Update on POSCO struggle

May 22, 2012

On May 16th 2012, when Odisha Chief Minister Nabin Pattnaik was meeting the CMD of the controversial POSCO project defying the people’s mandate against the steel project more than 2000 people made a huge protest rally at Govindpur village opposing the undemocratic, unjust and uncalled for move of the Chief Minister to entertain POSCO India CMD Yong Won Yoon. We once gain made our voice loud and clear and our people once again strongly resolved that we would not allow the government to acquire agricultural land for POSCO.

We strongly condemn unfair deal between the Odisha government and POSCO-India on 16th of May to set up an 8 MTPA Greenfield steel plant by downsizing the earlier plan of establishing a 12 MTPA facility. This reflects the Patnaik government’s total contempt for democracy and democratic dissent by masses on a crucial issue affecting their land, life and livelihood. The Chief Minster does not have time to discuss with his own people who are in distress but can afford the luxury of entertaining foreign representatives to give away rich land and resources at the cost of the peace and prosperity of people of the land. He is yet to visit the area ever since the black MOU was signed with POSCO on 22nd June 2005. Instead of scrapping the ecologically destructive projects, the chief minister is trying to slap us on our face by announcing that POSCO is going to set up a training centre at Ersama for imparting skill education for the local youths in the name of corporate social responsibility. We know very well POSCO and the state government are trying to hoodwink the people into believing that the company will provide jobs to the local people.

All these are happening at a time when the mining issue has not been resolved in the Apex Court and the National Green Tribunal has stopped the clearance granted to POSCO on flimsy ground. We would also like to inform you that the Captive Port(Jatadhari) of POSCO which was accorded Environmental Clearance on dated 15th May 2007 under EIA Notification 2006 has no validity now. The notification says validity of environmental clearance for Port Project is five year for commencing the construction activities of project. In this context as no work has been started in Port Project, hence the environmental clearance of POSCO Port expires since 14th May 2012 and no further work can be started in Port Project till the MoEF issues fresh clearance.

However, the release of Com Narayan Reddy on bail on 18th May 2012 from a false case has added more to our strength.

Prashant Paikary
Spokesperson, POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti