Six years and several reversals after it signed the initial memorandum of understanding, the government has accorded its “final approval” to South Korean steel giant Posco’s $12 billion project in Orissa. Hopefully, the order will live up to its moniker.
There are encouraging signs. In approving the project on Monday, environment minister Jairam Ramesh stressed “faith and trust in what the state government says”. That’s a welcome, though rare, bow to India’s federal structure. He also told Mint that the approval was the “greenest of green” signals to the project. This is despite added riders—like a mandate for Posco to regenerate an equal amount of forest area elsewhere in the state.
The problem is that for every step forward that Posco takes, it seems to be pushed back by two. If the past is proof, even the greenest signal can face transmission problems.