Orissa submitted fake documents for Posco nod: Activists

May 4th, 2011 - 10:36 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 4 (IANS) The final clearance given to South Korean steel major Posco’s $12 billion project in Orissa, the largest foreign investment in India, was based on “fake submissions” by the state government, activists alleged Wednesday.

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 submitted fake resolutions of the project site to get the final go ahead from the environment ministry.

“Both the state government and the ministry have told barefaced lies. The state government claims that the land was not forest, when their own maps say that the 1,253 hectare land to be given to Posco is dense forest,” activist Mamata Dash said.

The environment ministry Monday gave a final green clearance to Posco for setting up an integrated steel, mining and port project near the port town of Paradip in Jagatsinghpur, some 100 km from Bhubaneswar.

The clearance followed the Orissa government’s reiteration last week that no traditional forest dwellers were dependent on or cultivating land in the proposed project area.

“(Environment Minister) Jairam Ramesh, while granting clearance to Posco, said that it is based on faith and trust on the state government. It is ridiculous how a minister can take a decision on trust and not on evidence,” said Ashok Agarwal, a Supreme Court lawyer.

The PPSS has decided to launch a mass agitation at the site and across the country, and is also weighing legal options.

Thousands of people living in and around the site are still opposing the project, saying it will displace them from their homeland and ruin their farm-based existence.

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