South Korean ambassador to India Kim Joong-Keun today said that steelmaker Posco can scale down its proposed 12 million tonne steel plant in Jagatsinghpur district if it gets less amount of land than it required.
Keun who met chief minister Naveen Patnaik,said Posco was eager to start work on the project by second half of this year. He said Posco can start work even if it has not got the assured land of 3719.22 acre needed for the project. We just need 700 acres more to start work. If needed we can scale down the project, he said. Posco needs 3719.22 acre of land for its 12 million tonne steel mill and has so far acquired over 2000 acres,all government land.
The land acquisition also received a jolt after Orissa High Court asked the State government to withdraw the notification from the acquisition of 438 acres of private land of proposed project area,pointing out several irregularities in land acquisition for the Posco plant and violation of fundamental rights of landowners in the project area.
Keun said if the SC verdict on getting the mining rights of Khandadhar iron ore mines does not go in Poscos favour then the company would import ore from other States and if necessary from outside India.
Poscos bid to get Khandadhar iron ore reserves in Sundergarh district is now locked in court battle after the Orissa High Court struck down the governments move to allot the Khandadhar mines to the company. The matter is now pending before the Supreme Court.