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PPSS questions MoEF clearance to Posco, to intensify stir

Bhubaneswar: Questioning conditional clearance to Posco project despite adverse reports by two key committees, Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) on Monday announced plan to intensify its agitation against the mega project by the South Korean steel major.

"What is the basis of giving conditional clearance to Posco project? What is the use of spending crores of rupees from the state exchequer by setting up two committees?", PPSS president Abhay Sahu asked.

Stating that the project had been cleared due to diplomatic pressure from South Korea, Sahu alleged that the Centre had "dishonored" its own laws and regulations.

They (the ministry) had violated a host of laws under Forest Conservation Act, Environment Protection Act, Coastal Zone Regulation Act and Forest Rights Act by giving clearance to Posco`s steel, power and port projects, Sahu alleged.

PPSS, which had been opposing the project ever since Posco-India signed MoU with the state government in 2005, decided to hold a meeting at the proposed plant site villages tomorrow, he said.

A section of villagers supporting the project, however, were happy over the centre`s decision and expressed optimism that the 12mtpa steel mill would soon come up in their area near Paradip.

"We are happy that the Centre cleared the Posco project," said Kesbah Rout, leader of the pro-project group.

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