Group rejects Orissa’s claim about POSCO site

April 14th, 2011 - 3:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, April 14 (IANS) An anti-displacement group Thursday here rejected the claim of the Orissa government that there were no tribal inhabitants or other traditional forest dwellers in the proposed site of the $12 billion POSCO steel project in the state.

The POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS), which has been spearheading the movement against the project in the coastal district of Jagatsinghpur, said the state government has for the third time submitted false information.

“The government of India may or may not grant approval to the project, but as far as we are concerned, our protest against the project will continue,” PPSS spokesperson Prasant Paikray told IANS.

“We have already produced evidences before the government that the area is inhabited by other forest dwellers,” he added.

Paikray said his group Thursday obtained the copy of the letter the state government has written to the central government. “We will hold a public meeting at Patna (a village at the heart of the proposed site) and set the copies of the letter on fire”, he said.

The Orissa government Wednesday said it had informed the union environment and forests ministry that there were no tribal inhabitants or other traditional forest dwellers in the proposed site of the South Korean steel major’s project — touted as the biggest foreign direct investment in the country.

The government made the clarification in its reply to the environment ministry, which was submitted April 8.

The ministry in January granted conditional clearance to the project to be built in Jagatsinghpur, near the port town of Paradip, some 100 km from here.

While granting approval, the ministry asked the state government to give a categorical assurance that no traditional forest dwellers are dependent on or cultivating land in the project area.

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