India: Fresh indigenous protests at Jindal threats in OdishaPublished by MAC on 2019-11-16
Following the cancellation of South Korean Posco's massive steel/port project in India, domestic company Jindal stepped into the breach - proposing what indigenous landowners claim would be a flagrant violation of their rights.
Last June, the company seemed to accept that it would not proceed without their consent [see: Jindal will not proceed without prior villagers consent ]
Now, however, it seems to have ridden roughshod over this undertaking, embarking on a larger enterprise in the same area, under a false pretext, according to the local peoples organisation.
NOT ANOTHER POSCO!
POSCO PRATIRODH SANGRAM SAMITI (PPSS) DEMANDS CANCELLATION OF PUBLIC HEARINGS OF JSW STEEL PLANT AND PORT
15 November 2019
M/s JSW Steel has proposed the construction of four projects in Jagatsinghpur district of Odisha, in the same area of India’s largest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) project proposed by M/s POSCO India Ltd which withdrew its steel plant and port following untiring opposition of affected people for over twelve years.
Since 2005, the Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPPS) has strongly and consistently opposed the government’s push for handing over productive agricultural, forest and fishing areas of Jagatsinghpur to private corporations.
Our opposition foregrounding local livelihoods had rejected the steel plant and port proposed by M/s POSCO [claiming they were] approved based on misleading and incomplete environmental assessments, a disregard for forest rights and gross violations of law. This opposition supported the voice of thousands of villagers who withheld the take over of the lands and homes.
Today, M/s JSW Steel has proposed four new projects of a much larger scale and size at the same area where M/s POSCO had withdrawn in 2017:
* Integrated Steel Plant of 13.2 MTPA crude steel
* 10 MTPA cement grinding unit.
* 900 MW captive power plant.
* All weather, multi cargo, greenfield, captive jetties for handling capacity 52 MTPA at Jatadhari
Even though these are four interlinked and separate projects, the Odisha Pollution Control Board has proposed only two public hearings of half day each on 22.11.2019 at “Badadanda” in Jagatsinghpur district. These projects have also not complied with the requirement of preparing four separate EIAs and one common EIA, which would need to be disclosed before the public hearing and then apprised by all concerned Expert Appraisal Committees (EAC).
The PPSS has written to the Odisha State Pollution Control Board and the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) pointing to these clear and deliberate violations of the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA), 2006. These grounds make a strong case for the rejection of these projects on the grounds of providing false and misleading data.
We also demand an immediate cancellation of the public hearing on grounds non-compliance of the EIA notification as highlighted in the official submission as well grossly undermining the requirement for free, fair and transparent public hearing ensuring maximum amount of participation. This will not be possible with public hearing for four projects being held on the same day, in the garb of it being two projects.
The PPSS will continue to oppose the systematic effort of the government to push for destructive projects which not just undermines the long lasting struggle of securing lives, livelihoods and homesteads, but repeatedly do so by grossly violating legal requirements and regulatory safeguards.