NFTV:Odisha:Jharsuguda: After two days of a legal battle in Odisha High Court, a public hearing for the expansion of the Vedanta Alumina plant took place today in Kurebaga village. On the 29th of September, The Odisha high court stayed the public hearing for the Vedanta alumina plant in Jharsuguda. The Odisha State Pollution Control Board has called for a public hearing on 30.09.2020 to accord pollution clearance to the expansion project of the global Aluminium giant Vedanta.
On the 30th of September another hearing took place via video conferencing, the High Court modifies its previous order and allowed the public hearing to take place.
The Odisha High Court stated that no one appeared for the state government as well as the Odisha State Pollution Control Board, probably due to want of notice.
After the High Court allowed to carried out the public hearing the timing of the public hearing was at 11 pm September 30. But it was rescheduled and organized at 4.30 at Government Upper Primary School in the Kurebaga village.
OSPCB had issued the notification on September 27 to hear the grievances of people who are to be affected due to the expansion of the plant. Prior to the modification of the stay, the Single Judge Bench of Justice KR Mohapatra had issued the interim order on a petition filed by Subrat Bhoi and Tejraj Kumura of Brundamal village comes under Jharsuguda district.
The petition had challenged the notification on the ground that it violated the order issued by the SRC on August 31. The order prohibited large congregations of people of any nature in the time of the COVID situation. Advocate Partha Sarathi Nayak had argued the case for the petitioners.
Vedanta has proposed to expand its existing smelter plant to 18 LPTA, from 16 LPTA, and its captive power plant capacity to 1,215 MW. The proposed expansion will cost about Rs 1,240 crore. The anticipated capital expenditure for pollution control measures is about Rs 55 crore.
GG Pal, the chief operating officer of Vedanta, has said the proposed expansion will be within the existing aluminum smelter plant complex of about 2061.41 acres or 834.22 hectares. The proposed Vedanta township expansion is planned in an area of 91 acres (36.83 ha), which is already in possession of Vedanta Ltd. Hence,the CEO Metal, VAL, Mr, G.G. Pal said that Vedanta is not going to acquire any land for the proposed expansion