Steel plant project to lead to severe environmental consequences

Despite strong resistance from local communities and civil society in India, the project is being allowed to proceed, underscores FIAN

FIAN International has expressed its grave concern about ongoing violations and the severe environmental implications of an integrated steel plant project which is being allowed to proceed despite strong resistance from affected communities and civil society in Jagatsinhpur district of Odisha, India.

The integrated steel plant project, proposed by JSW Utkal Steel Ltd. (JUSL), comprises of several individual but interlinked components such as a 10 MTPA cement grinding unit, a 900 MW captive power plant, captive jetties with a handling capacity of 52 MTPA at Jatadhari creek, and a township spread over 2,215,000 sq. km. It is mandatory for those affected by the establishment of this project to be duly informed about the cumulative impact of each of the component in a comprehensive manner through a common Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Report- something that did not take place. In addition to this, the draft EIA report fails to assess the environmental implications of the residential township spread over 2,215,000 sq. km and of the water source of the project- Mahanadi River, which is already water stressed.

Other irregularities in the environmental clearance procedures, particularly regarding the likely implications of climate change-induced increase in powerful storms and cyclones, as well as the disregard to suggestions for afforestation, indicate that Government authorities are not abiding by their commitments under international climate and environment agreements, particularly the Paris Agreement.

FIAN International has requested the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, India to ensure that the procedure established by the relevant legal frameworks, namely the Environment Impact Assessment Notification of 2006 to acquire environment clearance, is followed in letter and in spirit and ensure that all of India’s commitments under Convention on Biological Diversity, the Paris Agreement on climate change, and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are prioritized and implemented.

Read the open letter with our requests here.

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