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More trouble for Posco, port may lose clearance

After running into rough weather with its steel project, South Korean major Posco may find it difficult to convince an environment ministry committee regarding its port project on Orissa.

delhi Updated: Nov 18, 2010 23:53 IST
Chetan Chauhan

After running into rough weather with its steel project, South Korean major Posco may find it difficult to convince an environment ministry committee regarding its port project on Orissa.

The environment ministry's Expert Appraisal Committee has raised concerns on the requirement of a captive port for Posco's steel plant in Paradeep, when there was another port just 12 km away.

Tata is coming up with a port at Damra 80 km from Posco's proposed port at Jatadharmohan creek.

Environment groups had been objecting to setting up another port close to the existing one and said the contention of the Orissa government, which the ministry had earlier accepted, is under the scanner.

The state government had said the port was required to ensure continuous flow of ore to the proposed steel plant and would create jobs for locals.

"The ore can also come from the Paradeep port," said Biswajit Mohanty, secretary of the Orissa Wildlife Society, which had petitioned the ministry against the proposed port in 2007.

The ministry didn't react then but now the EAC has taken it up seriously.

The panel, which is slated to meet on November 30, had asked the project proponents to justify dredging of 28 million cubic metres of sand and how its impact on the coastline will be negated through environment management.

The Olive Ridley turtles from Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary, about 30 km away, visit the coastline and dredging can adversely impact their habitat.

The EAC said the quality of the sand may not be suitable to develop the port.