Tearing Through the Water: Evaluating the environmental and social consequences of POSCO project in Odisha, India

May 28, 2011

A Study prepared at the request of POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samithi, Jagatsinghpur District, Odisha


Leo F. Saldanha and Bhargavi S. Rao
Environment Support Group
Environmental, Social Justice and Governance Initiatives

Click here for full report [PDF, English, 2.59 MB] »


This study is an effort to deeply enquire into the circumstances and the basis for the approval of the mega POSCO project in Odisha. An array of historical evidence is surveyed to appreciate the rich biodiversity of the Jagatsinghpur region over time and the nature of relationships between communities and forests. On this basis, the environmental and social impact information of POSCO’s steel-power-port components is critiqued to expose the fact that regulatory agencies could not have known anything of the short term and long term impacts of the project on the basis of the information that the company supplied to them. This report exposes the disastrous consequences of locating this mega venture in a region known to be the amongst the most vulnerable to frequent cyclonic activity in the world.

While the potential devastating consequences of the mining components of the project is noted with grave concern, its impacts have not been reviewed here. This is because the Odisha Government has only indicated that the proposed mines are to be in the Kadadhar hills of Sundergarh district, but has not identified the exact location. This report also does not review the economic impacts of the project for this has been comprehensively achieved in the report of the Mining Zone Peoples’ Solidarity Group entitled “Iron and Steal: The POSCO-India Story”.

Finally, this is an effort to appreciate the strange nature of environmental decision making in India, as it is also a study of the dissembling of Jairam Ramesh who admittedly “under pressure” approved the POSCO project thus supporting the comprehensive violation of India’s environmental, forest protection and forest rights acts, amongst others.


1. Facilitating POSCO’s entry into India
2. Appreciating The Water Landscape
3. Politics Of Control Over Land And Resources
4. Living In Harmony With Nature, Truly
5. Undermining The Human Cost Of The Posco Project
6. How Cyclones Define Life In Jagatsinghpur
7. The Peculiar Case Of Posco’s Environmental and Forest clearances
8. Independent Investigations Confirm Fraud In Posco Clearances
9. The Making of a ‘Rightless People’ by Jairam Ramesh
10. Not A Final Word

Click here for full report [PDF, English, 2.59 MB] »

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