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According to Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, it is up to the Orissa government to meet legal regulations before he can approve the Posco steel project. He said that the ball was now in the government’s court.
Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said that the steel project was essential for both the state and the country as a whole. In reply to Ramesh’s demand for legal compliance, the state government has already made it clear that there aren’t any tribals or traditional forest dwellers in the area designated as the Posco project site.
However, those who oppose the new steel project are insisting that there are in fact forest dwellers in the region that will be affected, so before he moves forward, Ramesh wants the local government to properly assess the situation regarding these accusations.
In reaction to the accusations, Patnaik said, “I’ll be meeting the Union minister tomorrow evening. We will have discussions on various issues concerning the state… The Posco project is the biggest FDI (foreign direct investment proposal) in the country. The project will bring a great deal of revenue not just for Orissa but for the whole country and will certainly create a lot of jobs, both direct and indirect”.