FAC advises rejecting forest nod to Posco

In a setback to South Korean giant Posco`s Rs 54,000 crore integrated steel plant in Orissa, a forestry panel has advised the Union Environment Ministry to reject the forest nod given to it.

Last Updated: Nov 03, 2010, 23:05 PM IST

New Delhi: In a setback to South Korean giant
Posco`s Rs 54,000 crore integrated steel plant in Orissa, a
forestry panel has advised the Union Environment Ministry to
reject the forest nod given to it.

If Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) recommendations are
accepted by Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh in toto, the
project at Jagatsinghpur, which is billed as the largest
single dose of FDI in the country, will meet the similar fate
as that of Vedanta`s bauxite mining proposal in Niyamgiri in
Orissa.

Vedanta had to shelve its plans of mining bauxite
after its initial clearance was withdrawn by the Environment
Ministry citing violation of green norms.

At present, no construction work and land acquisition
is being carried out by Orissa government for the Posco
project as ordered by the Environment Ministry which acted on
the recommendations by NC Saxena panel that accused it of
forest rights violation.

On November 9 and 10, the Expert Appraisal Committees
(EACs) on Infrastructure and Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) of
the Environment Ministry will appraise alleged violation of
green and coastal regulation norms as pointed out by the
Saxena Committee.

Sources said the recommendation to cancel the forest
clearance came after some of the members of FAC in a recent
meeting expressed their resentment at the violations of Forest
Rights Act at the site where Posco proposes to set up an
integrated steel plant cum captive port.

Some of the members had also suggested FRA violation
were something that could be corrected by the state
government. However, the majority decision ruled which sought
rejection of forest clearance.

It is learnt that the Environment Ministry will take a
final call on the project next Monday after EACs meeting.

-PTI