State govt to study tribunal report

Mumbai: The state administration today said that it would study the order of the National Green Tribunal suspending the environmental clearance granted to the ambitious USD 12-billion Posco project before deciding its future course of action.

"We have not seen the order yet. We will study it and then take appropriate action," Odisha steel and mines secretary Manoj Ahuja told PTI over phone from the state capital.

Earlier in the day, the National Green Tribunal suspended the environment clearance granted to the South Korean major Posco Steel`s proposed 12-million tonne steel project in the state, involving USD 12 billion investment making it the largest FDI project in the country.

The Tribunal directed the Union Environment and Forest Ministry to review afresh the clearance it has given to the much-delayed project and attach "specific conditions" which Posco will have to follow in a "defined timeline".

Reacting to the verdict, Prafulla Samantray, who had filed the petition before the National Green Trubunal, said their stand has been vindicated.

"For years now, we have been complaining that Odisha along with the Centre have flouted rules to give various clearances to the Posco project and today`s verdict vindicates our stand," Samantray said.

The Posco project has been mired in controversy from its inception on issues of land acquisition, mining rights and environmental clearance among others.

The project for which the MoU had been signed way back in 2005, had a timeline of starting its production by 2011. However, the project did not make any progress due to local opposition and various other issues.