Govt submits report to MoEF on Posco

(image) Bhubaneswar: The state government on Wednesday submitted assurance report to Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) stating that no tribal inhabitant or any other trditional forest dwellers(OTFDs) were living at the proposed Posco project site for at least 75 years.

According to reports, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had approved the documents that were sent to the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) on proper implementation of the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006. A total 4,000 acres of land is required for the proposed Posco project in which about 2,900 acres fall under forest area category.

"We have submitted the assurance report to the union ministry of environment and forest. The state government maintained its earlier stand that there was no tribal or any other traditional forest dwellers living at the proposed plant site villages," Chief Secretary, B K Patnaik told reporters.

However, the Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti claimed that the assurances by the State government are false. “The tribals are living in the proposed Posco area for not 75 years but 300 years. We have called for a meeting to discuss the issue and we will intensify our agitation within a day or two,” Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) president Abhay Sahu said.

Earlier on January 31, the MoEF had accorded conditional approval to the proposed Rs 52,000 crore Posco project. It had said that the final approval of diversion of forest land will be granted as soon as an assurance of the state over the Forest Rights Act (FRA) implementation is received.