres of land acquired for the project to the people they belonged to and withdraw all false cases against the people who had opposed the project from the beginning.
People from nearby villages attended the meeting in large numbers.
Pro-Posco activist Tamil Pradhan of Nuagan village has also strongly criticised the attitude of the state government.
“If the state government wants the project to come up in the area, it should start immediately or else it should scrap the project without any further delay. The government has no right to play hide and seek with the people in the name of the project,” he said.