STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
Bhubaneswar, 4 October
The Utkal Chamber of Commerce & Industry (UCCI) today rubbished a report by a UN agency on the proposed Posco project saying it was factually incorrect.
Dashing off a letter to Ms Magdalena Sepulveda, Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, the UCCI said it was shocking that the report has been prepared without even visiting the area, let alone talking to affected villagers.
Evidently, the report has been prepared on the basis of material fed by some NGOs who are supporting the anti-Posco movement, the UCCI said. It is another conspiracy to slow down the process of industrialization in Odisha, it alleged.
Such a report does is not expected from a renowned body like the UNO, noted the industrialist body here.
Pointing out at some of the flaws in the report, the UCCI said “it speaks of 22,000 people being displaced which is not a fact”. The total population in the three panchayats and 7 hamlets is less than 20,000. Moreover, 3200 acres of land which belongs to government is to be handed over to Posco India. This is not acquisition but eviction of encroachers.
The betel vines in the area were grown over government land and due compensation has been given to the growers. A stipend of Rs 2,250 per month is being given to laborers engaged in the betel vines till they get permanent jobs.
“Your opinion on Government giving Posco land, water and mines at a nominal rate is also not true. It is as per the prescribed norms of the government” said the UCCI in its letter to the Special Rapporteur.
The backward area will prosper with the establishment of the Posco plant as it will undertake periphery area development work and invest in the region, claimed the industrial association.
The UCCI urged upon the organization to withdraw the report.