Odisha govt may use Posco land for other projects


Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government may use the acquired land for Posco project for other industrial purpose, said Industry minister Debi Prasad Mishra.

Mishra said the land will be developed for other industrial purposes if the South Korean company fails to set up its steel plant in Jagatsinghpur district.

Mishra’s reaction came on a question if the government was planning to return the land to the people from whom it was acquired for Posco’s 12 million tonne per annum (mtpa) steel plant near Paradip.

The land acquired for Posco is with Idco, the nodal land acquisition agency of the state government.

Idco has acquired 2752.3 acres of land for the first phase of the $12 billion steel project while it handed over 1700 acres to Posco India. The remaining land has not been transferred as Posco is yet to deposit land dues.

“If Posco does not set up its plan, land allocated to it will be retrieved,” he said.

The minister further stated that Posco is yet to clear around Rs 80 crore dues towards premium for the acquired land and the net payment value of unreserved forest area.

The project had entangled in various legal hurdles besides opposition from local people. Posco India had entered into a MoU with the state government in 2005 to set up an integrated steel plant in Jagatsinghpur district. The steel project has been a non-starter due to hurdles in land acquisition, environment clearances and getting raw material.

The South Korean company suffered a major setback following the implementation of the new MMDR Act 2015 that mandated it to participate in bidding process to get a mine to run the plant.

The steel company has put the project on hold temporarily.

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