Environment minister Jairam Ramesh is willing to consider a compromise with Anil Agarwal promoted Vedanta Resources provided they withdraw the case against the ministry’s order refusing expansion to company’s aluminum refinery in Orissa.
Ramesh has reportedly told the company representatives that the ministry could allow expansion of the refinery after imposing additional environmental conditions and penalties.
The Vedanta Resources had submitted a fresh application urging the ministry to review its decision on scrapping in principle approval for expansion. The company had planned six fold expansion.
However, Ramesh has ruled out the possibility of giving environment clearance for bauxite mining on Nyamgiri hills, a home of primitive tribal groups Kutia and Dongaria Kondh.
The ministry’s environment clearance wing is examining the Vedanta’s proposal and is expected to submit its report to the minister in the next few days.
Posco makes a presentation
On Thursday, the South Korean major Posco Steel Limited made a presentation before Ramesh over its project in Paradip in Orissa with respect to its impact on coastal environment. The presentation was made by company officials and those from the National Institute for Oceanography.
The presentation was done on the day South Korea urged India to fast-track the proposed USD 12 billion Posco steel project. South Korean Trade Minister Kim Jong-Hoon has said, "We don't have to disregard the importance of this Greenfield investment, which can create a great deal of jobs in India and a great deal of values for Indian industry."
The presentation was made after expert committees appointed by the Ministry to study the issue of green law violations raised some questions, said a ministry official said.
The Expert Appraisal Committee is reported to have recommended scrapping the environment clearance given to a captive port on Mahanadhi river, just 12 kms away from the Paradip port.
Ramesh has already said the ministry will deliver its verdict on Posco by end of January.