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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
27 March 2017

International human rights groups celebrate POSCO’s withdrawal from Odisha

Author: www.orissadiary.com

The definitive suspension of the POSCO project in Odisha, India, is an important victory for social movements, peasants, fisher folks and forest dwellers in the area who have been fighting to protect their land, livelihood and environment over the past twelve years...ESCR-Net member POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (Anti-POSCO People’s Movement, or PPSS) emerged in 2005, after learning of the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Korea-based POSCO corporation and the government of the eastern Indian state of Odisha. They subsequently sustained a twelve-year struggle to retain their lands and continue their sustainable farming practices, centered on betel vine cultivation and the production of cashews, mangos and rice...We strongly believe this is not just a victory for our people but also the victory for the all the peasants, fisher folks, forest dwellers who are democratically fighting to protect their land, livelihood and environment...a PPSS spokesperson said.

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Article
26 March 2017

Anti-Posco group urge govt. to return acquired land to the people

Author: www.odishatv.in

"Take A Cue From Mamata, Return The Posco Land To People: PPSS", 27 March 2017

The outfit that almost singlehandedly spearheaded people’s resistance movement against Posco steel project in Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur district today asked the Odisha government to tread the path of Mamata Banerjee-led government in West Bengal in returning the Posco land to landowners. The anti-project outfit-Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS)- today voiced its concern over the government move in transferring the Posco land to by Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO)-run land bank and termed it as infringement of law. Odisha government should learn a lesson for becoming anti-people. Posco has backed away from the project as the steel company could finally realise that setting up the plant amid people’s protest would be detrimental to company’s business interest, said Prasant Paikray, spokesperson of PPSS...Among other things, the people’s outfit also put forth demands for compensation on humanitarian grounds to the families of the deceased and widow who were killed in the bomb blast and proper medical help for the injured person. The government has to recognize the people’s claims on rights over forest land as per FRA 2006. Withdrawal of all fabricated and false cases against our villagers and activists, compensation to the persons whose beetle vines were destroyed by the government also figured in the list of demands raised by the PPSS.

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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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