Posco’s captive mine : State government expedites matters

OST Bureau

Bhubaneswar, Jan 10 :

A day after the green clearance by Union Ministry of Environment and Forest to the Posco steel plant project, the state government on Friday decided to send all the clarifications and details that the Centre had asked for with regard to the grant of Prospecting Licence for Khandadhar mines to the South Korean company.

The clarifications , which were held back so far, will be sent to the Centre in a day or two, an official of the Steel & Mines department said adding, the chief minister had already given his nod for this.

The Odisha government had first recommended the grant of PL to Posco India to the government of India in 2006. The Centre had returned the recommendation back to the state government in the same year and directed it to conduct hearing of all the applicants for Khandadhar mines and submit its recommendation again.

The state government then took two and half years to complete the hearing of all the applicants and  recommended the same in favour of Posco to the Centre once again in 2009.

However, this was shot down by the High Court in 2010.

Three years later, the Supreme Court of India set aside the Odisha High Court order on Khandadhar mines and asked the Centre to take a final decision on allotment of the said mines in May last year.

As per the procedures under MMDR Act, it was to be reviewed and approved by the Central government. But in order that the final PL is granted, the Centre had sought certain clarifications from the state government which, for reasons not known, had chosen not to respond to the request until now.



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