Orissa government today said it would take ‘appropriate action’ on Posco project after receiving the order of Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) which accorded final approval for forest land diversion for the proposed mage steel unit.
“We are yet to receive the order. We have just learnt from the media that such an order has been passed. When we receive the order, appropriate action will be taken,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told reporters here.
Orissa Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout, MLA from the proposed plant site area for about 35 years, welcomed the MoEF order saying it would help in setting up the Rs 52,000 crore project near Paradip in Jagatsinghpur district.
“Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh’s two-day visit to Orissa on April 29 and 30 had been beneficial for the State and the Posco project. During his visit, Mr. Ramesh could realise that some people are deliberately opposing the project without any reason,” he said.
Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS), which had been opposing the project since the South Korean steel major inked MoU with the State government in 2005, however, said it would democratically oppose the steel plant as earlier and that locals are ‘unhappy’ over final approval of forest diversion for the project.
“PPSS also will not hesitate to take the matter to the court of law as we feel that people living in proposed plant site villages are deprived of their rights under FRA, 2006,” PPSS president Abhay Sahu told PTI.
The CPI-backed outfit said it would soon start ’Satyagraha’ at Balitutha, the entry point to proposed plant site area, opposing the project.
The Centre accorded the final approval of forest diversion over 1253 hectare (about 2900 acre) of land from among the 4,004 acre of total land demarcated to house the mega steel plant near Paradip in Jagatsinghpur district.
Mr. Ramesh had on April 14 put on hold the forest land diversion proposed of the State government after he received claims by PPSS.