The formailities of a final pull-out by Posco from its proposed 8 million tonne steel plant in Orissa’s Jagatsinghpur district may have started with both the State government and the South Korean major hardening their stance on payment of acquired land.
In a recent letter to Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation of Orissa, the land acquisition agency of the state government. Posco asked for detailed expenditure receipt for the Rs 30.34 crore it has given towards land acquisition.
It sent another letter asking for refund of Rs 11.21 crore out of the Rs 13. 52 crore it had paid towards acquisition of 438 acres of private land for the project. The private land was not acquired after an interim order from Orissa High Court in 2012.
Sources said Posco was miffed after IDCO sent it a letter asking it to pay its outstanding dues of Rs 54 crore towards the 1703 acres of land already handed over to it and an additional Rs 19 crore for net present value of de-reserved forest land.
Posco needs Since 2012, Orissa government has managed to acquire over 2700 acres of land of which 1703 acres of land is officially with the company. IDCo has reportedly made it clear that Posco would not be given possession of the rest 1000 acres unless it pays up its outstanding dues towards the 1703 acres that it has been handed over.
Posco has also withdrawn from the special purpose vehicle for the laying of the Haridaspur-Paradip railway line, which would facilitate transport of iron ore from the mines to its plant.
Though no Posco official was willing to respond to the development, sources said the company is weighing its option on getting mining rights through auction route. The union mines ministry had made it clear that all companies including Posco have to bid for mines.
Meanwhile, Orissa government on Tuesday asked Posco to make it clear whether it is still keen to set up its steel plant.