POSCO to halt work on Orissa steel plant

South Korean company's steel project has violated rights of forest dwellers

By Sumana Narayanan
Published: Saturday 04 July 2015

The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (moef) has asked the Orissa government to stop all work at posco's iron and steel project site in Jagatsinghpur district with immediate effect. The August 5 order follows a report submitted by a joint committee of the  ministries for environment and tribal affairs which said the project is progressing without settling the rights of forest dwellers. This amounted to violation of the Forest Rights Act (fra), the report said.

The fra committee which visited the steel plant site said contrary to district administration’s claims, the recognition of rights under the fra has not yet been completed. The state authorities did not forward people's resolutions, rejecting the diversion of forestland for the project, to moef. The ministry has also directed the state to provide details of the work done on the project, with information on the forest and non-forest land handed over to the South Korean company. The fra committee had visited Orissa from July 22 to 26.

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