Decision on Posco's Orissa project next month: Ramesh

A decision on South Korean steel major Posco's project in Orissa is likely to be taken soon after the environment ministry appointed committee submits its report on 11 October, according to minister of state for environment Jairam Ramesh.

Work on Posco's Rs54,0000-crore project in Jagatsinghpur was suspended following a stop-work order by the environment ministry in August.

"The panel has almost finalised its report and will submit it to the ministry on 11 October. It will be then discussed by the forest appraisal committee (FAC),'' Ramesh said in New Delhi on Monday.

Headed by former environment secretary Meena Gupta, the committee was constituted on 28 July to investigate the status of the implementation of the Forest Rights Act, and the status of the implementation of the rehabilitation and resettlement plans. Its mandate was broadened to review Posco's compliance with environmental and coastal regulation zone clearances.

Initially, the panel was to submit its report in August but with the ministry widening its mandate to review Posco's compliance with environmental and coastal regulation zone clearances, the deadline for the report was extended till this month end.

The panel reviewed all approvals granted to the steel giant at various government levels over the last five years. It also visited the Posco's captive port site at Jatadhari river mouth near Paradip port in Jagatsinghpur district besides meeting officials of Orissa State Pollution Control Board, Posco and Paradip Port Trust.