After remaining suspended for about two and a half months, land acquisition today resumed for Posco Steel's Rs 52,000-crore (Rs 520-billion) mega project in Odisha's Jagatsinghpur district.
Ten betel vine plantations were dismantled in the first few hours without any resistance from locals, official sources said, adding that payments would be made soon.
Meanwhile, anti-Posco members belonging to Dhinkia, Patna and Gobindpur villages took out a procession to Phulkhai temple in Dhinkia where they held a meeting leading to simmering tension.
Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samittee leader Abhay Sahoo, who is spearheading the agitation against the mega project, was away at Bolangir taking part in a protest against setting up of the Lower Suktel project there.
"We have re-started land acquisition involving dismantling of betel vines this morning. “The villagers are cooperating in the work undertaken by the administration," Jagatsinghpur Collector S K Mallick said.
Two teams were dismantling betel vine plantations of consenting farmers in Gobindpur village, Additional District Magistrate (Paradip), Surjeet Das said.
The work, with the use of machines, was being carried out smoothly in groups separately led by tehsildars of Kujanga and Ersama, Das said.
Another team was making a survey of trees and horticultural plants in the area, he added.
Earlier about 250 acre land had been acquired before work was suspended on February 11 ahead of the Budget Session of the Assembly.
The land acquisition had witnessed a nude protest by women at Dhinkia, while a bomb blast led to the death of three persons.