Orissa to take appropriate action on environment minister’s order on Posco

Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti, which had been opposing the project since the South Korean steel major inked MoU with the state government in 2005, however, said it would democratically oppose the steel plant as earlier and that locals are ‘unhappy’ over final approval of forest diversion for the project

Bhubaneswar: Orissa government today said it would take ‘appropriate action’ on the Posco project after receiving the order of Union ministry of environment and forest (MoEF) which accorded final approval for forest land diversion for the proposed mage steel unit, reports PTI.

“We are yet to receive the order. We have just learnt from the media that such an order has been passed. When we receive the order, appropriate action will be taken,” chief minister Naveen Patnaik told reporters here.

Orissa agriculture minister Damodar Rout, MLA from the proposed plant site area for about 35 years, welcomed the MoEF order saying it would help in setting up the Rs52,000 crore project near Paradip in Jagatsinghpur district.

“Union environment minister Jairam Ramesh’s two-day visit to Orissa on 29th and 30th April had been beneficial for the state and the Posco project. During his visit, Mr Ramesh could realise that some people are deliberately opposing the project without any reason,” he said.

Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS), which had been opposing the project since the South Korean steel major inked MoU with the state government in 2005, however, said it would democratically oppose the steel plant as earlier and that locals are ‘unhappy’ over final approval of forest diversion for the project.

“PPSS also will not hesitate to take the matter to the court of law as we feel that people living in proposed plant site villages are deprived of their rights under FRA, 2006,” PPSS president Abhay Sahu told PTI.

The CPI-backed outfit said it would soon start a ‘satyagrah’ at Balitutha, the entry point to proposed plant site area, opposing the project.

The Centre accorded the final approval of forest diversion over 1253 hectare (about 2900 acre) of land from among the 4,004 acre of total land demarcated to house the mega steel plant near Paradip in Jagatsinghpur district.

Mr Ramesh had on 14th April put on hold the forest land diversion proposed of the state government after he received claims by PPSS.

Clearing the decks for the biggest foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country, Mr Ramesh noted that the environment and forest clearance for the $12-billion Posco project had generated huge interest both in India and abroad.

The minister said the project itself has “considerable economic, technological and strategic significance” for both the state and the country.

Maintaining that the laws on environment and forests must be implemented seriously, he said, “In this case, the 60 conditions imposed as part of my decision of 31 January 2011, provide a package of measures to ensure that the project will not be detrimental from an ecological and local livelihoods points of view.”

“I would expect both the state and Posco to be extra-sensitive on this score,” Mr Ramesh said.

The minister, who visited Orissa last week and held discussions with chief minister Naveen Patnaik on this issue, said he opted to repose trust in what the state government has so categorically asserted.

“Faith and trust in what the state government says is an essential pillar of cooperative federalism,” Mr Ramesh said recalling the state government’s argument that the “two supposed palli sabha resolutions” he received were not valid documents in terms of mandatory provisions of law under the Orissa Grama Panchayat Act, 1964 and Forest Rights Act, 2006.

The minister said he had received two ‘palli sabha’ (village council) resolutions of Dhinkia dated 21 February 2011 and of Gobindpur dated 23rd February from Posco Pratirodha Sangram Samiti, the opponents of the project, and he had referred the matter back to the state government.

In its reply on 29th April, the state government informed the minister that the two “resolutions” were “fake ones” and stringent action for violation of provisions of Orissa Grama Panchayat Act, 1964, would be taken against Sisir Mohaptra, sarpanch (headman) Dhinkia.

The state government alleged that the sarpanch had “overstepped the jurisdiction vested in him and misutilised his official position” to serve the interest of Posco Pratirodha Sangram Samiti of which he is the secretary.

The minister said he expects that the Orissa government would “immediately pursue action” against the sarpanch for what it has categorically said are “fraudulent” acts and “if no action is taken forthwith, I believe that the state government’s arguments will be called into serious question.”

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Six core sectors grow by 7.4% in March

For the 2010-11 fiscal, the key infrastructure sectors-with a weight of 26.7% in the overall Index of Industrial Production (IIP)-expanded by 5.9%, as against 5.5% in the previous year

New Delhi: Led by crude oil and finished steel, the output of the six core infrastructure industries grew by 7.4% in March 2011, an improvement from the 6.8% expansion clocked a year ago, reports PTI.

For the 2010-11 fiscal, the key infrastructure sectors-with a weight of 26.7% in the overall Index of Industrial Production (IIP)-expanded by 5.9%, as against 5.5% in the previous year.

According to provisional data released today, crude oil production topped the table with growth of 12.1% in March, compared to 3.5% expansion in the corresponding year-ago period.

Petroleum refinery products registered a growth of 8.5% in March, a complete turnaround in comparison to the same month last year, when output had contracted by 1.1%.

Growth in electricity and cement production slowed down marginally in the reporting period to 7.6% and 6.5% respectively from 7.9% and 7.8% in the previous year.

Finished steel production also showed an improvement from 7.7% to 9.9% in March.

However, in stark contrast, coal output contracted by 1.2% in March 2011, compared to 8% expansion in the corresponding year-ago period.

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Spice Mobility to complete Phase-I of switch by September 2011

According to Dr BK Modi, chairman, Spice Mobility, mobile Internet can enable India to achieve double digit GDP growth rate by capitalising on the young population of the country

Spice Mobility has announced the switch to being a technology company focused on the Mobile Internet space. The company also unveiled the strategic roadmap to complete the first phase of the switch by September 2011.

Dr BK Modi, chairman, Spice Mobility, said, "India is already one of the two fastest growing large economies in the world and can very well become the largest economy. Mobile Internet can enable India to achieve double digit GDP growth rate by capitalising on the young population of the country."
"It is our duty to support the Indian government in making the country Internet literate. Our businesses have continued to lead the country's move from office automation in 1980s to Internet revolution in 1990 to mobile telephony revolution in 1995 and now the digital highway with mobile Internet," he added.

The Switch will leverage Spice groups businesses across sectors and geographies to catapult the historically neglected i2i economies in to emerging digital economies with Mobile Internet. We already have other subsidiary and associate companies in the i2i region (Ivory coast to Indonesia) and it is our intention to bring all of them under one fold. We will thus become a true multinational operating across Africa, Middle East, Indian subcontinent and South-East Asia. This will also help double Spice group revenues in the next two years.

India's move to 830 million mobile phones subscribers far out-stripping the PC industry is a harbinger of the paradigm shift in the developing nations of the world. Sectors ranging from finance, education, entertainment and healthcare will evolve in to mobile Internet businesses. For the last two years Spice Mobility has been putting together the building blocks to leverage this paradigm shift.

The roadmap for the switch to being the Mobile Internet company includes having a global supply chain for sourcing efficiencies and R&D support.

Spice devices, already enjoys 22% market share in some of the northern states. To replicate this success across the country Spice is creating seven clusters. This will give the required focus to meet the regions business requirements and be closer to the customers.

In the late afternoon, shares of Spice Mobility were trading 0.74% down at Rs100 on the Bombay Stock Exchange.

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COMMENTS

Toby

6 years ago

The roadmap for the switch to being a mobile Internet company includes having a global supply chain for sourcing efficiencies and R&D support. The company is close to buying Indonesia-based Nexian for which the company has already raised $200 million.

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