A difficult year for BJD government in Orissa

December 24, 2010 at 12:43 pm Leave a comment

Following is a PTI report taken from MSN:

Siddhartha Kanungo
Bhubaneswar, Dec 23 (PTI) After a smooth decade at the helm, the BJD government in Orissa encountered stumbling blocks in 2010 with mega projects like Posco and Vedanta getting entangled in a mesh of green hurdles while rifts in the ruling party came to the fore.

The Orissa High Court passed severe strictures declaring land acquisition for the proposed Rs 15,000-crore Vedanta University project in Puri district as illegal, prompting Opposition Congress and BJP to launch a vigorous “oust Naveen” campaign.

As the court also directed the state government to return over 6,000 acres of land, including some belonging to Lord Jagannath, to the original owners, Opposition disrupted the Assembly for many days during the winter session seeking Patnaik”s ouster for the “illegalities” committed.

While Opposition parties launched statewide stir and rallies seeking Naveen”s resignation besides action against Vedanta and officers involved in illegal land acquisition for the project along Konark-Puri marine drive, an unfazed state government challenged the HC verdict in Supreme Court.

Though still grappling with the Opposition onslaught, the Naveen government suffered yet another blow with the Supreme Court taking a serious view of alleged diversion of funds and non-implementation of rural job guarantee programme – MGNREGA in Orissa and favouring a central probe into the matter.

Pulling up the government on a PIL, the apex court also asked as to why a CBI probe should not be ordered into alleged irregularities in MGNREGA, under which Rs 40,000 crore were being released by the Centre annually.

Salvos against BJD regime from courts were fired when Orissa High Court in July set aside the state government”s recommendation for prospecting license over Khandadhar iron ore reserve in favour of Posco-India for its proposed Rs 51,000 crore steel project near Paradip. Making adverse observations against the government, the court also lamented that the state not only lacked a proper mines and mineral policy but its mining scenario also continued to be in a mess.

The mega steel project failed to take off though Posco-India had signed an MoU with Orissa government way back in June, 2005 for setting up its 12 mtpa greenfield plant due to stiff opposition from locals and procedural delay. Finally, when Jagatsinghpur district administration launched land acquisition for the South Korean steel major, Union Environment Ministry, in early August, directed Orissa government to halt all project related activities at the proposed site near Paradip.

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Entry filed under: Mining and Industrialization, State Watch-Monitoring the Odisha State, Vedanta, Vedanta University.

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