No major difficulties to meet MoEFs condition for Posco

Bhubaneswar: A day after the Ministry of Environment and Forest gave conditional clearance to the USD 12 billion plant by Posco, state government`s nodal officer for the project today said it is not difficult to meet the clauses set by the Centre.

"Many conditions were already there for the project. It will not be difficult to meet them," Priyabrat Patnaik, nodal officer for Posco project, said.

Stating that the government and the steel major will fulfill all the conditions before starting work at the project site, Patnaik said the state had already acquired about 400 acres of private land peacefully.

The land acquisition for the project was, however, stopped in the wake of a directive from the Ministry of Environment and Forest after visit of members of the S C Saxena Committee in August.

Admittig that there was resistance from the local people, Patnaik claimed that their (opponents) number could be less than 10 per cent while rest of the villagers wanted to see the project at Dhinkia village near Paradip.

Replying a question, Patnaik said the state government had already decided to leave out about 378 acres of private land at Dhinkia village.

"The state government has already informed Posco in this regard and the company is ready to exclude these 378 acre private land from its design," Patnaik said.

He, however, said that there was no restriction on the administration or the company to start work on the non-forest government land.

Of the 4004 acres of land required for setting up the 12mtpa steel mill near Paradip, about 2900 acre were categorised as forest land.