KENDRAPADA: Villagers of Gobindpur in Dhinkia gram panchayat stalled trench digging work and damaged an excavator machine of a private company at the Posco site on Friday. They also attacked some staff of Utkal Manufacturing & Services Ltd (UMSL) when they were digging the trench to build the steel plant’s boundary wall. “The private company had not sought police protection but now we have brought the situation under control,” said SP (Jagatsinghpur) Satyabrata Bhoi.On Thursday, 200 supporters of Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) gathered at Balidiha hamlet to prevent contractors and workers of the private company from digging the trench. Some villagers also covered the trench with sand and earth. “The district administration and police have forcefully dismantled many betel vines. We will unite and prevent construction of the boundary wall,” said Manorama Khatua, an anti-Posco leader of Gobindapur.
The Posco project got a boost recently as the district administration completed land acquisition by acquiring 2,700 acre in three gram panchayats of Dhinkia, Nuagaon and Gadakujang.
Earlier, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had suspended environment clearance given to the Posco project and directed the MoEF to respond to the charges. The final hearing of NGT is at New Delhi on August 12.