S Korean president to skip Odisha visit!

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Bhubaneswar, Jan 2: In a fresh twist to the proposed Rs 51,000-crore Posco project in Odisha, informed sources on Thursday revealed that South Korean President Park Geun-Hye is likely to skip her Odisha leg of India visit later this month. The decision is believed to be a fall out of the snail pace progress of the mega steel project in Odisha, whose fate still hangs in balance.

As per reports in a section of a press, Park is likely to reach India on January 15 and meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other senior officials. She is also likely to hold dialogues with Indian businessmen on issues related to mutual trade cooperation.

However, sources in the state government refused such reports and clarified that they have no such information.

It can be recalled that Odisha government signed an agreement with Posco on January 22, 2005 to set up a 12 MTPA (million tonnes per annum) steel project in Jagatsinghpur district. The agreement was valid for five years and has not yet been renewed for various reasons.

But certain clauses in the agreement and land acquisition were vehemently opposed by locals and social activists. However, despite protests, the state government completed acquisition of 2,700 acres of land last year, which was required for construction of the first phase of the project.

 

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