Posco is yet to respond to the State Government which had asked it to deposit Rs 73 crore for the land acquired for its proposed steel plant at Paradip, creating an impression that the South Korean company may withdraw from the project.
“We want Posco to set up the steel plant at Paradip, but if for any reason the project does not come up, the land will be utilised for alternative activities,” Industry Minister Debi Prasad Mishra told this paper.
The Minister, however, did not elaborate the matter. “We are waiting for the company to make a move one way or the other,” he said.
Minister of State for Steel and Mines Prafulla Mallik also said that the company has shown no interest for the project. Mallik had proposed that if the South Korean company wants to set up the plant, it can be supplied iron ore through the Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC). However, there is no response from Posco to this positive overture from the State.
Neither has the company replied to the repeated reminders from the State Government to pay for the land acquired for the steel plant proposed to be set up at Paradip, nor it has reacted to its overtures.
Posco-India is yet to make payment of Rs 54.22 crore towards premium of the land and Rs 18.89 crore towards Net Payment Value (NPV) against deserved forest land. The company requires 2,700 acres of land for its steel project of eight million tonne capacity out of which the company was given advance possession of 1,703.56 acres 15 months back. Official sources said it has shown no interest to take possession of rest 1,000 acres of land.
The letter from Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) to Posco-India said, “For the revised 8 MTPA steel plant, Posco India requires 2,700 acres of land out of which advance possession of 1703.56 acres of land has already been given. Balance land of 1088.59 acres will be leased out soon after payment of Rs 54.22 crore premium and Rs 18.79 crore Net Payment Value.”
The lack of interest of the company for the project was in evidence when it withdrew from the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for the Haridaspur-Paradip railway line project and asked the railway authorities to return its money. The company had provided Rs 27.5 crore for land acquisition for the railway line.