Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh granted the conditional clearence for POSCO on Monday, Jan 31. The final approval by the Environment Ministry for the steel-cum-captive-power plant and a captive minor port will be given after receiving Orissa government's assurance for 1253 hectares of forest land for the project.
"The environmental clearance for captive port is being accorded with 32 additional conditions over and above stipulated in the original environmental clearance of May 15, 2007," the order signed by Jairam Ramesh said.
"Final approval of diversion of 1253 hectares of forest land for the POSCO project would be granted as soon as this assurance of the State government is received by the MoEF," the Minister said.
Citing the violation of Forest Rights Act, Union Environment Ministry in Aug 2010 halted the land acquisition for POSCO. This steel project will be set up at Paradeep in Jagatsinghpur district of Orissa and will be capable of manufacturing 12 million tonnes per annum.
This plant includes a total of 1620.496 hectares of land of which 1253.225 hectares is forest land and would affect eight villages in Erasama block of Kujang Tehsil.
(With inputs from PTI)