Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, May 27:
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has fixed July 14 as the date for the final hearing on the admissibility of a petition filed by Murlimanohar Sharma of Barbil in Odisha’s Keonjhar district pertaining to laying of pipeline by Brahmani River Pellets Private Limited (BRPL) to use river Baitarani water for transportation of iron ore.
The newly constituted Kolkata bench of the NGT Monday conducted its first hearing on the petition. The bench comprising Justice P Jyotimani and expert member Dr P C Mishra heard arguments offered by the petitioner’s advocate Bibhu Prasad Tripathy.
In his arguments, Tripathy cited that the company had already laid 220 kilometre of slurry pipeline even before obtaining forest and environment clearance.
The petitioner’s lawyer alleged that the company had openly violated forest laws as it applied for permission from the Union government under the Forest Conservation Act five days after the petitioner sought information on the company’s forest clearance from the principal chief conservator of forest through RTI.
According to the petitioner, the company is trying to illegally transport iron ore through river Baitarani. The company has even undertaken construction on forest land as well as in the bed of river Baitarani, he alleged.
The petitioner apprehended that such construction in the river bed would change the natural course of river Baitarani and affect its water flow while contending that changing the natural course of the river is illegal.