Rubbishing allegation of forcible land acquisition for Posco project near Paradip, Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said on Monday force was not used for the purpose as his government believed in 'peaceful industrialisation'.
"I have often said that we believe in peaceful industrialisation," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told reporters adding the state government was constantly monitoring developments at the proposed plant site villages.
The state government would take appropriate step regarding Posco project, he said.
Stating that people were voluntarily offering their betel vines for the proposed Rs 52,000 crore (Rs 520 billion) project, Orissa's Steel and Mines Minister Raghunath Mohanty said, "There is no question of using force. When people are giving land on their own, what is the need to use force?"
"We have not and will not use force for acquiring land for Posco or any other industrial project," Mohanty said rejecting allegations made by Congress and CPI leaders.
Replying to a question on the deployment of 23 platoons of force near Gobindpur village, the entry point to Dhinkia gram panchayat, Mohanty said about 200 families living in that area had expressed their desire to hand over their land for the purpose.
"The villagers have already submitted their applications to the district collector expressing their desire in this regard," he said.
As some outsiders were preventing the 200 families from handing over their
Of 3,719 acres of land required for Posco project, the minister said the state government had already acquired 2,000 acres in the illegal possession of the people in Gadakujang and Nuagaon gram panchayats.
Only Dhinkia panchayat was left, the minister said.
About 1400 acres of forest land were in illegal possession of people in Gobindpur and Dhinkia villages which would also be retrieved through peaceful negotiation with the people, he said.
Claiming that the state government was confident of acquiring rest of the land in peaceful manner, the minister said that only 152 acres of private land were required for setting up Posco's proposed 12mtpa mega steel plant.
The government was committed to ensure proper rehabilitation of 613 families to be affected due to the project, he said.
"The state government had prepared one of the best rehabilitation and resettlement policies for affected people," Mohanty said adding the state government, central government and Posco-India were truly committed for the project.
Meanwhile, Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti, spearheading campaign against Posco project, started re-building the demolished betel vines at Gobindpur village.
The state government using alternative routes had demolished 41 betel vines on Friday and Saturday at Gobindpur village, alleged Dhinkia gram panchayat's suspended sarpanch Sisir Mohapatra.
"We have rebuilt some demolished betel vines and rest will be completed in a day or two," he said.