State-owned Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation of Odisha has so far handed over about 1,700 acres to Posco-India for the 8 mtpa greenfield mega steel plant in Jagatsinghpur district, sources said on Friday.

“ IDCO has so far handed over about 1,700 acres to Posco-India,” a senior executive of Posco-India told PTI. The executive, however, said he was unsure about its physical possession by the company.

Paradip: Legally speaking, the state government cannot acquire lands for the Posco project, nor can construction work be started at the designated site as the project has no environment clearance in hand, official sources said.

"The Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification, 2006, forbids activity of any nature at the site without environmental clearance," a senior official in the industry department said on Wednesday, quoting the existing law. He described the latest episode of the state government demolishing betel vines of farmers in the proposed plant site as 'highly illegal' and 'unconstitutional'.

BHUBANESWAR: As noted social activist B D Sharma visited Posco's proposed steel site in Jagatsinghpur district on Monday to lend his support to the project's opponents, top executives of the South Korean company requested senior government officers in the state capital to resume land acquisition work at the earliest.

Official sources said deputy managing director of Posco-India H C Ryu met officials at the chief minister's office (CMO) and exhorted them to revive the land takeover activities, which were stalled last week in the face of stiff resistance from the anti-industry brigade and local villagers.

Bhubaneswar: The Orissa government is all set to hand over 1,554 acres of land to Posco-India for setting up its proposed mega steel project in Jagatsinghpur district, official sources said on Sund

Anti-Posco leader, Abhaya Sahu, who was on hunger strike demanding complete withdrawal of police force from Gobindpur village in Posco project site, has called off his fast without achieving the objective.

The Jagatsinghpur district administration, which was carrying out the land acquisition for the Posco project at Gobindpur amidst a heavy cordon of police forces before halting the drive temporarily, has rejected Sahu’s demand.

Withdraw cases against villagers, Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti: Civil society groups

Several civil society groups have alleged abuse of human rights and registration of false cases by State government agencies in order to curb resistance against the land acquisition for the proposed Posco steel plant in Odisha. Highlighting instances of “biased and arbitrary” police action in the eight villages of Jagatsinghpur district affected by the plant, illustrated in the recently-released fact finding report, the Bangalore-based Alternative Law Forum and Delhi Forum have demanded withdrawal of all cases against the villagers and the Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS).

The Odisha government on Friday decided to temporarily suspend land acquisition for Posco's $12 billion steel project in its Jagatsinghpur district due to protests at the site, an official said.

Even as land acquisition for the proposed steel project of Posco remained suspended at Gobindpur village in Jagatsinghpur district of Odisha on Thursday, villagers staged a demonstration demanding complete withdrawal of the police from the locality.

Leading the protest, Communist Party of India leader D. Raja condemned the entry of police into Gobindpur during night on Sunday when land acquisition was resumed after a gap of more than a year, and demanded that police be withdrawn without delay to restore normality in the area.

Land acquisition for the proposed steel project of Posco at Gobindpur village in Jagatsinghpur district of Odisha was halted and police force withdrawn from the locality on Wednesday following stiff opposition from the locals, particularly women and children.

The land acquisition exercise that was resumed after a long gap on Sunday came to a halt after hundreds of agitating villagers and leaders of different Opposition parties reached the spot where betel vineyards were being destroyed since morning and came face-to-face with the police.

Bowing down to pressure from various Opposition political parties and civil society organisations, the Orissa government on Wednesday put off the land acquisition process for the 12-million-tonne Posco India integrated steel project at Paradip in Jagatsinghpur district.

The government also withdrew the 14 platoons of police forces it deployed at Gobinpur village, a part of the project site, as demanded by leaders of various political parties and Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS), the local CPI-backed anti-displacement forum.