Ruling out possibility of damages to the state's tallest water fall at Khandadhar in Sundargarh district, Orissa government today said mining activities would in no way affect the local ecology.
This was stated by Steel and Mines minister Raghunath Mohanty while replying a question on the state government's move to hand over iron ore reserve at Khandadhar to South Korean steel major, Posco.
"There is no possibility of water fall being affected due to mining activities at Khandadhar," Mohanty told the house while the state government had already recommended Posco-India's name for prospecting license (PL) on 2500 hectare of land in the iron rich belt.
Though the matter of handing over iron ore reserve at Khandadhar was subjudice, the state government was determined to explore the mineral deposited near the water fall.
Recently, Orissa High Court while disposing a case, asked the state government to reconsider its decision to recommend Posco-India's name for PL over Khandadhar iron ore reserve.
Stating that mining would begin after a proper environment impact assessment, the minister said an environment management plan would be in place before that.
Adequate steps would be taken to maintain ecological balance in the area which was full of forest and hills, the minister said.
The water fall at Khandadhar was considered as tallest fall in the state with stream of water falling above 244 meters.
On the possibility of mining activities affecting the local tribals who depend on the water fall for their livlihood, the minister said that all the people likely to be hit by the mining activities would be rehabilitated under the provisions of Rehabilitation and Resettlement Policy, 2006.