Last week, India’s Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) gave the final go-ahead to¬† the POSCO steel project in Orissa.
In an excoriating indictment of the decision, leading Indian environmental campaigner, Leo Saldanha, has laid bare the corrupt background to what he calls “the single largest steel-power-port-township and potentially mega mining project ever conceived in the history of India, and also the largest industrial project conceived in recent decades world wide”.
According to Saldanha: “A review of the Environment Ministry’s clearance records reveal that no other project has been accorded such hasty and favourable treatment as the POSCO project in recent times.”
It’s a view reflected in a statement by those directly-affected by the project, and from the National Forum for Forest Peoples and Forest Workers. They point out that the Forest Rights Act – which supposedly respects the democratic freedoms and land rights of millions of India’s poorest people – is now in jeopardy.
British-based investors in South Korean company POSCO include Barclays, Alliance Bernstein/Alliance Bernstein Global Wealth Management, Foreign and Colonial Investment Trust PLC, and Henderson Far East Income Limited: see