POSCO must go, demand activists in Delhi

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New Delhi, Oct 10 (UNI) Terming the POSCO steel project in Orissa as ''anti-people and ecologically degrading'', several rights activists today called upon the Centre to cancel the SEZ approval and withdraw all environmental clearances given to the project.

They also demanded that the Orissa government must annul the MoU it signed with the Korean company, Pohang Steel Co (POSCO).

The activists, mainly academicians, professors and journalists, has been to the project site, as part of a ''fact-finding team''.

''Hundreds of people will be displaced and rendered jobless and the ecosystem affected. The state government must stop the process of land acquisition and put to end the repression it has unleashed on villagers in Dhinkia, Gadkujang and Nuwagaon, where the project is coming up,'' said Prof Manoranjan Mohanty, formerly of the Delhi University, at a press conference.

Also speaking on the occasion, Mr Sumit Chakraborty, Editor, Mainstream, pointed out the Orissa government has not honoured the 'land for land' norm advised by the Supreme Court in the Narmada dam case.

He also demanded that all the environmental clearance given for the project be withdrawn as the ecosystem is too fragile.

''The proposed mining site is very close to the pristine forest and natural water resources. A port is proposed to come up at the mouth of the Jatadhar river, only seven kilometres away from the Paradip port. It will lead to water logging and and excessive siltation which will affect the Jatadhar river, which is the major channel of water drainage for the Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara,'' he said.

UNI

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