MoEF asks state govt to issue show cause to JSPL

Bhubaneswar: Jindal Steel and Power Ltd`s (JSPL) integrated steel plant at Angul has once again hit a green hurdle with Union Environment Ministry directing the state Government to take action against it for allegedly violating the forest rules.

"It is noted that JSPL started construction activity on the non-forest land without obtaining prior forestry clearance under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, which is not in consonance with the environmental clearance accorded to the project," the directive to state government said.

According to the Environment Ministry officials, the Ministry gave direction in this effect as the powers for granting forest clearance and taking action for violating forest rules is entrusted with the state government.

In his notice, Ministry Director P L Ahujarai asked the state Environment Secretary to "initiate action against" the 6 MTPA Integrated Steel Plant and 1000 MW Captive Power Plant at Kerjang, Angul "by invoking powers under Section 19 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986."

The Ministry also directed the state Government to inform it soon about the action taken.

Two months ago, Environment Ministry had cleared Congress MP Navin Jindal`s integrated steel plant at Angul, which had hit the green hurdle, with certain conditions.

It was cleared by the Ministry after accepting the explanation given by the company in response to its showcause notice issued on November 22, 2010.

The Ministry had made it clear that the company will have to inform it for necessary action in case the scope of the project changed.