The Odisha government on Tuesday said that it would examine the National Green Tribunal’s latest order on the Posco steel project and decide its future course of action subsequently.
“We have not yet received the green tribunal’s order. We will take a decision on future course of action after going through the order”, chief secretary Bijoy Patnaik told the reporters.
The tribunal in its order, on Tuesday, had directed the Odisha government to stop cutting trees immediately at the site of the South Korean major Posco’s steel project in coastal Jagatsinghpur district.
The tribunal has also sent notices to the state and union governments as well as the private sector foreign steel company.
The tribunal’s order was in response to a petition filed by Odisha based activist, Prafulla Samantaray. In his petition, the activist had stated that the tree cutting process was going on at the Posco site by the Jagatsinghpur district administration in violation of the green laws. The cutting of tree was affecting the local environment and ecology.
“The green tribunal has stayed the tree cutting process and notices have been served to government of Odisha, Government of India as well as Posco”, Samantaray told Deccan Herald. The Jagatsinghpur district administration has already acquired majority of the 2700 acres of land required for the first phase of the multi crore steel project. In the acquired land, about one and half lakh trees had already been chopped off. If sources in the district administration are to be believed, about two lakh more trees are still need to be cut.
The Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti, the anti-project organisation spearheading the local villagers’ agitation against the mega steel plant has welcomed the green tribunal’s order.