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25 Mar 2011

Praful Bidwai, Frontline

Scorching the Earth [India]

…Construction of the Rs.54,000-crore steel plant, its captive power unit and private port can brazenly proceed to devour forests and farmland, displace vulnerable people, steal their water, poison their environment, wreck farmers' livelihoods, and throw out from forests thousands who have lived there for centuries…Posco will pay a laughably trivial price for this huge cornucopia extracted by the State on the backs of poor people…Jairam Ramesh...has made an art out of raising objections to dubious projects and then making a U-turn by clearing them on bogus conditions that ultimately pamper promoters. Recent examples are: Jaitapur, Lavasa township and Navi Mumbai airport in Maharashtra, Polavaram in Andhra Pradesh, Vedanta's refinery in Orissa, and the latest CRZ notification.