SC approves steel mining by POSCO in Orissa

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New Delhi, Aug 8 (UNI) The Supreme Court today cleared the decks for steel mining by South Korea-based POSCO India, the world's third largest steel producers, in 1,650 hectares of land in Orissa.

POSCO has set up Rs 51,000 crore steel plant at Paradip in Orissa having a capacity of 12 million tonnes per year.

A bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, Justices Arijit Pasayat and S H Kapadia directed the Ministry of Environment and Forest to give the green light to the South Korean company as per the rules and guidelines.

Out of 1,650 hectares of land, 1,253 hectares of land is in forest area and this is why the permission of the Supreme Court was required. An MoU was signed with government of Orissa in 2005.

The apex court gave the green light for mining following an undertaking given by POSCO that it will look after the environment in the area and the same will be protected.

The apex court also granted permission to Sterlite Indusries to carry on bauxite mining in Niamgiri Hills in Kalahandi district of Orissa.

The court granted permission for bauxite mining as per the guidelines of Orissa government to protect and look after the environment as well as the tribals in the area. An amount of Rs 55 crore is already lying with the state government for development of the tribal areas affected by bauxite mining. The court also directed that special purpose vehicle(SPV) will continue to monitor and supervise the mining operations in the hills. SPV comprises the representatives of Orissa government and Sterlite Industries.

London-based Vedanta was ousted by the SC order.


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