Sundargarh: The public hearing for JSW subsidiary Bhushan Steel & Power Limited’s Netrabandha iron ore mines was successfully conducted at Baladihi village under Koira Tahsil of Sundergarh district on Wednesday.
As part of statutory compliance, the Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) conducted the public hearing for the requisite of environment clearance. Residents from periphery villages— Khajuridihi, Sonua, Boldihi & Patamunda of Netrabandha iron ore mines participated in the hearing.
The Netrabandha Pahar block located in Sundargarh’s Koira sector has geological reserves of 77.25 million tonnes of which 61.9 million tonnes are high grade deposits.
The hearing was conducted in presence of State Government officials like Deputy District Magistrate Pradeep Kumar Dang, Pollution Control Board Regional Officer (Rourkela) Binod Bihari Das, Scientist Vijay Kumar Bhoi, Koida Tahsildar DS Subhadarshi Joshi. Over 500 villagers from periphery areas gathered at the event while 50 residents expressed their opinion in favour of the project.
With significant participation of villagers, the meeting was conducted smoothly in presence of many public representatives like Tushananda Kadali, Surendra Naik, Ashok Patra, Bipini Kadli, Damyanti Naik, Bonai MLA Laxman Munda, Block Chairman Suresh Naik, former Bonai MLA Bhimsen Chowdhury, former Bonai MLA Janardhan Dehuri and Social worker Badal Barik. The representatives also supported the mining.
Company’s authorities like JSW COO Ranjan Nayak, Project Head Ashesh Kumar Padhy, Operation Head BRK Padhi and others were also present.
The company officials said that there would be no displacement under this mining activity and the company would implement modern technology and adopt sustainable mining practices with effective environment management.
The company is actively involved in periphery development in these villages even before its mining operation. An official said that the company has renovated Anganwadis and provided learning equipment. The company has also installed around 30 solar street lights for the benefit of the villagers. It was also said that around 200 street lights are under installation. The company is also addressing the drinking water crisis by installing bore-well.
In addition, a mega health camp will be continued in project areas. Setting up a dispensary is also in the pipeline to address health related issues of villagers. An ambulance will also be provided to cut wait time during health emergencies. Moreover, village level coordinators are recruited who can provide persistent service at village level.
The company said it is opening up new opportunities to facilitate direct and indirect employment to the local people. The firm claimed that around 60 persons will get direct employment opportunities and close to 250 will receive indirect jobs.