FAC refers POSCO project to Tribal Affairs Min

FAC Tuesday decided to refer the issue of alleged forest rights violation of South Korean tPosco`s steel plant in Orissa to Tribal Affairs Ministry even as the state government maintained that no norms were infringed.

Updated: Oct 27, 2010, 00:30 AM IST

New Delhi: The Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) of Environment Ministry Tuesday decided to refer the issue of alleged forest rights violation of South Korean tPosco`s steel plant in Orissa to Tribal Affairs Ministry even as the state government maintained that no norms were infringed.

Sources said FAC, which finalised the minutes of the two-day meeting today, had reviewed the report submitted by the four-member panel led by ex-Environment Secretary Meena Gupta which had given divergent views on the forest right status at the project site.
Gupta had, in her report, said since there was no tribal at Jagatsinghpur site where the project is coming up there was no question of violation of Forest Rights Act.

In this context, FAC recommended that the views of the Tribal Affairs Ministry need to be considered, sources said.

Defending its steps for implementing Rs 51,000 crore POSCO steel project, Orissa government had Monday submitted before FAC that there was no violation of green laws and people hit by the project would get "good" compensation.
The Orissa government has given its views at the FAC meeting. Now, on November 7-8, two Expert Appraisal Committees (EACs) on coastal regulation zone and infrastructure will deliberate the alleged violations by the project proponent, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has said.

The fate of the Posco project has been hanging fire since August 5 when the Environment Ministry halted the construction work and land acquisition at the proposed site citing alleged violation of green norms.

PTI