Posco's troubled steel plant in Orissa may have hit yet another roadblock, as the Orissa high court on Friday issued notices to the state and central governments and Posco India on a public interest litigation (PIL) alleging illegal forest clearance after final permission was granted to Posco for its plant in Jagatsinghpur district.
A division bench of chief justice V Gopal Gowda and justice B N Mohapatra issued the notices after preliminary hearing on the PIL and adjourned the matter for further hearing on 25 May.
Meanwhile, renewed land acquisition for the project has got off to a shaky start.
Ending a nine-month hiatus, the Orissa government on Wednesday resumed the acquisition process, obtaining around 1.5 acres from the possession of 11 betel vine farmers.
However, by Friday, agitators had set up a roadblock, while many villagers whose land was to be acquired did not turn up for identification.
The PIL has been filed by Nishakar Khatua and five others of Gobindapur village under Dhinkia panchayat of Jagatsinghpur district, where the proposed 12 million tonnes per annum steel plant is proposed to be set up.
They have stated that the forest clearance granted to the company has been done contrary to the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act of 2006.
Challenging several central and state government circulars and orders in favour of Posco, the petitioners have also questioned the actions of different departments of the Orissa government in the matter.