Govt to submit FRA report on Posco in 3 days

Bhubaneswar: Confident of getting final clearance for the proposed Posco project, state government on Monday said it would submit its assurance to the Ministry of Environment and Forest on the proper implementation of the Forest Rights Act-2006 in next three days, official sources said today.

"We are ready with the reply. The state government will submit its assurance report with the MoEF within three days," Chief Secretary Bijay Kumar Patnaik told reporters.

Stating that the state government could not meet the earlier deadline of submitting assurance report with the MoEF due to fresh claims made by villagers, Patnaik said the Jagatsinghpur administration had already given its report which was sent to the department of scheduled tribe and scheduled caste for examination.

The forest and environment department will finally send the report to the MoEF, Patnaik said.

While giving conditional clearance to the Rs 52,000- crore project on January 31, the Centre had sought written assurance from Orissa government on the implemenation of the Forest Resource Assessment (FRA) before signing on the proposal of diversion of forest land for the South Korean steel major`s project.

Of the 4004 acre of land demarcated for Posco project, about 2900 acre fell under the category of forest land. "Those forest land must be converted into non-forest land before they are handed to the company for setting up the mega steel plant," a forest and environment department official said.

The project opponents, meanwhile, had held separate `Palli Sabhas` at Dhinkia and Govindpur gram panchayats where they passed resolutions opposing Posco project on February 21 and 23, respectively.

The two gram panchayats sent their resolution copies directly to the MoEF which was in return forwarded to the state government for examination.