Paradip (Orissa): Work at the proposed Posco steel plant site in Orissa's Jagatsinghpur district resumed on Saturday after a week following talks with local residents.

Paradip Additional District Magistrate Sarojkant Choudhury said the administration began felling of trees and other civil works with the local residents agreeing to allow resumption of work.

He said in a change of strategy, the District Administration has now decided to negotiate with individual groups who guard the forests to facilitate work.

There are altogether seven groups - five at Nuagaon and two in Gadakujang panchayats guarding nearby forests. At least five of the seven groups are known to have allegiance to pro-Posco United Action Committee (UAC).

The administration held successful discussion with one of the seven groups guarding the forest - Dadhibaman group at Nuagaon panchayat area on Friday.

The group had put forth two demands for resumption of work - payment of compensation at existing rate to new and old betel vines in 2008.

The administration agreed to both the demands, the sources said.

Work at the proposed site was stalled following a scuffle between people and police at Mathasahi in Nuagaon panchayat on July 16 in which five women were injured.

In a bid to deal with probable resistance put up by the people, the administration had trebled the police presence to 18 platoons (about 550 personnel) from 6 platoons last week and four teams of workers were engaged, official sources said.

Security personnel had, however, shifted their camps at Paradip, Jagatsinghpur and Kujanga after being criticized for occupying five schools for their stay.

Meanwhile, supporters of Bhitamati Surakshya Manch (BSM) led by Bhaskar Swain and Jayant Biswal sat on dharna at Nuagaon while Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samittee (PPSS) was continuing its protest at its stronghold Dhinkia.

Nuagaon is an important junction as one can enter Gobindpur, part of the proposed plant site, only after crossing through the area.

(Agencies)