The Essar Steel Orissa Ltd (ESSAR) tried today to hoodwink the National Green Tribunal in the matter of forest clearance by saying that its project does not cover any forest.
A five member bench headed by Chairperson of the NGT Justice Swatantra Kumar dismissed the contention, specifically as the environmental clearance has mentioned of the quantity of forest land coming within the spread of the project; and further as, the environmental clearance was subject to grant of forest clearance.
The Bench extended the interim orders granted earlier in favor of the petitioners that have challenged laying of slurry pipelines inside the Baitarani River by a foreign company BRPL and ESSAR steel Ltd.
The Tribunal has taken strong exception over the companies’ digging of intake well on the heart of Baitarani which would obstruct natural course of water and disadvantage the riparian community. The Tribunal expressed deep concern over intake well dug inside the Baitarani River when pictures thereof were brought to its notice by the counsel of the petitioner Sri Bibhu Prasad Tripathi.
The matter would be heard by the bench on March 18.