The Orissa government, which had recently faced the ire of the Union ministry of environment & forests (MoEF) for ignoring palli sabha resolutions in the Posco affected villages, has now asked the Jagatsinghpur district administration to examine the resolutions.
"We have asked the Jagatsinghpur district administration to examine the reolution of the palli sabha, which the anti-Posco outfit Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) claims to have conducted in the project affected villages of Dhinkia and Gobindpur in February 21 and 23, this year. The district administration will prepare a report which will be examined by the department of tribal affairs and later by our department”, said a top official of the state forest & environment department.
Meanwhile, the state industries minister Raghunath Mohanty has clarified that there is no uncertainty surrounding the Posco project and the project would definitely come up in the state.
"There is no uncertainty surrounding the Posco project and the project would undoubtedly come up in Orissa. The concern raised by the Union environment minister Jairam Ramesh relating to palli sabha resolutions is being examined by the state forest department. Officially, no palli sabhas were conducted contrary to the claims of PPSS”, Mohanty told mediapersons here.
In its report submitted recently to the MoEF on compliance with Forest Rights Act (FRA)-2006 at the Posco site, the state government had categorically stated that the palli sabhas conducted by PPSS were not valid as they were not convened by the panchayat secretary and the proceedings were not recorded.
It may be noted that in a note posted on the site of MoEF on last Thursday, Ramesh had urged the state government to dispose off the resolutions of these two palli sabhas by an appropriate authority in accordance with the FRA-2006.
He had warned that ignoring these two palli sabha resolutions and not allowing them to be subject to a due process of law as enshrined in the FRA-2006 would tantamount to violating the very essence of this legislation passed unanimously and with acclaim by the Parliament.
PPSS, the organization spearheading the anti-Posco movement in the state, had raised its concerns relating to the presence of OTFD at the Posco project site and reluctance of the locals to allow diversion of forest land for the project through an e-mail to Union minister for environment & forests.
Subsequently, Ramesh had shot off a letter to Orissa Chief Minister on last Monday, stating that the state government should look into the allegations of PPSS. He had further stated that it is the state government's responsibility to ensure implementation of FRA at the Posco site.