The anti-Posco brigade has cheered the notification of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) asking both Government of India and the Oidsha government to stop cutting of trees at the project site on environmental grounds.

But the tribunal order failed to impact land acquisition drive for the mega steel project as the district administration axed about 15,000 trees in Gobindpur village and dismantled about 350 betel vines. Opposing the move, activists under the banner of Posco Pratirodha Sangram Samiti (PPSS) have intensified their stir at Patana village.

Surjit Das, additional district magistrate, Paradip said, “We are yet to receive any directive from the green tribunal to stop cutting of trees on environmental grounds. Today, we dismantled three betel vines including two new vines. There is no question of stopping dismantling of betel vines and trench cutting in Posco site even after receiving the notification from the tribunal because restriction is being imposed to stop cutting of trees.”

Noted environmentalist and state president of Lok Janshakti Abhiyaan Prafulla Samantray had sought the intervention of NGT to stop alleged illegal axing of trees at the Posco site on environmental grounds.

Samantray has criticised the state government and Jagatsinghpur district administration for dismantling betel vines forcibly and felling trees by violating the verdict of NGT. He threatened to file case against errant officials if they axe trees forcibly after receipt of the notification.

Courtesy: Business Standard