Thursday, June 9, 2011

INDIA - Less than betel vines, more steel

After four years of legal battles and popular resistance, the South Korean giant Posco steel industry has been endorsed by the Indian government for its proposed steel plant over 1,000 hectares in Orissa [center-east India ]. Wednesday, May 18, the government took over the operations of recovery of land needed for construction in the destroying of betel vines of 11 villagers, wrote the Hindustan Times.

In October 2010, a panel of experts had favored the cancellation of permits granted to Posco in 2007 by the Orissa government for irregularities in the assessment of the environmental impact of the project. Jairam Ramesh, Minister of Environment of India, this time given the green light by adding sixty environmental clauses, including the regeneration of an area of forest the same size by Posco.

But according to the magazine Tehelka, the government inquiry into the project's impact on forests has been done in haste. "The project will uproot 280 000 trees and hundreds of families living in 8 different villages," says the weekly. The $ 12 billion [8.6 billion] invested represent the largest foreign investment since 1991, when to open economic borders of the country.

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