New Delhi, Aug. 11: Poscos Orissa project is likely to get environmental clearance within a month, paving the way for land acquisition to start again.
There are some differences related to Posco between the Orissa government and the ministry of environment. The issue will get resolved soon, may be in a months time, steel secretary Atul Chaturvedi told reporters at a conference.
Last week, the environment ministry had asked the state government to stop all work, including land acquisition. It set up a four-member panel to probe if the forest rights act that seeks to protect forest land and the settlers had been violated.
Last month, the Orissa government had started acquiring land for the plant, despite occasional protests. However, the acquisition had to be put on hold after the environment ministry said it had not yet approved the project.
The ministry said it had oral and documentary evidence that the state government had made false claims that tribes did not live and farm in the 1,235 acres of forest land sought for the plant.
Though a court case over mining concessions is still pending, government officials as well as Posco have been optimistic.
If need be, we will take up the matter with the ministry of environment and forest for speedy clearance of Poscos Orissa project, steel minister Vir Bhadra Singh said.
Posco requires 4,004 acres to build a steel plant with an annual production capacity of 12 million tonnes in Jagatsinghpur district of Orissa.
Pact with SAIL
Poscos proposed joint venture with SAIL for a steel plant in Bokaro is on course.
A joint venture agreement could be signed in the next two months. The likely investment will be Rs 10,000-12,000 crore, SAIL chairman C.S. Verma said.