Land losers demand relook into prices

After Posco, trouble is brewing for the Greenfield project of Aditya Aluminium at Lapang in Sambalpur district. The land oustees of the project have demanded a review of land valuation after a CAG report on under-valuation of land acquired for industrial houses.

They also demanded a CBI probe into the land acquired by the State Government through IDCO for setting up the aluminium plant.

The CAG report stated that the present value of land acquired for Aditya Aluminium Project is three times more than that fixed in 2005. The company had paid Rs 3.20 lakh per acre during the acquisition seven years back. Now, the company had reportedly agreed to pay Rs 16.5 lakh per acre.

During the present process the company did not acquire land officially though. The project authorities reportedly personally interacted with the families and after a bargain, ` 16.50 lakh per acre was fixed. Even as the company went ahead with the land acquisition process, some of the land losers of 2005 alleged that were yet to be paid.

Aditya Aluminium requires about 3,500 acres for setting up 0.25 million tonne aluminium smelter plant and 650 MW power plant as per the MoU. Nearly 95 per cent of the land has been acquired.

Now, the company has applied for expansion of smelter plant to 0.78 MT and power plant at 1650 MW though it does not require additional land as it had already acquired more land than necessary, alleged villagers, who are demanding their pound of flesh.

Aditya Aluminium Human Resources Chief Nitish Behera said the land prices had been fixed by the State Government and the price difference is because of the current market rates and those of 2005. He denied that there was any payment pending against land acquisition and said funds were with the Special Land Acquisition Officer and some people are refusing to accept it.

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