Posco lands up in Green Tribunal

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar: The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) today submitted its preliminary report on providing the environmental green signal to the Posco mega-steel project in Paradip in its reply to the National Green Tribunal on a petition filed by social activist Prafulla Samantray. The petitioner, Parfulla Samantray had questioned that how come the green signal was accorded to the South Korean steel major Posco for its plant near Paradip though members of the Meena Gupta committee had split versions about flouting of environmental rules by the company. Prafulla has alleged that the MoEF has ignored the crucial facts while granting the clearance to Posco. The tribunal while admitting the petition has asked Samantray to provide further details to suffice his petition. The tribunal has fixed December 7 for the next hearing.

Meanwhile, the Korean company has sought more time from the Centre to execute its Special Economic Zone(SEZ) at Paradip. The SEZ included the setting up of the 12 thousand tonne per annum capacity steel plant with an investment of over Rs 53,000 crores. In its plea the company said that the project was being delayed due to the delay in acquisition of land required for the plant. An inter-ministerial board of approval headed by the Union Commerce Secretary Rahul Khular would take a decision on Posco`s plea on November 28. Aside from Posco, 16 other companies have petitioned the Centre for extending the term of SEZ execution.

While the anti-Posco agitationists have been demanding to scrap the deal in to, the group supporting the project have demanded that the issues of rehabilitation and resettlement should be resolved through the RPDAC.