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Next date of public hearing on Jindal Steel's proposed in Asonbani, Potka on March 8

Written By Gopal Krishna on Thursday, February 13, 2014 | 12:45 AM

Ahead of the upcoming public hearing on March 8, 2014, Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board (JSPCB) must put out the the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report of the proposed plant on its website and make it available to the villagers in their language. When its matter of their ancestral land mere summary of EIA report is hardly sufficient. EIA report is mandatory for an public hearing. The hearing was earlier scheduled for January 29 but was cancelled abruptly on January 28 possibly due to villagers' protest against the proposed plant. JSPCB should not be seen to be partial towards the company. It must ensure strict compliance with rules and regulations.  



Some legislators have been briefed to raise the issue in Vidhan Sabha and point out the the inconsistencies which exposes the proposed project of Jindal's company. 

The following are inconsistent facts which emerge from the MoU and the summary of the EIA report dated November 2013:-
*       MoU in question states that there will be an investment of Rs 11500 crore to set up a steel plant of 50 lakh ton/year. Summary of EIA report states that there will be an investment of Rs 21260 crore to set up a steel plant of 60 lakh ton/year. This is quite arbitrary. 
*       Summary of EIA report states that there are villages like Birdha, Asonbani, Lalmanoharpur, Digarsahi, Ghatiduba, Tilamura, Gopalpur, Chatro in this 1778 acre land but there are only 75 houses. This is inconsistent with even what the voter list reveals. 
*       Summary of EIA report states that during construction 4, 000 people will get work for 48 to 60 months, which is approximately 4-5 years. Is it a sufficient reason for the villagers to hand over their land which has fed them for generations and will feed the future generations?
*       Summary of EIA report states that during operation of the factory about 6, 000 people will get direct jobs and 7500 people will get indirect jobs in which local people will get priority. The fact is that 1777 acres of land has fed millions of people in the past and can feed millions in future unlike the proposed plant which offers jobs
only to a few thousand people.
*       Summary of EIA report states that the company will spend Rs 1063 crore as part of Corporate Social Responsibility, Rs 1200 crore for environmental management and Rs 120 crore for pollution control.
The company's proposal itself is an irresponsible act fraught with potential for huge environmental damage and environmental diseases.
*       Summary of EIA report states that there will be water requirement of 3270 m3/hr (26.85 MCM/yr). In other words there is a water requirement if 32 lakh 70 liters of water/hour from Chandil reservoir. They will use bore wells also for the same. It reveals that it has already received the clearance from the State Government for
the same.


*       MoU states that there will be a requirement of 3, 000 acres. Summary of EIA report states that there will be a requirement of 1778  acres of which 1332 acres of land is a one crop private land, 372 acres is Government land and 73 acres is forest land-on addition it is found to be 1777 acres. It is quite manifest that the stated land
requirement is arbitrary, motivated and an engineered act of land grab with complicity of officials and politicians from the ruling and opposition parties.
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