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Anti-Posco protestors seal routes

February 02, 2011 11:57 IST
Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti, the organization spearheading agitation against the 12 million tonne steel plant of Posco in Orissa, decided on Wednesday to re-erect the barricades blocking the entry of government and company officials and police personnel into the project site.

"PPSS has decided to seal all routes to the proposed Posco site comprising Dhinkia, Nuagaon and Gadkujang panchayats and has drawn up elaborate plans to intensify its agitation against the green signal given by Union Environment and Forest minister Jairam Ramesh to the project," said Abhay Sahoo, president of PPSS.

PPSS had lifted the barricades in July last year to facilitate the visit of teams of Union Ministry of Environment and Forest after laying siege to the area for nearly five years since the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the South Korean steel major in June, 2005.

Meanwhile, anti-Posco leaders on Wednesday congregated at Patana under Dhinkia panchayat where they criticized Union minister Ramesh for giving clearance to the Posco project.

Addressing the project opponents gathered there, they termed the development as "sabotage" against the villagers of Dhinkia, Nuagaon and Gadkujang panchayats. 

Reacting to Ramesh's decision to give clearance to the Posco project on Monday, the leaders of CPI, CPM, RJD and other social activists hurled charges at him ranging from "conspiracy" to disregard of the suggestions of two Central teams sent by MoEF on violation of Forest Rights Act at the proposed Posco site.

They threatened to give "red" signal to Posco and accused Ramesh of bowing down to the pressures of the corporate sector and ignoring the interests of the common people.  

"The environment minister had stated that the violation of FRA is illegal and now he has legitimatized it by giving clearance to the Posco project," said CPI leader Narayan Reddy, warning to file a writ petition against the minister for what he termed as "grant of illegal clearance to the Posco project". 

The anti-Posco leaders also questioned the decision to give green signal to Posco's proposed captive port and said it will affect the environment, deprive thousands of people of their livelihoods and might lead to the extinction of the Olive Ridley Turtles.

BS Reporter in Kolkata/ Bhubaneswar
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