BHUBANESWAR: The Ministry of Environment and Forest has accepted the State Government’s proposal for transfer of forest clearance of the land acquired for Korean steel major POSCO near Paradip to the Sajjan Jindal led JSW Utkal Steel Limited to set up an integrated steel plant of 12 million tonne capacity.
The forest advisory committee (FAC) of the Ministry approved the transfer of forest clearance (FC) for 1083.69-hectare forest area (out of 1253.225 ha) in favour of new user agency JSW Utkal Steel Limited from POSCO-India Pvt Ltd.
“This proposal has been deliberated in earlier meetings. FAC observed that the approval under Forest Conservation Act, 1980 granted to one project proponent for a specific purpose, can be transferred to another project proponent if the purposed land use remains the same,” the MoEF&CC said after analysing the proposal from the angle of its possible impact on the biodiversity of the area.
“The balance forest land of 169.53 hectares shall be returned to the Forest department. This land shall be adequately afforested with native forestry species and protected at the cost of a new user agency,” the FAC order said.
The State Government had also informed the MoEF&CC that the POSCO-India has no objection if the approval is granted to the new project proponent. Around 447 families are likely to be displaced by the proposed steel project.