Orissa villagers take oath to fight against PoscoMay 11th, 2008 - 6:08 pm ICT by admin
Bhubaneswar, May 11 (IANS) At least 100 people Sunday took oath in a village temple in Orissa to fight against the proposed $12 billion steel plant in their region to be set up by South Korean company Posco. The people, mostly from Dhinkia, took oath at a temple of Hindu goddess Ma Sarala at Jhankad village in the coastal district of Jagatsinghpur, some 75 km from here, anti-Posco leader Chitta Swain told IANS.
“They took oath that they will remain in the forefront of the anti-Posco agitation and shall sacrifice their life, if required, to prevent the proposed project - the largest foreign direct investment in India”.
“They took the oath by touching the holy offerings of the deity after the priests of the temple performed rituals,” Swain said by phone from the temple complex.
Swain is deputy general secretary of the Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) that has been spearheading the campaign against the proposed plant.
Posco, the world’s fourth largest steel maker, signed a deal with the state government in June 2005 to build the plant near Paradip port by 2016.
However, over 20,000 people from around 15 nearby villages have been protesting against the project, saying that it would take away their homes and livelihood. The company says the plant would affect only 500 families but would create thousands of jobs.
Posco needs 4,004 acres of land, out of which 438 acres are in private hands. The state government said it had sought clearance from the central government so that it can hand over to the firm 2,900 acres that belong to the forest department.
The company is awaiting clearance before it can use this land. It is also waiting to get a prospecting licence for the Khandadhar mines in the state that will provide raw material to the plant.
Tags: bhubaneswar, central government, coastal district, foreign direct investment, forest department, general secretary, hindu goddess, holy offerings, nearby villages, orissa, posco, ppss, private hands, proposed project, prospecting licence, raw material, sarala, south korean company, steel maker, steel plant