PPSS questions MoEF clearance to Posco, to intensify stir

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Bhubaneswar, Jan 31 (PTI) Questioning conditionalclearance to Posco project despite adverse reports by two keycommittees, Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) todayannounced plan to intensify its agitation against themega project by the South Korean steel major.

"What is the basis of giving conditional clearance toPosco project? What is the use of spending crores of rupeesfrom the state exchequer by setting up two committees?", PPSSpresident Abhay Sahu asked.

Stating that the project had been cleared due todiplomatic pressure from South Korea, Sahu alleged that theCentre had "dishonored" its own laws and regulations.

They (the ministry) had violated a host of laws underForest Conservation Act, Environment Protection Act, CoastalZone Regulation Act and Forest Rights Act by giving clearanceto Posco''s steel, power and port projects, Sahu alleged.

PPSS, which had been opposing the project ever sincePosco-India signed MoU with the state government in 2005,decided to hold a meeting at the proposed plant site villagestomorrow, he said.

A section of villagers supporting the project,however, were happy over the centre''s decision andexpressed optimism that the 12mtpa steel mill would soon comeup in their area near Paradip.

"We are happy that the Centre cleared the Poscoproject," said Kesbah Rout, leader of the pro-project group.

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