Pohang Steel Company (Posco) of South Korea has received the much-awaited Stage II forest diversion clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) for its Rs 54,000-crore, 12-million tpa integrated steel project in Orissa.
According to sources, the Ministry permitted diversion of 1,253.225 hectares of forest land for Posco India to set up an integrated steel plant and a captive port. The company requires a total of 5,525 acres, of which 4,004.19 acres is needed for the project site and the balance for the township at Paradeep in Orissa. Of this 4,004.19 acres, 437.66 acres is private land, 607.74 acres is non-forest government land, and 2,958.79 acres is state forest land.
The Centre had granted the Stage I environmental clearance to Posco India in October 2008.
Posco requires around 4,004.19 acres for its project in Jagastsinghpur district of Orissa. Of this, 2,958 acres was marked as village forest and protected forest in state government records. Though the company signed an MoU with the state in June 2005, the latter has not been able to procure any land due to public opposition since much of the area was forest land and needed to be diverted for non-forest use.