MAC: Mines and Communities

Now, Posco Faces Ire Of Environmentalists

Published by MAC on 2007-04-17
Source: Money Control

Now, Posco faces ire of environmentalists

Money Control

17th April 2007

After the South Korean steel giant Posco had faced land acquisition and SEZ problems, it is now up against environmentalists, reports CNBC-TV18.

A public hearing and public outcry.

This is a public hearing organised by the State Pollution Control Board on Sunday to air grievances against Posco's project on environment pollution. Most of the 50 families living in the affected eight villages did not attend, but those who did, protested.

Sankhananda Behera, protestor, says, "The State Pollution Control Board is hand in glove with the industrialists. The Paradeep Port violates environment laws and no action is taken. We don't expect a fair deal in the case of Posco. So, immediately stop this hearing, it is just an eye wash."

Posco has proposed a Rs 51000 crore 12-million tonne steel plant over 4000 acres at this site near a proposed Jatadhari Port. Local people and environmentalists fear both, the plant and port will lead to water scarcity, crop loss, fishing scarcity and industrial pollution. The State Pollution Control Board will appeal for a revision of the project report. But Posco is still hopeful.

Sasanka Patnaik, spokesperson, Posco India says, "The people here want direct dialogues with the Posco officials. We welcome this and are ready to talk to them on all issues. We will definitely be successful in setting up the plant here."

There's tension at the proposed site as four opposition parties including the Congress, CPI(M), JD (S) and Orissa Gana Parishad campaign to mobilize public opinion against Posco. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will meet the Prime Minister on 19th as the people wait and watch. Politicians and corporates will want to prevent a public outcry.

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