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POSCO documents on MoEF Website

POSCO: Relevant  Documents on MoEF Website 

For more documents see www.moef.nic.in

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Written by janjagriti

October 19, 2010 at 5:09 am

Posted in Official Documents

Conflict of interest: Gupta was environment secy when Posco was cleared Read more: Conflict of interest: Gupta was environment secy when Posco was cleared

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Nitin Sethi, TNN, Oct 19, 2010, 04.34am IST

NEW DELHI: Three of four members on the Meena Gupta committee have written to environment and forests minister Jairam Ramesh that differences between them and the chairperson may have arisen as Gupta was a retired IAS officer from Orissa cadre who had also been environment secretary at the Centre.

In a letter jointly despatched by retired forest officer Devendra Pandey, researcher Urmila Pingle and civil rights lawyer V Suresh, the three have virtually suggested a conflict of interest in Gupta’s role. They put their reservations on Gupta’s dissenting views on record a day before submitting their report on Posco separately.

Gupta had served as secretary, environment and forests, when environmental clearance was given to Posco under the Environment Protection Act. Gupta in her report noted the committee was not mandated to review the legality of clearances but only whether government and the South Korean company had followed conditions laid down in the permissions.

The three members differed, saying they were indeed authorised to investigate if the project had been pursued in compliance of green laws, including the manner in which green clearances were granted.

The three noted in the letter to the minister that they were unanimous in their view and the differences between them and the chair were fundamental in nature and could not be resolved despite their best efforts.

In the majority report, they have called the entire process of granting environmental clearances as farcical and illegal and recommended that it be revoked, which would imply scrapping the project as it stands today. Gupta, on the other hand, has recommended the project be allowed to continue and additional conditions be imposed in light of lacunae found by her.

Gupta’s report has tried to, just as Ramesh did on Monday, play down differences with the other three. She has stated, “On some of the issues, there was agreement on what the conclusion should be, but not on the reasons leading to the conclusion.”

While releasing the two reports, Ramesh too said the difference was merely of interpretation of the facts and that the two reports were otherwise aligned. The three members later met the minister to argue that differences did not seem amenable to resolution.

The release of the report by the minister was also marred by an unpleasant moment with one of the three members openly opposing the `gag order’ by the minister on the committee after submission of the report.

Sources said the committee members had earlier raised concerns about the possible conflict of interest in having Gupta as chair when she had been the senior most bureaucrat in the environment ministry at the time Posco was granted a clearance.

Read more: Conflict of interest: Gupta was environment secy when Posco was cleared – The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Conflict-of-interest-Gupta-was-environment-secy-when-Posco-was-cleared/articleshow/6770917.cms#ixzz12mGayb1u

Written by janjagriti

October 19, 2010 at 5:01 am

Posted in News

PPSS Statement on MoEF Committee Report

POSCO PRATIRODH SANGRAM SAMITI

Gadkujang, Nuagaon, Dhinkia Gram Panchayats, Erasama Block, Jagatsinghpur District, Orissa

MAJORITY OF POSCO ENQUIRY COMMITTEE CONFIRMS THAT POSCO PROJECT IS ILLEGAL

Today, three of the four members of the committee set up by the Ministry of Environment and Forests confirmed that the POSCO project is illegal and that all of its clearances were obtained by breaking the law. The Committee has also found that the project has potentially very dangerous impacts on issues like water, air pollution, and the coastline, and none of this was ever properly evaluated. After a detailed discussion of the huge number of criminal actions by the company and the Orissa government, the Committee says (in the conclusion of the report):

“The POSCO project is an example of how a mirage of “development” can be used in an attempt to bypass the law. Such attempts, if allowed to succeed, will result in neither development nor environmental protection, but merely in profiteering. This will cause immeasurable harm to the nation and to the rule of law and justice in our society.”

We particularly draw attention to the fact that the majority found that:

• The Orissa government and the Central government have violated the Forest Rights Act and tried to grab forest land that belongs to the people. This is the second official committee that has reached this conclusion.

• The project could cause environmental devastation particularly in regard to water, air pollution, coastal damage, danger of industrial disasters in case of cyclones, etc., all of which was ignored by the government.

• POSCO suppressed facts and tried to get around the requirements of law.

• The environmental, forest and coastal regulation clearances obtained by the project were all illegal and should all be revoked.

• The forest clearance can only be given subject to the recognition of rights and the consent of the gram sabha under the Forest Rights Act.

Those who keep talking of the POSCO project as one of “national importance” should answer these questions: would any other country in the world tolerate such violations of their law? Would South Korea tolerate an Indian company grabbing their land, breaking their laws and threatening to cause an environmental disaster? Is this what development means – robbing thousands of their lands and threatening lakhs with water shortage and other catastrophes?

As for the dissenting report of Ms. Meena Gupta, her position reflects her own interests. She was the Secretary that granted the environment clearance, and asking her to review it is like asking a thief to don a police uniform. Naturally she has said that all the clearances should continue. Her report is full of distortions, such as claiming that there are only 700 families in the area (when over 4,000 will lose their lands and/or homes). She tries to cover up crimes by saying that it does not

matter if the law was broken; all that is required is to impose some additional “conditions.”

We call upon the Central government to heed the voice of the people and the findings of the majority report, withdraw all clearances and cancel this unjust, illegal and brutal project.

Abhay Sahoo, Chairperson, PPSS

Written by janjagriti

October 19, 2010 at 4:52 am

Posted in News