BHUBANESWAR: Describing the suspension of environmental clearance to Posco’s proposed mega steel mill as a ‘conspiracy’ against the State, ruling BJD MLAs on Saturday wanted the State Government to clear doubts over the fate of the ` 52,000-crore project.
The issue was raised in the Assembly during Zero Hour when members of the Treasury Bench along with those of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) expressed concern over the fate of the proposed mega steel plant near Paradip in Jagatsinghpur district.
Former minister Damodar Rout alleged that suspension of environmental clearance to the Posco project is a conspiracy against the State. Demanding a statement from Steel and Mines Minister Raghunath Mohanty on the project, Rout said there is no forest in the proposed plant site area as mentioned in revenue records. The State Government had also announced not to acquire private land in Dhinkia village due to opposition from villagers, he added.
Bishnu Das, another senior BJD member from Jagatsinghpur district, alleged that the Centre has been operating double standards on the Posco project. While Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has assured the South Korean President about establishment of the project, its environmental clearance has been suspended, he said. Das said the Posco project should come up in the area as it would bring economic prosperity and create employment opportunities for local people.
Das’ colleague Ananta Das said the order of National Green Tribunal (NGT) is not binding on the State Government. Leader of the NCP Legislature Party Amar Prasad Satpathy said as the State Government had been acquiring land for the steel plant, it should make its stand clear on the country’s single-largest FDI.
Satpathy urged speaker Pradip Kumar Amat to give a ruling on the Posco issue. Aurobindo Dhali (BJD) demanded a clarification from the State Government in the House. He urged the Speaker to direct Raghunath to make a statement in the House.
Chief Secretary B K Patnaik, meanwhile, told mediapersons that the State Government is yet to get a copy of the NGT’s order on the Posco project.