Urge India to abandon unpopular steel megaproject; end violence against protesters

Debra Broughton
Wednesday 12 March 2008
popularity : 5%

The $12 billion POSCO steel project in Orissa is the largest foreign
investment project ever in India. POSCO is the world’s fourth-largest
steel company. POSCO plans to take over 8,000 acres of fertile farmland
to build a massive steel, automobile and ship-building complex, complete
with its own power plant and port, displacing over 30,000 people. The
POSCO project is the largest in the history of South Korea’s overseas
investment.

Daphne Wysham

Orissa woman with protestors

In a massive resource sell-out, India has granted South Korean multinational Pohong Steel Corporation (POSCO) permission for a huge iron mining, steel plant, manufacturing and export project in Orissa state. Protesters against the project have already been violently attacked. Now police appear set to launch an armed attack as they attempt to occupy part of the 6,000 acres the government promised to POSCO at a throwaway price.

violent suppression

Villagers have successfully kept company officials out of the area. But with the project’s construction set to begin on 1 April, 2008, resistance organisations fear a massive police assault in the Gadkujang, Nuagaon and Dhinkia council areas.

orissa protestors

Already, on 29 November, 2007, fifty villagers were injured as 100 armed men bombed, beat and sexually molested protesters (mostly women). The police watched the attack, then proceeded to occupy the checkpoint.
the project

The widely unpopular project would reap tremendous profit to POSCO, thanks to unprecedented land, tax and export concessions from Indian governments. It allows for gigantic private iron ore mines, a 12 million ton steel plant, and a private port. To date government authorities have refused to negotiate with residents regarding the project.

Debra Broughton



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