The Caption was: Orissa Government should explain how Stemcor completed 95% of its Project sans Entitlement

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

On January 3, 2013, I had raised an issue of immense public importance in these pages under the Caption: Orissa Government should explain how Stemcor completed 95% of its Project sans Entitlement.

Orissa Government has not yet come up with the explanation; but the fellows shying at the issue have been trying through unidentifiable front men to jockey the matter into wrong tracks.

Orissa Government has suppressed the vital fact that BRPL, which it has pledged to help consume people’s electricity and to flume away the water of Baitarani for a purpose that will not serve Orissa, comes from a foreign womb called Stemcor.

So the State Government that had signed the MoU with BRPL on March 15, 2007 had done so by deliberately suppressing the fact that a foreign firm will be the end beneficiary thereof, not Orissa.

In our view this is a serious offense against the people of Orissa committed by the government of Orissa.

This is what I had exposed in my article of January 3, 2013.

mouThe MoU was in force for two years. This means, it was no more in existence on March 16, 2009.
But BRPL, the cover of Stemcor, has told the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that it stopped work on intervention by the Forest Ranger on June 27, 2011 by which date, it has confessed, approximately 95% of the Project was complete.

This confession establishes that after collapse of the MoU on March 15, 2009, the company was carrying out the construction work for more than two years and three months till June 27, 2011. This was blatantly illegal.

The State Government, by whose help, the foreign company has, under a cover, resorted to this blatant illegality, owes an explanation to the people of Orissa as on how this illegality had been carried out so long a period under its nose.

This is what I had stressed in my article of January 3, 2013.

The cover of the foreign company has also confessed before the NGT that the “Central Government granted Stage-1 forest clearance on 02.11.2011 for the beneficiation plant and pipeline. The State-2 clearance for the beneficiation plant was granted on 09.07.2012 and the State-2 clearance for the pipeline was granted on 17.08.2012”.

It makes it clear that at least one year before getting this clearance, though it is the minimum prerequisite to commencement of construction of an industry in a forest belt, the company had completed approximately 95% of its project.

The question is: how could it? And why the Government did not stop this illegality?

I had raised this question in my article of January 3, 2013.

But the most intriguing offense glares at Orissa in the form of the State government binding the Governor to an agreement with the cover on October 14, 2009 to supply it 4.70 cusecs of water from Baitarani keeping him in dark about the requirement of water by the riparian people, even though by that date the validity of the MoU had lapsed and the company had not applied for clearance under the Forest (Conservation) Act for diversion of forest lands for non-forest use in setting up the beneficiation and construction of pipelines.

How this illegality was allowed to happen?

When the Government is yet to answer these questions, I have received comments from a couple of readers who feel no qualms in using obnoxious words against exposure of these crimes.

This is again a serious offense against the State.

It would be better for the Chief Minister to rise to the occasion and let the people know how and why his administration is unable to stop these offenses.

As regards the comments I have received, I am keeping them buried, as precious news space need not be spent on luxuries of irrelevance and lobbying.

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