Steel project in legal tangle

Keonjhar: The Orissa High Court has ordered a stay on the public hearing by the administration about a steel project proposed by the state government at Karakhendara under Barbil teshil of Keonjhar district.

This has pushed the project into uncertainty, reports said. Some people to be affected by the steel plant project have been opposing it for a long time.

They alleged that a grama sabha was organised for the project January 16, 2021, seeking people’s approval for the project, but the grama sabha was in violation of some guidelines.

“The grama sabha was held in the absence of the local sarpanch. People opposing the project were not allowed to express their views. It was in violation of the guidelines,” locals said.

Upset, they had also taken up the issue with the district administration. However, despite all this, the administration did not scrap the public hearing, they lamented.

Later, the administration brought out a notification for another public hearing on environment impact of the project. Locals apprehended that the administration may hold the public hearing in favour of the steel project.

Hence, the project opponents filed a writ petition (WPC-IPL-4322) in 2021 against the way the public hearing was held for the project. The High Court recorded the case (4322) February, 2021, for hearing.

Hearing the case, the HC ordered stay till September 22. Now, the HC has extended its stay on it till November 24. As the public hearing on the project is caught in a legal tangle, the fate of the steel project has plunged into uncertainty.


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