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Locals opposing hand over of Khandadhar mines to Posco

Published by MAC on 2007-05-17

Locals opposing hand over of Khandadhar mines to Posco


17th May 2007

While the Orissa government is facing difficulty to acquire land for POSCO's proposed steel plant near Paradip, the ongoing agitation against the project has spread to Sundargarh with the local people opposing any move to hand over Khandadhar iron ore mines to the company.

People from nearly 40 villages spread over five gram panchayats have launched an anti-POSCO agitation under the banner of 'Khandadhar Surakhya Samiti' backed by local BJP leaders, BJP Rourkela district president and an advisor to the Samiti Khagendranath Pradhan said.

BJP is a partner of the BJD in the ruling coalition.

Khandadhar is a popular tourist place in the state with two huge natural and attractive waterfalls.

The newly formed organisation has vowed not to allow the South Korean company undertake mining activities in Khandadhar area, which, it feared, would lose its natural beauty.

BJP national vice-president and MP Jual Oram had opposed the move to hand over the 62 sq km mines to the steel giant.

The state government had recommended to the Centre to provide prospecting licence to POSCO for the mines in December. But it led to a row with state-run Kudremukh Iron Ore Company (KIOC) opposing the move and approaching Orissa High Court.

The HC had recently asked the Centre to decide the matter within three months.

POSCO-India CMD Soung-Sik Cho had said the company planned to turn Khandadhar into a tourist spot and not to interfere with the streams so that the waterfall was protected.

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