The Dhamara port project in Orissa has got a fresh jolt with over 20 politicians including members of the Parliamentary Standing Committee for Environment and Forests urging the Union minister for environment and forests to take action against the port construction work, which they felt is going on in violation of the Forest Conservation Act.
The port project is being developed at Dhamara in Bhadrak district by Dhamara Port Company Limited (DPCL), a 50:50 joint venture between Tata Steel and L&T.
According to a release issued by Greenpeace, these politicians cutting across party lines, have written letters to Jairam Ramesh, the Union minister for environment and forests on the matter.
In their letters, they have called for immediate action by the Union ministry of environment forest (MoEF) to ensure that the Forest Conservation Act is upheld and violations cease immediately.
“The entire Dhamra port area is protected forest land and permission for construction of the port was never sought from the Centre, as is required by the Forest Conservation Act, 1980. This amounts to a massive legal violation which has gone unpunished for several years”, the release alleged.
“It has been over eight months since the Supreme Court sought a response from the government on this violation, yet the environment ministry has remained silent”, Sanjiv Gopal, campaign manager (oceans), Greenpeace India said in a release.
Other diginatories which are attending the meeting include heads of the PSUs and state energy secretaries
It also recommended that the state should focus on raising revenue without widening the tax net and simplifying the tax procedures