Bhushan Steel Limited’s integrated steel project in Dhenkanal and Angul district of Orissa has hit a wall. The state forest department has ordered district collectors to stop all activities over the 61.48 hectares of forest land on which the company has built its plant. The forest department has moved against the project following a letter from the Assistant Inspector General of Forests to the state on December 30, 2013.
The divisional forest officer, Dhenkanal had reported that the company had constructed over 61.48 hectare of forest land violating FC Act, 1980 though the final approval order (Nov 13, 2006) was kept in abeyance by the ministry of environment.
The ministry in its letter had asked the State to initiate disciplinary proceedings against forest department officials who failed to restrain the company from utilising the forest land till it procured final approval under the Forest Conservation Act. The forest department has asked the district collectors to take action against Bhushans under Indian Forest Act, 1927 or relevant local Forest Act. The forestland on which the construction was done belong to the revenue and disaster management department.
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests JD Sharma said the MoEF order on Bhushans is being complied with. Dhenkanal collector Roopa Sahoo, however, said the state government is yet to take a call on that.