Priyadarshi Siddhanta / PTI
New Delhi: The government has granted environmental clearance to South Korean steel giant Posco’s 12 million integrated steel project in Orissa, removing a major roadblock in the way of the Rs52,000-crore plant.
The Korean steel giant had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Orissa government in June 2005 pledging an investment of Rs52,000 crore for setting up the plant.
“The project authorities shall use Rs1,525 crore for environmental pollution control measures to implement the conditions stipulated by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MOEF) as well as the state government. The funds shall not be diverted for any other purpose,” a source quoted the Environment and Forests Ministry as saying, while granting clearance.
The clearance has been granted to the world’s third largest steel manufacturer for installing furnaces using FINEX technology only and on the condition that gaseous emissions from its various units should strictly conform to load/mass based standards notified by the government.
Earlier in April, the MOEF had granted its approval under Coastal Regulation Zone to the Korean steel giant’s proposal to set up a captive port at Jatadhari at a cost of Rs17,113 crore.
The government has made it clear that the Korean steel giant must implement its relief and rehabilitation plan in a time-bound manner and report compliance to the state, sources said.
The company will have to relocate 471 families from none villages.
The Ministry has also made it clear that the steel maker’s total water requirement should not exceed 10 MGD and it must develop surface water harvesting structures to store rainwater for utilising it in lean season.
The government has also mandated the steel maker to install Electrostatic Prepitator for Basic Oxygen Furnace to control secondary emissions as per the guidelines of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), sources said.
Besides, the steel giant will have to establish a green belt in at least 25% of the total project area to mitigate the effects of air emissions as per the CPCB norms and that it would have to obtain approval for the forest land under the Forest (Conservation) Act 1980 prior to the commencement of the construction work at site, they said.
The government has made it clear that Posco will have to secure prior approval of the MOEF before carrying out expansions or modifications within the plant, sources said and pointed out that the steel giant has been asked to set up at least four ambient air-quality monitoring stations and submit the gathered data on the same to the MOEF’s office in Bhubaneswar.
“The project proponent shall comply with all environment protection measures and safeguards recommended in the Environment Impact Assessment report,” a source quoted the Ministry as saying.