Posco project: Orissa claims Forest Right Act not applicable

Defending its stand on Posco project, the Orissa government has claimed before the Centre that the Forest Right Act (FRA) 2006, does not apply to the land earmarked for the proposed mega steel plant near Paradip.

Bhubaneswar: Defending its stand on Posco
project, the Orissa government has claimed before the Centre
that the Forest Right Act (FRA) 2006, does not apply to the
land earmarked for the proposed mega steel plant near Paradip.

The state government`s view was intimated to H C
Chaudhary, Assistant Inspector General of forests under the
Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF), who on August 5 had
issued a direction to state forest and environment department
to stop project-related works at the proposed site.

"The FRA, 2006 is not applicable to the land identified
for Posco project because neither any tribal family resides in
the area nor any other traditional forest dweller (OTFD) has
been staying there for more than 75 years," the state
government`s response said.

Stating that under the Act tribals residing on forest
land or OTFDs inhabiting on a forest patch for over 75 years
can make claim rights over the land, the government pointed
out that no such situation exists in the three gram panchayat
areas.

The area earmarked for the Rs 51,000 crore project was
declared as forest land barely 49 years ago, the Orissa
government wrote in its letter to Chaudhary.

PTI

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