[Reader-list] Beware of Campaign by POSCO and Government to create ‘Feel Good’ ambience for project !

asit das asit1917 at gmail.com
Tue Jul 10 17:16:16 IST 2012

*Beware of Campaign by POSCO and Government  to create ‘Feel Good’ ambience
for project.*

* *

Dear Friends,

Recently the government and POSCO have engaged in a media campaign aimed at
confusing the entire mass.  They claim to have “downsized” the proposed
steel plant, that the “people are coming around” and that the plant
construction work will start in October 2012 etc. These  are apparently
made to create a ‘feel good’ ambience in favour of the project. Stay
cautious on such claims as many of such may simply be bewildering!

The fact that the people still oppose this unjust project is shown by the
fact that yesterday i.e. on 9th July 2012, more than 700 villagers staged a
rally in Dhinkia village in spite of  heavy rains. We reiterated our strong
opposition against the recent move by the Naveen Patnaik government to
acquire our land for the proposed POSCO steel plant project.  The State
government is preparing to take over 700 acres of government land that had
more than 500 betel vines  and about one lakh cashew trees belonging to our
villagers. In order to acquire this  700 acres of forest land adjacent to
Govindpur village, the company and the government are using the technique
of “trap and divide” our people. However we are determined to defeat such
designs by proving that we stand united.

It was decided at the meeting that to hold similar meetings in some other
villages of the area, such as Gobindpur, Patana, and Nuagaon during this
week  and  to prepare for a bigger rally at Batatikira at a later date. As
you may know that at Batatikira, our villagers have been continuing daily
with dharna since June 2011. The villagers have promised to foil any
attempt by the government to acquire land for the POSCO. Our people had
barricaded in many places to prevent the entry of officials in these areas.

We came to know from the media that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had
assured the South Korean government that construction of the project would
resume from July 2012 and had directed the state government to complete the
initial formalities, including land acquisition for the project, at the

The latest move of the government and POSCO is to downsize the steel plant
from 12 mt to 8-mt plant and thus the lad requirement from original 4004
acres is said to be reduced to 2700 acre of land. The government is saying
that it will not acquire the private land for POSCO. Downsizing the plant
and  non-acquisition of private land is meaningless, since it will still
involve a huge takeover of 'government' land on which we have legal rights
under Forest Rights Act 2006. Our people very well know this shrewd design
of the government and POSCO to gradually acquire our fertile agricultural
land and ruin our self- sustainable economy. The administration has not
been able to acquire even a single acre of land all these years and will
never be able to do so.

You may know that  the National Green Tribunal has suspended  the final
2011 environmental order on 30th March 2012.  The bench said   "The entire
process was vitiated in the eyes of law". Ms. Jayanti Natarajan, Minister
of Environmental and Forest (MOEF)  has recently formed a three member
committee to review the environment clearance for the steel plant as per
the order of  National Green Tribunal.  Shockingly, despite a direct and
explicit direction from the NGT to ensure that the committee consists of
“subject area experts”, it appears to be headed by an  Indian
administrative Service (IAS) officer.  No doubt the Ministry will attempt
to cover up its illegal actions again.   We are determined to continue our
fight for the rights of peasants on their land, for our forests and natural
resources, and against looting of our country's resources. We will always
oppose this unjust project.

Looking forward to your continuous support and co-operation.

We shall inform you the further developments here.

In solidarity,

Prashant Paikaray

Spokesperson, POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti

Mobile no – 09437571547

E -Mail-  prashantpaikray at gmail.com

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