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Earmark green areas, conserve turtles, Jairam Ramesh tells POSCO

Monday, 31 January 2011 - 8:09pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI
The environment minister said a reputed institute will carry out sustainability study of water requirement for the ultimate steel production capacity of 12 million tonnes per year.

Earmarking 25% of the project area as green area and detailed plans for regeneration of mangroves and turtle conservation are among the 60 additional conditions that have been set for POSCO for its steel-cum-captive power plant and a minor port in Orissa.

The conditions were outlined in the conditional clearance given by environment minister Jairam Ramesh for the multi-billion dollar project that was kept on hold for the past few months.

He set 28 additional conditions for the steel-cum-captive power plant while the captive port must meet 32 addtional conditions.

Ramesh, who "carefully considered" the recommendations of the committees appointed to examine green issues, said the National Ambient Air Quality Standards issued by the ministry of environment and forests will be followed while setting up the steel-cum-captive power plant.

The minister said a reputed institute will carry out sustainability study of water requirement for the ultimate steel production capacity of 12 million tonnes per year.

"Should there be a shortfall of water at the Jobra Barrage for irrigation purposes, the company will voluntarily sacrifice water intake for facilitating irrigation."

One of the most significant conditions for setting up the steel-cum-captive power plant is that "the total green area within the plant will be 25% of its area as per the guidelines of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB)."

The ministry also directed the company to submit its "risk and disaster management plans due to plant operation and natural hazards such as floods, cyclones and earthquakes."

In his 32 additional conditions for setting up the captive minor port, the minister also made it clear that "no construction" would be allowed in the high erosion zone.

Ramesh, who stated late last month that no new infrastructure projects will be allowed in the high erosion coastal zone in the country, also emphasised that "no construction shall be undertaken" in such places identified by the Institute of Ocean Management.

"Shoreline protection measures to counter erosion on the northern side of north breakwater shall be undertaken," he said.

"The shoreline shall be protected to ensure that no further erosion occurs on the northern side of the Northern Breakwater up to Paradip port," he said.

The minister directed POSCO to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Institute Of Oceanography (NIO) which will include works relating to monitoring of the shoreline, sand bypass system, beach nourishment and any other activity that has an impact along the coast/coastal waters.

"The Institiute for Ocean Management will monitor the progress periodically on behalf of the environment ministry," the minister said.

Directing the company to submit detailed Marine Environment Conservation Plan including mangrove regeneration and conservation of turtles and horse shoe crabs, Ramesh said, "The implementation of conservation plan should start before commencing of construction of port."


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