Posco Clears MoEF, Faces NGT Hurdle
Despite being granted environmental clearance by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, the `53,000 crore Posco steel plant in Odisha cannot take off completely, as the National Green Tribunal has ordered a stay on felling of trees in the acquired land area.
The case is listed for hearing on Monday in the NGT court. The green court had halted land acquisition for Posco in May 2013, following a petition by activist Prafulla Samantray, saying the company could not fell tress in the forest before acquiring green clearance.
The Odisha government is also yet to issue a forest clearance to the proposed steel plant of the South Korean steel major. The project has been pending since 2006 over environmental concerns.
“The State government has been sitting on the forest clearance order, as it can be challenged in the NGT by the people,” said Samantray. Posco plans to acquire 4,004 acres of land in Jagatsinghpur district, of which 3,000 acres is forestland. The Odisha government has, so far, acquired 2,700 acres.