No infirmity in clearance to Posco: MoEF

New Delhi: The Environment Ministry has told the National Green Tribunal that there was no infirmity in its decision to grant environmental clearance to Posco`s mega steel project in Orissa.

"It is submitted that the decision of the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) granting the environment clearances is fair and fully informed after taking into account the relevant factors and applicable laws. In view of the foregoing, it is submitted that there is no infirmity in the environmental clearance issued by the MoEF and the appeal filed by appellant is liable to be dismissed," the affidavit filed by the MoEF said.

The MoEF submission to the country`s apex quasi-judicial panel to adjudicate environment issues, came in response to a petition seeking quashing of the environmental clearance granted to Posco on ground that it was "contrary to the provisions of the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification 2006" and was "illegal and arbitrary".

Prafulla Samantray, an environmentalist, had filed the petition though advocate Ritwik Dutta contending that the Memorandum of Understanding between the Orissa government and POSCO states that the project is for production of 12 million tons of steel per annum (MTPA). The EIA report, however, has been prepared only for 4 MTPA steel production in the first phase, while the impact on environment in case of steel production by the plant to its full capacity would be much more, he pointed out.