POSCO's proposal under review: Jairam Ramesh

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New Delhi, Nov 19 (ANI): Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh on Friday said the proposal of South Korean steel major POSCO is under review from 'environment point of view'.

Ramesh said the POSCO proposal's review would also end shortly.

"I am operating on the assumption that the POSCO proposal in Orissa is under review from a forest point of view, is under review from an environment point of view and CRZ (Coastal Regulation Zone) point of view," said Ramesh at an event here today.

"I can say anything as to what the end result of this review will be or when this review will come to an end. Obviously it is not going to take much. It is going to take a couple of weeks," he added.

The $12 billion South Korean steel mill, touted as India's biggest foreign direct investment, has already been delayed by more than three years as the project faced delays because of environmental worries and protests by local residents concerned about the mill's impact on their agriculture-based livelihoods.

The world number three steel-maker's 12-million-tonnes a year plant in India now needs final approval from Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh after all work on the project, including land acquisition, was halted in August, while the majority panel investigated alleged violations of the Forest Rights Act by POSCO.

The panel had asked the South Korean company for more information and on November 9 gave the firm ten days to submit the extra information.

Ramesh also spoke on the Polavaram dam project in southern Andhra Pradesh, and added that all the legal procedures are going to be followed for the same.

"All legal procedures on Polavaram are going to be followed. There is no short-circuiting of any procedure, whatsoever. We have issued a show-cause notice to Andhra Pradesh government. I have received a reply from Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister. I am waiting for a detailed reply to our show-cause notice," said Ramesh.

"Certain conditions of the environmental conditions had not been fulfilled. The Ministry of Environment and Forests doesn't look at the complexion of the government in power in the state before it takes its decision. This is a political decision and irrespective of the state it is in, the only objective in our ministry is to implement the laws of the land," he added. (ANI)

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