Report by Amarnath Parida; Paradip: A group of South Korean Posco officials who hoped to visit the proposed steel project site on 21st August with the high-level expert committee to study the impact of forest diversion were once again restricted by Kujang police not to enter into Posco site on yesterday.
The four-member high level expert committee led by its chairman Mr K.Ray Paul being constituted by Union Ministry Environment and Forest is slated to visit the proposed Posco project site on 21st August to study the impact of forest diversion & cutting of large numbers of trees in the coastal areas and local environment for establishment of the proposed Posco steel project. Other three members Dr R.Ramesh, Mr R.D.Singh and Dr S.R.Wate would also visit the Posco site on that day.
Additional district magistrate , Paradip Mr Surjit Das said ‘the committee would examine the steps to be taken on measures to protect the areas from cyclone and other natural calamities due to felling of lakhs of trees during the land acquisition for Posco project in last year.’ He added.
The four-member team is likely to visit Dhinkia Gobindpur, Nuagaon, Gadakujang, Polang, and Noliasahi and also interact with local people adding the team is expected to submit its report to MOEF by the directive of Supreme Court. In pursuance of the order of the Supreme Court, MOEF constituted the high-level expert committee to study the impact of forest diversion and cutting of large numbers of trees in the coastal areas during land acquisition.
This expert committee asked IDCO and district officials to accompany with them during visit to the Posco site to study the impact of forest diversion recently. On the other hand, director of Posco Company Mr K.H.Lee had requested Kujang police on last Friday to visit the Posco site on that day to accompany with the officials of expert committee.
Meanwhile, Kujang police have not allowed them to enter into Posco site as restriction has not yet lifted by the state government so far.
It may be recalled that following violence at Bose Callis’ point near the project site on last 13th December ‘ 2011, which had left one dead and 15 injured, Kujang police had imposed restrictions on the entry of foreign nationals in general and South Korean nationals in particular to the project site villages. The police had issued the order to avoid the possibility of Posco personnel facing public wrath in the area.