The National Green Tribunal (NGT) , which had suspended the environment clearance for Posco's proposed steel plant near Paradip in March last year, will take up final hearing on the matter on August 12.
"The court listened carefully to the arguments today. We hope the matter will be finalised on August 12, when the last hearing will take place", said Pinaki Mishra, lawyer for Posco-India.
On March 30, 2012, the NGT suspended the environmental clearance, which was challenged by Prafulla Samantray, a green activist. The court had pulled up the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) for issuing the order following a faulty procedure.
The original environment clearances for the integrated steel plant of Posco and its captive port were granted in 2007, but protests from green activists and local residents had led to formation of a four-member review committee by the government in 2010.
The panel delivered a split report, with three members finding the clearances illegal, while chairperson Meena Gupta recommended additional studies. The government ignored most of the majority report, partially accepted Gupta's report, and issued an order in January 2011 upholding the clearances, with 60 conditions to be fulfilled by the company.
However, this clearance of MoEF was later suspended by the Tribunal, based on a case filed by Samantray.