After blocking mining clearance to Vedanta, a Central team is slated to visit the proposed Posco project site tomorrow to ascertain facts on implementation of the Forest Rights Act.
The team, led by former Union Environment Secretary Meena Gupta, is scheduled to undertake a two-day visit to the proposed site for the Rs. 51,000-crore mega steel project near Paradip in Jagatsinghpur district, officials said.
The four-member team is likely to visit Dhinkia, Gobindpur, Trilochanpur, Nuagaon, Gada Kujang and Noliasahi and also interact with local people, they said, adding the team is expected to submit its report within a month.
The inspection comes after the Union Environment and Forest Ministry ordered stoppage of all project related works in the proposed site acting on the basis of an expert committee’s report which alleged violation of the act, the officials said.
The Union ministry’s directive on August 5 came at a time when the Orissa government had initiated process of land acquisition for the country’s biggest FDI project, for which 4,004 acres are required.
After receiving the stop-work notice, Orissa government in a letter informed the Centre that the Forest Rights Act, 2006 did not apply to the land earmarked for the proposed mega steel plant, they said.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh barely three days ago and sought quick steps to expedite clearances for Posco project.