Green Tribunal suspends clearance to Posco project

Aesha Datta | | Updated on: Mar 12, 2018

BL30_POSCO | Photo Credit: Ashoke Chakrabarty

The Rs 50,000-crore steel plant of the South Korean giant Posco in Odisha has hit a snag after the National Green Tribunal on Friday “suspended” clearance to the project.

The Tribunal has asked the Environment Ministry to review the project afresh.

It pointed out that while the memorandum of understanding between the Odisha Government and Posco was for 12 million tonnes of steel per annum (mtpa), the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) was only for 4 mpta .

“MoEF shall take a policy decision that in large projects like Posco where MoUs are signed for large capacities and upscaling is to be done within a few years, the EIA right from the beginning, should be assessed for the full capacity and environment clearance (EC) granted on this basis,” the Tribunal said.

On the claim of Posco that the project is of zero discharge, the Tribunal said, “A closer look reveals that something like 47 cubic metre per hour of wastewater is to be discharged into the sea.”

Being a serious environmental concern, how such issue can be left to be decided in future by the Ministry, the Tribunal sought to know.

“This should have been, in fact, incorporated at the time of EIA report itself – otherwise it is in all probability likely to cause great environmental threat,” it said.

The Tribunal also directed the Ministry to attach specific conditions to be followed by Posco in a time-bound manner.

Water requirement

On the issue of water requirement for the project, the Tribunal said the Ministry shall consider the feasibility of insisting upon every major industry that requires large quantity of water to have creation of its own water resource facility rather than using/ diverting the water that is being meant for drinking/ irrigation purposes.

"We are all aware that ... the drinking water is becoming scarce commodity and at every level precaution needs to be taken for protecting the drinking water supply to human habitation and preventing from utilizing such water for industrial use,” the green body noted.

The Ministry could ask for avoiding utilisation of water meant for Cuttack city.


Published on March 30, 2012
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