India: Amid resistance from communities, POSCO offers to surrender land acquired for $12-billion steel project

POSCO India Private Limited, an Indian subsidiary of Korean conglomerate POSCO signed a memorandum of understanding in June 2005 with the state government of Odisha to construct a $12 billion steel plant in the Jagatsinghpur district of Odisha. Resistance from local communities and various delays prevented the company from starting construction. The memorandum expired in June 2011 and is yet to be renewed. Though all activity on the plant came to a halt two years ago, leading to speculations of the firm pulling out of the venture, both Posco and the Odisha government had denied it. Posco has asked the state government to take back land it acquired for the steel project, as it has not been able to start work.  POSCO said it had expressed its intention to give back the land because it "will not be used urgently", and that its move to return the land did not mean it would cancel the long-delayed project.

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Article
19 March 2017

After defeating Posco, farmers turn to reclaim betel leaf economy

Author: Basudev Mahapatra, Village Square

The formal closure of Posco’s steel plant project in Odisha is seen as a victory of agrarian economy over unwanted industrialization and the betel leaf farmers of Jagatsinghpur are rejoicing, although those who lost their land face new challenges

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Article
19 March 2017

India: Posco closes last chapter in Odisha project

Author: Dillip Satapathy, Business Standard

It’s official now that South Korean major has scrapped the plan to set up a 12-million tonne (mt) mill in Paradip,  It has written to the state that it wants to surrender the allotted for the project...Though all activity on the plant came to a halt two years ago, leading to speculations of the firm pulling out of the venture, both and the had denied it. Therefore, Posco’s letter is seen as the first official communication marking the scrapping of the project. had signed an agreement with the state in June, 2005, seeking 4,004 acres of to set up the project. The acquisition was delayed due to agitation by the locals, which often took a violent turn. 

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Article
9 April 2016

India: Project in Odisha is over, says Posco

Author: Nitin Sethi, Business Standard

Korean steel major told the (NGT) on Friday that it would not pursue any more its Rs 50,000-crore integrated steel plant project in Odisha....to the surprise of petitioner Prafulla Samantray and his lawyers, Ritwick Dutta and Rahul Choudhary, the company asked for its environmental clearance to be cancelled, saying it would not be able to complete the project by the deadline of the environmental clearance in 2017 – which it could have sought to extend as a routine event. It, as mentioned earlier, instead asked for cancellation of the environmental clearance. The petitioner opposed this, preferring that the company formally ask the ministry for withdrawal.

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Article
9 November 2014

Mining rights still elusive for Posco

Author: Indo Asian News service

Posco has been given the green signal by Odisha to mine in the Khandadhar iron ore reserves in Sundargarh district for its Jagatsinghpur steel plant, but setting up the $12 billion project remains a distant dream as the company continues to face stiff resistance from the residents...protests by Pauri Bhuiya, a primitive tribal group that lives around the Khandadhar hills, and civil society concerns are likely to hamper the company's prospects...the tribals had congregated at Budhabhin village under the banner of the Khandadhar Surakhya Sangram Samiti (KKSS) protesting against the mining as it would lead to their displacement...Posco India CMD G.W. Sung said...We have been waiting for 10 years. We wouldn't quit. No, never.

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Article
1 October 2014

Time For Ethical Investment In India: A Call To Divest From POSCO

Author: Counter Currents

The Indian subcontinent is going through an extensive invasion on the resources of land, water and forests today…many groups and individuals have pressurized the share holders of companies to withdraw their shares from such investments which lead to destructive results…The record of POSCO on human rights violations are well known among activists all over the world...Counter Currents…appeal to all international readers and groups…to do whatever…to convince the share holders to divest from POSCO on the largest destructive development project which is taking shape in India…and to read the appeal [by anti-POSCO movement in Odisha]…and…express solidarity nationally and internationally to this…struggle. 

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Article
19 May 2014

Human Chain to Stop Water Use by Posco [India]

Author: Express News Service

Members of Communist Party of India (CPI) on Monday formed a human chain in protest against the Government decision to allow Posco to draw water from river Hansua..Local farmers fear scarcity of water for cultivation if water is diverted for industrial use. Farmers of Biridi, Raghunathpur, Jagatsinghpur, Tirtol, Ersama and Balikuda depend upon Hansua for cultivation of vegetable, sunflower, groundnut, mustard and paddy crops. During kharif season, they use water from Hansua for transplantation of paddy in the event of scanty rainfall or delay in supply of irrigation water through canals and lift irrigation (LI) points...Posco India had engaged a consultancy firm to work out alternative water sources. Later, the company requested the department to allocate water from Mahanadi for drinking purposes and from Hansua river for construction work.

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Article
3 March 2014

Maintain law and order at project site, Posco tells Orissa govt [India]

Author: Debabrata Mohanty, Indian Express

Expressing concern over last month’s violence at its project site in Jagatsinghpur district, Korean steelmaker Posco has requested the Naveen Patnaik government to maintain law and order in the area…On February 16, hundreds of people, displaced from their land due to the project, torched Posco’s pre-fabricated office and brought down a 300-metre boundary wall at Nuagaon village. The oustees also attacked workers of a construction company engaged by Posco to build the boundary wall at the proposed site for the $12 billion project.

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Article
3 March 2014

Posco steeled for trouble [India]

Author: Basudev Mahapatra, Global Times

Posco's proposed steel plant near Paradip in Odisha, India, seems to be plagued by conflict…the supporters of the project have taken up to agitation against Posco alleging non-fulfillment of promises made by the company and the local administration. While the movement opposing the project has delayed its execution, this fresh agitation by supporters has become another problem for Posco and the Odisha government…agitating villagers were land losers who have handed over their land for Posco's proposed steel plant…We gave our land for the Posco project believing the government that promised proper rehabilitation packages and employment to at least one member from each family. It's more than five years since many families have lost their land to Posco.

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Article
19 January 2014

Contractors Halt Posco Work [India]

Author: Express News Service

In a new development in the anti-Posco agitation, the contractors involved in construction work of the project have stopped their works to support the cause of the displaced people. The villagers of Nuagaon and Gadkujang panchyats are on a dharna in front of Ersama tehsil office for the last one week...Their 14 demands included employment to a member of each displaced family, implementation of rehabilitation policy and packages, increase in the rate of private land and substantial allowance for betel vine labourers.

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Article
14 January 2014

Anti-displacement activists protest MoEF clearance to Posco [India]

Author: Press Trust of India

Anti-displacement activists…staged demonstrations at the Posco's proposed plant site and in the state capital, in protest of environment clearance granted by the Centre and Odisha government's recommendation of prospecting licence in favour of the South Korean company…Anti-Posco Solidarity Forum activists observed a protest day in the state capital…We will not allow the project to come up over our fertile and multi- crop land," said PPSS president Abhaya Sahoo.

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