Protesters decry Posco project clearance

Today's agitation coincides with S Korean prez visit

Protesters decry Posco project clearance

Anti-Posco civil society organisations are observing national protest day on Wednesday, coinciding with South Korean president Park Geun-hye’s four-day visit to India. 

There are also calls for protests during his stay in India from January 15 to 18, in objection to the government giving the Posco project environmental clearance, which the groups claim Environment Minister Veerappa Moily provided just before the South Korean president’s arrival.

The group has questioned “the approach of the Green Ministry in turning an integrated project in to convenient compartments and giving clearances separately to each one of them, in a gradual manner to deceive the public.”

“You can’t separate mines from the plant and the plant from the port. You can not ignore the fact that certain matters are still tried in the National Green Tribunal,” the group said.

Protests are being  organised in project-affected areas like the villages of Dhinkia, Patna, Govindpur and Nuagaon. In solidarity, Similar protests have been organised at Bhubaneswar, Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Bangalore and Chennai.

In a separate demand, Greenpeace India has demanded that Veerappa Moily resign for failing to uphold the interest of the environment in giving speedy clearances to 70 projects in 20 days.

Conflict of interest 

Greenpeace has said that there is a conflict of interest in Moily holding dual charge as minister of environment and forests as well as minister for petroleum and natural gas.Citing the case of Posco as an example, Greenpeace has said the minister has cleared the file without obtaining forest clearance.

Moily has said that he would soon go to the Cabinet for Green India Plan. 

“The next scheme we are launching is a plan to nurture the forests in the country,” he said in an oil and gas conference which is being held in Noida.

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