JSW steel plans to buy 878 acres of land in Gavali Village Khanapur, after we broke this story the JSW Steel has issued a statement and as per the New Indian Express it denied that it was proposing to set up a steel plant near Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary in Belagavi district, and further said the land it was proposing to purchase was for the purpose of compensatory afforestation.
JSW Steel had issued a public notice in some newspapers saying it intends to buy about 878 acres in Gavali village of Khanapur taluk from about 86 joint owners.
“Compensatory afforestation is one of the most important conditions stipulated by the Central Government while approving proposals of diversion of forest land for non-forest uses. The company has got approvals from the Government of Karnataka to conduct iron ore mining operations in 5 of the already cancelled mines of Category ‘C’ in Ballari-Hospet region,” the statement said.
“Accordingly, the company is obligated to identify and purchase lands for compensatory afforestation over equivalent area of non-forest land,” the company said. It said the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest has stipulated that as far as possible the land for compensatory afforestation should be identified contiguous to or in the proximity of reserved forest or protected forest.
“The lands to be procured will actually be added to the area of the Bhimgad Sanctuary. Rather than harming the cause of forests, our land purchase will actually increase the forest cover. There is also no intention of the company to use these lands for industrial purpose at all,” it said.