The BJP on Tuesday slammed the UPA government for according conditional clearance to the Posco project in Orissa and demanded that a CBI probe should be ordered into the matter.
"The whole process of clearance smacks of pay-offs. Like the 2G spectrum scam, this is another blow to the country," BJP's state president Jual Oram said. Dubbing the Centre's action as "anti national and anti people", Oram said "This is fraud in broad daylight".
Union environment minister Jairam Ramesh inked the final approval for diversion of 1,253 hectares of forest land for the project with the assurance from the state government that those claiming to be dependent on or cultivating the land in the project area do not belong to the Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (OTFD) category under the Forest Rights Act, 2006.
Oram alleged that the state government had a track record of flouting every Forest, Environment and Tribal Law of the land and so POSCO and chief minister Naveen Patnaik will never fulfill the conditions stipulated by the Ministry. Many legislations would be flouted if the South Korean steel major was allowed to set up its plant near Paradip.
Setting 60 additional conditions, the Environment Ministry on Monday granted conditional clearance for South Korean major, Posco's USD 12 billion steel mill and captive port project in Orissa after putting it on hold.
Ramesh also sought categorical assurance from the state government that there was no violation of the Forest Rights Act (FRA) in the land acquisition process, for what is dubbed as the single biggest foreign direct investment project in India.