MoEF expert team visits Posco plant site in Odisha

August 21st, 2012 - 3:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, Aug 21 (IANS) A four-member expert team deputed by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) Tuesday visited the site of South Korean steel major Posco’s proposed steel plant in Odisha, an official said.

The team, led by former civil aviation secretary K. Roy Paul, will assess the impact of the project on environment afresh as the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in March suspended the environment clearance granted to the project by the ministry citing violation and asked for a fresh review.

“The team visited the project affected villages in Jagatsinghpur district,” additional district magistrate Surijit Das told IANS.

The team is scheduled to attend a meeting of senior state officials at Bhubaneswar Wednesday, he said.

The other members of the committee who have accompanied Paul include S.R. Wate, director of National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), R. Ramesh, Director of the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM), and R.D. Singh, Director of the National Institute of Hydrology (NIH).

The Odisha government had inked a pact with Posco in 2005 for the 12 million tonnes per annum steel project near the port town of Paradip in the district of Jagatsinghpur, about 120 km from here.

The $12 billion steel project, touted as the largest foreign investment in India, has, however, yet to make any significance progress due to local protests and regulatory hurdles.

It faced a major setback when the green tribunal suspended the environment clearance granted in January last year saying that the permission was accorded on the basis of a study done for a four million tonne per annum steel plant instead of 12 million tonnes.

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