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Panel on Posco project to submit report by Oct 11

The panel formed by the Ministry of Environment and Forests and led by former union environment secretary Meena Gupta, was earlier to submit its report in August.

October 7, 2010 | Updated 12:45 IST

A committee constituted to look into environmental issues involving steel giant Posco's Rs 54,000-crore project in Orissa will submit its report on October 11.

"The panel has almost finalised its report and will submit it to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) on October 11. It will then be discussed by the Forest Appraisal Committee," Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh told PTI here.

The panel, led by former union environment secretary Meena Gupta, was earlier 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 was extended till this month end.

The panel has reviewed all approvals granted to the Korea-based steel giant at various government levels over the last five years.

It also visited 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.

The panel also enquired about the environment impact assessment study done for the project.

On August 5, MoEF while setting up the Gupta panel, had issued an order banning acquisition of forest land for Posco's proposed plant, after a panel headed by N C Saxena had made an interim report pointing to violation of the Forest Rights Act.

The Saxena committee had questioned that the process to give land rights to the original forest dwellers had not gone beyond the initial stages.

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