Monday, November 29, 1999

Survey work resumes at Posco steel plant site

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Paradip (Orissa), June 17 (PTI) The survey work at the proposed Posco steel plant site near here resumed today, four days after anti-Posco agitators agreed to cooperate with the Orissa government on it. Altogether eight teams comprising six members each entered Gobindpur gram panchayat area in Jagatsinghpur district and conducted socio-economic and forest land survey without police protection, a senior official said. "The survey work for the Rs 52,000 crore project is going on smoothly with the cooperation of local people", he said. Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS), which has been protesting against the project for the last five years, lifted the make-shift gates put up at Dhinkia-Gobindpur area and allowed the team to conduct the survey. However, eight platoons of armed police were kept as standby at Balitutha and Nuagaon junction to meet any eventuality during the survey which had been suspended last week due to protest from villagers, they said. In a bid to break the impasse over the proposed mega steel project, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had recently convened a meeting of the opponents of the plant and discussed different aspects. PPSS leader Sisir Mohapatra said survey work would continue in the area peacefully but that did not mean Posco plant would be established in the area. "Survey and agitation by PPSS will go side by side. We will observe June 22 as a Black Day to mark completion of five years of the agreement", he said.

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