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Recommendations of Supreme Court Committee

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CENTRAL EMPOWERED COMMITTEE

REPORT (THIRD) IN IA NO.1413, 1414, 1426 AND OTHER RELATED IAs REGARDING THE CONSTITUTION AND COMPOSITION OF THE FOREST ADVISORY COMMITTEE (FAC)-PROPOSALS EXAMINED BY THE FAC

The CEC in its First Report dated 16.8.2007 has recommended that MoEF may be permitted to approve 20 proposals as per the recommendations made by the FAC in its meetings held on 27.9.2006 and 27.10.2006. thereafter, the CEC in its Second Report dated 28.9.2007 has recommended 35 development projects pertaining to the Government/Government Undertakings may also be permitted to be approved by the MoEF as per the recommendations made by the FAC.

2. This report deals with 13 proposals recommended for approval by the FAC in its meetings held between 17.5.2007 and 27.9.2007. In 12 of these cases the CEC has recommended that the proposals may be permitted to be approved by the MoEF as per the recommendations made by the FAC. In the case of the 13th proposal relating to M/s POSCO it has been recommended that the diversion of forest land be permitted after a view is taken on the consolidated proposal for the entire project including the linked mining project.

III. DIVERSION OF 1,253.255 HA OF FOREST LAND FOR ESTABLISHEMENT OF INTEGRATED STEEL PLAN AND CAPTIVE PORT BY M/S POSCO-INDIA PVT LTD IN ORISSA (F.NO.8-63/2007-FC)

6. This proposal has been recommended for approval by the FAC in its meeting held on 9th August, 2007. M/s POSCO-India Private Ltd., the wholly owned subsidiary of POSCO of Republic of South Korea plans to set up a 12 million tones integrated steel plan with a captive minor port in Orissa at a total cost of about Rs.55,000 crore in three phases. The first phase involves setting up of a 4 million tones steel plant with a captive minor port. The project involves displacement of 471 families in 8 villages. In addition, the forest area proposed for the project has a large number of encroachers settled therein.

7. The present proposal is diversion of 1,253.255 ha of forest land and will require felling of about 2.8. lakh trees. The present proposal covers forest land required for the integrated steel plan and captive minor port. The proposal for requirement of forest land for other linkages such as mines, railways, road, corridor etc are yet to be finalized.

8. The CEC is of the view that instead of piecemeal diversion of forest land for the project, it would be appropriate that the total forest land required for the project including for mining is assessed and a decision for diversion of forest land is taken for the entire forest land after considering the ecological importance of the area, number of trees required to be felled, adequacy and effectiveness of the R&R plan for the project affected persons and benefits accruing to the State. The diversion of forest land for the plant, without taking a decision for the linked uses particularly the mining project may not be in order.

9. Since the number of trees involved is about 2.8 lakhs, it would be in order that an independent expert committee including representatives of the NGOs should undertake a site visit in order to assess the impact of the cutting of such a large number of trees and suggest mitigative measures for the area, specially since there is a large dependence of local population on these forests. Subject to the compliance of the above observations the proposed diversion of foresee land may be permitted.

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Written by janjagriti

November 14, 2007 at 5:03 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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