Centre stops Posco work for violating green rules | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Centre stops Posco work for violating green rules

The Centre has asked the Orissa government to immediately stop work on the proposed plant that Korean steel major Posco wants to build at Jagatsinhpur near Paradip, including the acquiring of forest and non-forest land for the project.

delhi Updated: Aug 07, 2010 01:31 IST
HT Correspondents

The Centre has asked the Orissa government to immediately stop work on the proposed plant that Korean steel major Posco wants to build at Jagatsinhpur near Paradip, including the acquiring of forest and non-forest land for the project.

The decision is a serious setback to the Orissa government and the firm whose Rs 54,000-crore project has been mired in controversy over land acquisition since it was announced.

In a letter to the Orissa government, the Union Environment and Forests Ministry has alleged the state government did not adhere to the provisions of the Forest Rights Act, and misled the Centre.

"We have asked the state government to stop all works related to the project," Union Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh said in New Delhi on Friday.

The ministry has also asked the state government to furnish details of work already done, and land handed over for the project.

"The state government will take appropriate and correct steps," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said in Bhubaneshwar.

The ministry took the decision after receiving report of the N C Saxena Committee, which visited the area earmarked for the project last month.

The three-member committee, jointly formed by the Union Ministries of Environment and Forests, and Tribal Affairs visited the area.

The letter said the team had found serious contradictions between the state government's claims on adhering to the Forest Rights Act and ground realities.

While the Posco spokesperson declined to comment, Abhay Sahoo, convenor of the Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti, which has been spearheading the anti-Posco movement, told HT: "This proves that the Orissa government has been pushing the project by violating all laws of the land. Posco should now go back to South Korea."