Jairam writes to CM on objections over Posco project

Bhubaneswar: Union environment minister Jairam Ramesh on Monday drew attention of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik over the objection raised by Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS), an agrarian body campaigning against the Korean steel giant`s project near Paradip.

"I have just received an e-mail communication from PPSS.

A copy is attached. I thought I should bring this to your attention keeping in view the responsibilities on state governments over Forest Rights Act, 2006," Ramesh told in an e-mail to Patnaik.

Ramesh`s letter to Patnaik came within hours of the chief minister expressing confidence at New Delhi that the Posco`s mega steel project would soon get Environment and Forest`s (MoEF) permission to clear forest areas.

Earlier, the PPSS in a letter to Ramesh had requested the MoEF to reject the state government`s possible assurance report claiming that there was no tribal or any other traditional forest dwellers living at the proposed plant site.

Orissa`s chief secretary B K Patnaik had recently said that the state government is likely to submit its report of assurance to the Centre on Posco project.

He had also claimed that there was no tribal or any other traditional forest dwellers living in seven sea-side villages demarcated to house Posco`s mega steel plant near Paradip.

While according conditional environment clearance to the project on January 31, the MoEF had sought a pointed assurance report from the Orissa government on proper implementation of the Forest Rights Act at the company`s proposed plant site villages.