BJP demands CBI probe in Posco approval

January 31st, 2011 - 11:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Bhubaneswar, Jan 31 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Monday demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the clearance granted to the Posco project in Orissa by the union environment and forests ministry.BJP state chief Jual Oram said the approval came as a shock to him.

“The environment minister has turned a blind eye to the facts reported by various fact finding teams and experts,” Oram said in a statement here.

“How come the same ministry which held back approval for several months citing various violations overnight changed its stand?” he asked, alleging it might be the outcome of an unholy nexus between the central government and the Biju Janata Dal government in the state.

“There may be some corrupt payment behind the approval and we demand a CBI enquiry into the whole affair,” he said.

The environment ministry earlier of the day gave conditional clearance to South Korean major Posco’s project in state’s coastal Jagatsinghpur. It is the biggest foreign direct investment in the country.

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.

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

The environment ministry earlier put the entire project on hold, citing violations of environment and forest laws by the company.

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