Monday, November 29, 1999

Nine injured in clash over setting up of Korean steel plant in Orissa

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Jagatsinghpur (Orissa), May 16 (ANI): At least nine people, including six policemen, were injured in a clash in Orissa's Jagatsinghpur District as violence flared over a planned steel plant of South Korea's POSCO.The clash took place as the villagers were opposing the planned 12 million-tonne-capacity steel plant by the world's number four steel-maker.Security personnel resorted to firing teargas shells and rubber bullets to disperse hundreds of villagers, who had gathered at the project site, preventing access to the site to company and government officials.The police also charged a makeshift camp of the Communist-backed agitators of the POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti.Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, however, said the district administration was in negotiation with agitated villagers to urge them to not indulge in violence."The district administration is negotiating with the local people to clear the road, not to put any hurdle on the road. We believe in peaceful industrialization in our state and that no one should indulge in violence," said Naveen Patnaik.POSCO signed a memorandum of understanding in June 2005 for the plant, which was to be built in three phases by 2016, with production scheduled to begin by the end of 2011 upon completion of the first phase.The making of this world-class steelworks with 12 million tons per annum will not only provide extensive value addition to the mineral wealth of Orissa, but also take the state and nation to he zenith of global industry. (ANI)

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