Anti-displacement group protests nod to POSCO

January 31st, 2011 - 5:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, Jan 31 (IANS) An anti-displacement group here said it will launch a nationwide agitation against the conditional approval granted by the environment ministry Monday to South Korean steel major POSCO’s $12 billion project in Orissa.The POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS), which has been spearheading the movement against the project in the coastal district of Jagatsinghpur, described the decision of the government as unfortunate.

“We will take the protest to New Delhi. All those who have been against displacement will join us. We will jointly launch a nationwide agitation,” PPSS spokesperson Prasant Paikray told IANS.

He said the PPSS has planned a massive rally Feb 1 near Dhinkia village, one of the areas affected by the project, to protest the environment ministry’s decision.

POSCO is an integrated steel, mining and port project and separate clearances had to be given to all three. It also comprises a captive power plant to provide electricity to the steel plant.

The environment ministry gave conditional clearance to the project, the biggest foreign direct investment in the country.

It has imposed 28 additional conditions as part of the environmental clearance for the steel-cum-captive power plant and 32 conditions are imposed while according environmental clearance to the captive minor port in the state.

Thousands of villagers have been opposing the project, saying it will displace them from their homelands and ruin their betel leaf farms.

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