Cairn focus on 6 blocks in Rajasthan

Vol 23, PW 22 (10 Sep 20) News in Brief

Despite objections from local farmers, the Rajasthan Pollution Control Board (RPCB) has successfully held separate public hearings on August 31 for six OALP-1 blocks won by Vedanta-owned Cairn.

In August, members of the Kisan Sangharsh Samiti (Farmers Struggle Committee), representing farmers from different villages in Rajasthan, wrote to Narendra Modi, Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, the RPCB and other government departments demanding the postponement of the public hearings because of heavy rains and flooding in many Rajasthan areas plus Covid-19. On August 28 (2020), Gudamalani legislator Hemaram Choudhary also wrote to Ashok Gehlot and the Barmer district collector to postpone the public hearing.

In his letter, Choudhary said even as the pandemic continued farmers are busy harvesting. "Scheduling public hearings during these times is foolish," said Choudhary.

However, the RPCB went ahead and successfully conducted the public hearing through video conferencing. "Yes we successfully conducted the hearings," confirms an RPCB source.

On July 30 (2020), the RPCB issued an advert in local papers calling for a public hearing on August 31 so work can begin at the six OALP-1 blocks: 542-sq km RJ-ONHP-2017/1; 1072-sq km RJ-ONHP-2017/2; 1087-sq km RJ-ONHP-2017/4; 917-sq km RJ-ONHP-2017/5; 925-sq km RJ-ONHP-2017/6 and 603-sq km RJ-ONHP-2017/7.