Paradip (Odisha) Feb 5 (PTI):Land acquisition process for the Rs 52,000 crore Posco steel plant today gained momentum in Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur district with the use of machines even as children joined anti-project activists in demanding withdrawal of police force from the area.Â
“Dismantling of betel vines was carried out manually during last two days. The administration has now started using machines for the purpose to speed up the process”, Additional District Magistrate, Paradip, Surjeet Das said.Â
“So far, 60 acres of the required additional 700 acres land has been acquired since fresh acquisition began at Gobindpur on Sunday. It will gain pace hence forward”, he said.Â
While Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) leader Abhay Sahu launched a hunger strike at nearby Patna Hat demanding immediate withdrawal of police force from the area, a large number of children joined the demonstration after shutting down their schools.
Police and demonstrators virtually came face-to-face as students from about nine schools from nearby Dhinkia, Patna and Gobindpur gathered on the outskirt of Gobindpur village where land acquisition was in progress, sources said.Â
Land acquisition work for the steel project, which resumed after a gap of over one year, was now continuing in a smooth and peaceful manner. Betel vines of only those willing to hand over their land were being demolished with payment of compensation on the spot, Das said.Â
More than 20 betel vines had been dismantled today and cheques payment of compensation paid on the spot to land losers. The administration had set a target of demolishing 50 betel vines for the day, he said.