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Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti demand for return for acquired land to the landowners

Jagatsinghpur:1/11/17; Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti, the outfit which successfully spearheaded the anti-displacement agitation against South Korean Steelmaker Posco, has stepped up demand for return for acquired land to the landowners.

The government has handed over the acquired land to the state-owned Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO). However there is no provision under law or under any act which provides for land acquisition for any land bank for any purpose. Thus the land must return to the original inhabitants, said PPSS spokesperson Prasant Paikray.

In 2011, over 2,700 acres of land had been acquired by Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) for the proposed Posco project. After the POSCO announced withdrawal of its project, the government had cancelled the land allotment to Posco and kept it in its land bank.

The Odisha government must follow the Supreme Court decision on the pattern of Singur where land of farmers acquired by Tata’s Nano plant in West Bengal was returned to them. It’s very unfortunate that the land acquired and transferred to POSCO is being kept in the Land Bank.

This is illegal, undemocratic, anti-peasants, and unwarranted. The government must abide by apex court ruling in the context of Singur land in Bengal or else a fresh people’s movement for land would erupt again in Gadakujang-Nuagaon- Dhinkia area of Jagatsinghpur as it was the case in past years, PPSS spokesman Paikray warned.

The district administration should immediately stop the construction of a boundary wall around the land and allow our communities to access common lands that we have traditionally depended on for our livelihoods, Paikry said.

The land was forcefully acquired by the state-owned Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) for the proposed Posco project much against the consent of landowners. After the POSCO announced withdrawal of its project, the government had cancelled the land allotment to Posco and kept it in its land bank.

As per the  Right to Fair Compensation and Transperancy in  Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act (LARR) of 2013 “Land acquired and possession taken over but not utilized within a period of five years from the date of possession shall in all cases revert back to the original land owner.  But the government of Odisha made it exactly opposite.  As per Odisha government’s revised policy for land acquisition notified on February 7, 2015, “Land acquired and possession taken over but not utilized within a period of five years from the date of possession shall in all cases revert back to the state and be deposited in the Land Bank automatically.”, said PPSS spokerperson.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.
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