Environment committee to submit report on Posco project soon

"Earlier the panel was to submit the report on October 11 but now its members have informed us that they will do so on October 18. It will be then discussed by the Forest Appraisal Committee (FAC)," Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh told PTI here.
The fate of Posco's project located in Jagatsinghpur district in the state is stated to be dependent on this report.

The four-member panel led by former Union Environment Secretary Meena Gupta was earlier tasked with assessing the rehabilitation and resettlement provisions, as well as the implementation of the Forest Rights Act.

However, its mandate was widened last month to investigate compliance with the environmental and coastal regulation zone clearances as well.

The panel has reviewed all approvals granted to the steel giant at various government levels over the last five years.

It also visited the Posco's captive port site at Jatadhari river mouth near Paradip port besides meeting officials of Orissa State Pollution Control Board, Posco and Paradip Port Trust.

It also enquired about the environment impact assessment study done for the project.
On August 5, the Environment Ministry while setting up the Gupta panel, had issued an order banning acquisition of forest land for Posco's proposed plant after a committee headed by N C Saxena had in its interim report pointed out violation of the Forest Rights Act (FRA) at the site.

The Saxena committee pointed out that the FRA process, to give land rights to the original forest dwellers, had not gone beyond the initial stages.

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