September 2, 2014

Odisha Channel Bureau Bhubaneswar, Sep 3: Well-known social activist and president of Lok Shakti Abhiyan Prafulla Samantara has urged the Odisha State Pollution Control Board to cancel public hearing for Machakut coal mining scheduled to be held on Thursday at Chhendipada in Angul district of the State.“The people of five gram panchayats including Bagadia, Machakut under Chhendipada Block Angul district have been protesting not to allow mining of coal in their agriculture land since the notification for land acquisition came out,” Samantara has said in a letter to the Member-Secretary of Odisha State Pollution Control Board.“The natural resources like fertile agricultural land, forest, natural streams, and rivers will be destroyed by mining of coal.”But against the will of the villagers the government is trying to have acquisition of land forcefully which could not take place till now due to democratic people’s resistance, Samantara said.To deprive the affected villagers from participating in the public hearing, the State Pollution Control Board had fixed the place far away from villagers, he said.The public hearing last year was stayed by the Orissa High Court, but before final verdict of the court, SPCB had again notified for same public hearing for Mahaguj Colliery Limited at Machakuta village in Chhendipada area on September 4, Samantara pointed out.Stating that the public hearing for environmental clearance of said coal mining had no legal stand in view of the Supreme Court order cancelling all coal blocks given on lease without proper auction process, Samantara said that it was the legal and constitutional duty of the Pollution Control Board to cancel the public hearing for the said coal mines to be held on Thursday.“If it is not being cancelled, it will be understood that the Pollution Control Board, district administration and the concern authority are in collusion with a private company like Adani Group to hold the public hearing illegally and manipulate public consent in favour of corporate interest,” Samantara said in his letter addressed to the SPCB on Tuesday.Samantara has also written a letter to the Union Ministry of Environment Forests and Climate Change to stop public hearing for Mahaguj Colliery at Chhendipada in view of the Supreme Court judgment.

September 2, 2014 0 Comment

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