Jharsuguda : Local residents of three panchayats and Belpahar Municipality extended their support with various conditions in the Public Hearing on Environmental Impact Assessment for Vedanta’s Proposed Coal Mining Project at Kuraloi area under Lakhanpur Block in Jharsuguda District held on Tuesday.
The Public Hearing for Environmental Impact Assessment was held at Pipilimal Village under Lakhanpur Block by Odisha State Pollution Control Board for Vedanta’s Proposed Coal Mine Project.
In this Coal Mine Project five villages i.e., Pipilimal, Dhauramunda, Kudaloi, Banjari, Bartap under Lakhanpur Block of Jharsuguda District and one ward of Belpahar Municipality will be directly affected.
The Proposed Vedanta’s Kuraloi-A North Coal Block, IB Valley Coalfield has a targeted coal production capacity of 8 million Tonnes Per Annum (MTPA) which is spread over 965.58 Hectares of land including 502.90 hectares of private land, 249.31 hectares of govt. land and 213.3 hectares of forest land. The Block has been allocated by the Ministry of Coal, Govt. of India to Vedanta in the year 2021.
More than 300 Villagers participated and expressed their views, although many people extended their support towards Vedanta but had put various conditions before the company like, proper compensation as per R&R Policy, proper employment, Education, Health, and Peripheral Development.
“We never oppose the development of the region but everyone knows the character of the Vedanta and if Vedanta agrees for all round the development of everyone, and if they provide proper compensation to the displaced villagers and protect the environment then we will allow it and if they don’t then we will hold a massive agitation against the company.” Said Bulu Panda, Chairman Belpahar Municipality
“Before the Public hearing, the pollution control board had announced in every village about this Public hearing and asked us to participate but when villagers had come to participate today, Police personnel and other people stopped us near Milan Chowk and did not allow us to reach the spot,” alleged Biranchi Sahu, social activist, Banjari Krisyaanusthan Committee
“People from various areas participated and kept their views. Everything was done as per rules and regulations. As per the land acquisition process, IDCO will acquire the land and will hand it over to us as per the rules. Even the compensation for it will be provided as per the Government norms. We have listened to the demands of the public and noted it and will try to fulfill it.” Said, Purnendu Pandey, Project Head, Vedanta Kuraloi-A North Coal.
Hiranya Kumar Nayak, Regional Officer, Odisha Pollution Control Board, said, “The public meeting was conducted Peacefully, in this around more than 300 people had participated and kept their views. We will send the report within 10 days to our head office.”