Organizations decried industrial public hearings, petition District collector seeking to conduct again

Report by Kahnu Nanda, Jagatsinghpur: Organizations as Naba Nirman Krushak Sangathan [NNKS] frontal farmer body of state and ‘Adhibas’ social group in Kujanga have expressed annoyance holding public hearings to obtain the environmental clearance process for the proposed Petroleum, chemicals and Petrochemicals investment Region [PCPIR] and Essar backed Greenfield Pallet plant in Paradeep.
Both organizations have petitioned Jagatsinghpur district collector on Wednesday seeking to cancel the public hearings conducted by OSPCB and civil administration jointly which left out the affected villagers, farmers and local PRI members to participate, including the hearings had not done in affected project site villages mandatory under an industrial law, conducted at Paradip 20 km away from the affected villages.
Meanwhile, NNKS supporters have threatened to go on agitation opposing the discrepancy adopted by SPCB and Paradip civil administration ignoring the villagers at public hearings, said Bishnu charan Swain, NNKS Kujanga block coordinator.
Swain also added that a public hearing is the environmental clearance process in which stakeholders can interact directly with SPCB, civil administration, project sympathizers about the concerns regarding the upcoming project. The purpose of the public hearings is to provide an opportunity for affected villagers to share and receive information’s associated with the project and legally to hold in proposed project site village but ironically PCPIR and Essar pallet plant public hearings organized at Paradip, so we approached Collector seeking intervention and conducting both public hearings at Kujanga again at fresh. Swain informed.
Convener of Adivasi Pitambar Tarai said that the affected villagers were deliberately ignored in both public hearings, the matter was not highly publicized in newspapers and social Media for making aware the villagers and to participate in the occasion massively, we will take recourse of judicial process to establish our demand if needed, moreover, we filed a complaint to Collector seeking action on Wednesday. Tarai rued.
Meanwhile civil administration representative at public hearing ADM Paradip Kanhu charan Dhir informed that legal formalities under the environmental protection Act have not disgraced, the public hearing notification was called in local newspapers, massive leaflets were distributed in villages so as villagers to aware of the public hearings and their participation, posters put up at government offices, public places, carried out announcements in affected villages, as result both public hearings held abiding environmental laws, sans any discrepancy, ADM informed.