While giving conditional clearance to the INR 52,000 crore project on January 31, the Centre had sought written assurance from the state government on the implementation of the FRA before signing the proposal for diversion of forest land for the South Korean steel major's project.
Chief Secretary Mr BK Patnaik had earlier told media that the state government would positively submit its assurance on the FRA to the Centre by February end. However, the state government failed to meet the deadline due to some fresh claims made by local villagers of Dhinkia and Govindpur gram panchayat.
Aurobind Behera forest secretary said that "We are looking into the fresh claims to be settled under FRA. The state government will soon give its reply to the Centre regarding the FRA implementation.”
Of the 4,004 acres of land demarcated for POSCO project, about 2,900 acre falls under the category of forest land.
A forest and environment department official said that "The forest land must be converted into non-forest land before it is handed to the company for setting up the mega steel plant.”
Meanwhile, the move of the project opponents have put the state government in a fix after the people of Dhinkia and Govindpur passed resolutions opposing the POSCO project at separately held Palli Sabhas on February 21 and 23.
Dhinkia gram panchayat sarpanch Sisir Mohapatra said that "The Palli Sabhas held in Dinkia and Govindpur passed resolutions opposing POSCO project. People facing displacement have made fresh claim under the FRA.”