A number of political parties and organisations on Monday demanded that the Centre accept recommendations by the majority members of the Meena Gupta Committee and revoke various clearances granted for establishment of a 12 million-tonne capacity steel plant by Posco India Private Limited in Orissa's Jagatsinghpur district.

In a joint statement, the Communist Party of India, CPI(Marxist), Forward Bloc, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Samajwadi Party urged the Centre to withdraw clearances granted for the proposed steel project and a captive port of Posco in view of violation of various laws, including the Forest Rights Act, as pointed out by the majority members of the enquiry committee.

The Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti, which has been opposing land acquisition for the project since the Naveen Patnaik government signed the memorandum of understanding in 2005, said: “Today, three of the four members of the committee set up by the Ministry of Environment and Forests confirmed that the Posco project is illegal, and that all of its clearances were obtained by breaking the law.”

Samiti chief Abhay Sahoo urged the Centre “to heed the voice of the people and the findings of the majority report, withdraw all clearances and cancel this unjust, illegal and brutal project.”

BJP State unit president Jual Oram said the committee report was a clear indictment of the Patnaik government's policy of appeasement and its acting as agents to industrial conglomerates.

Social activist Prafulla Samantray demanded that the government stop the process of renewing the MoU. All MoUs signed by the Patnaik government should be reviewed carefully to protect the interests of the people, he said.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told journalists that his government was yet to receive the report, and would react to the panel report after perusing the same.


Environment panel split on Posco clearancesOctober 18, 2010

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