Peeved by the appointment of ‘activists’ in the forest panel for clearing R54,000-crore steel project of Posco, steel minister Virbhadra Singh on Wednesday advised environment minister Jairam Ramesh to be “pragmatic”.
“The approach has to be pragmatic and not dogmatic... When there is an issue of development some sort of compromises have to be made,” Singh said, when asked what his advise would be for Ramesh in the face of delays in the projects.
On the opinion of the fact-finding committee that was against the project, he said that unfortunately known activists were being appointed in such committees and “what else could be expected”.
He was referring to the four-member panel comprising three activists — Uma Pingle, Devendra Pandey and V Suresh who have opposed Korean steel giant’s project, proposed in Jagatsinghpur in Orissa.
“ArcelorMittal and Posco (entailing greenfield steel projects for 36 million tonnes) are important projects and their (environment ministry’s) approach should be pragmatic,” he said.
Asked if he would seek Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s intervention for clearances, the senior minister said, “He (PM) knows about it... he is keen that Posco project takes off ... Jairam Ramesh knows it. I am very much concerned at the delay (in getting clearance to Posco and other projects) ...Wherever the land acquisition and environment clearance is concerned the projects are piling up.”