BJP smells "corruption" in Posco clearance, demands CBI probe

Bhubaneswar, Feb 1 (PTI) The BJP today slammed the UPAgovernment at the Centre for according conditional clearanceto Posco project in Orissa and demanded that a CBI probeshould be ordered into the matter.

"The whole process of clearance smacks of pay-offs.

Like the 2G spectrum scam, this is another blow to thecountry," BJP''s state president Jual Oram said.

Dubbing the Centre''s action as "anti-national andanti-people", Oram said "This is fraud in broad daylight".

Union environment minister Jairam Ramesh inked thefinal approval for diversion of 1,253 hectares of forest landfor the project with the assurance from the state governmentthat those claiming to be dependent on or cultivating the landin the project area do not belong to the other traditionalforest dwellers (OTFD) category under the Forest Rights Act,2006.

Oram alleged that the state government had a trackrecord of flouting every Forest, Environment and�Tribal Law ofthe land and so POSCO and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik willnever fulfill the conditions stipulated by the Ministry.

Many legislations would be flouted if the South Koreansteel major was allowed to set up its plant near Paradip.

Setting 60 additional conditions, the EnvironmentMinistry yesterday granted conditional clearance forSouth Korean major Posco''s USD 12 billion steel mill andcaptive port project in Orissa after putting it on hold.

Ramesh also sought categorical assurance from thestate government that there was no violation of Forest RightsAct (FRA) in the land acquisition process for what is dubbedas the single biggest foreign direct investment project inIndia.

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