Panel on Posco project to submit report by Oct 11

A committee constituted by the Environment Ministry to look into forest and environment issues involving the Korean steel giant Posco`s Rs 54,000- crore project in Orissa will submit its report on October 11.

New Delhi: A committee constituted by the
Environment Ministry to look into forest and environment
issues involving the Korean steel giant Posco`s Rs 54,000-
crore project in Orissa will submit its report on October 11.

"The panel has almost finalised its report and will
submit it to the Ministry on October 11. It will be then
discussed by the Forest Appraisal Committee (FAC),"
Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said here.

Initially, the panel led by former union environment
secretary Meena Gupta was to submit its report in August but
with the ministry widening its mandate to review Posco`s
compliance with environmental and coastal regulation zone
clearances, the deadline for the report was extended till
this month end.

The panel reviewed all approvals granted to the steel
giant at various government levels over the last five years.

It also visited the Posco`s captive port site at
Jatadhari river mouth near Paradip port in Jagatsinghpur
district besides meeting officials of Orissa State Pollution
Control Board, Posco and Paradip Port Trust.

It also enquired about the environment impact
assessment study done for the project.

On August 5, the Environment Ministry while setting up
the Gupta panel, had issued an order banning acquisition of
forest land for Posco`s proposed plant after a panel headed by
N C Saxena had made an interim report pointing to violation of
the Forest Rights Act (FRA).

The Saxena committee pointed out that the FRA process,
to give land rights to the original forest dwellers, had not
gone beyond the initial stages.

PTI