Jharsuguda : Senior Advocate P. Ram Mohan Rao on Thursday has written a letter to Chief Secretary of Odisha demanding to defer the Public Hearing of Proposed Expansion of Aluminium Smelter Plant of Vedanta Ltd. in view of this pandemic situation.
As per the letter , it states that, A Public Hearing is schedule to held on 30th September 2020 of Vedanta’s Aluminium Smelter Expansion project, wherein to increase the existing Capacity from 16 LPTA to 18 LPTA .
The Jharsuguda District has been under the terrible grip of the Corona Pandemic. The situation of our District is quite alarming and in such crucial time inviting objection and fixing a date of public hearing is pretentious as the most of the people surrounding the area are rustic. They are not in a position to get their objection registered or for that matter to attend the public hearing. As such in this testing time it is just not advisable to allow the people to gather in a meeting for a reason which is not for the environmental benefit of the district. Present time needs more focus on curbing the spread of epidemic than the public hearing on a subject which is detrimental to the health of public in general.
Subsequently, He also said that our district is recognized as one out of 20 most critically polluted cities of the country. It cannot afford to bear any further aggression on its environment. Thus in the fitness of things, we would also like to request that the central Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change must also be apprised of this fact so as to not accord the environment clearance for the further expansion as proposed.
He also demanded to kindly defer the date of public hearing until the normalcy is restored and also to urge the Central Government not to accord the Environment Clearance in favour of Vedanta Ltd. for expansion as proposed.