Chhattisgarh: After lathicharge, public hearing for ACC cement plant stopped

The company management submitted bogus documents to carry out mining and the establishment of the plant in the area, showing the area as barren land.

Avdhesh MallickUpdated: Thursday, November 03, 2022, 09:44 PM IST
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Chhattisgarh: Lathicharge, public hearing for ACC cement plant stalled. | File Photo

Raipur: A public hearing for the establishment of an ACC cement plant in Bohardih, Masturi, and Bilaspur districts of Chhattisgarh was stopped when furious affected villagers clashed with the local administration and ACC management over the controversial EIA clearance on Thursday. In order to put the situation and disperse the agitators under control, police used mild force.

The public hearing started for the expansion of the mine operation for the ACC plant on Thursday morning in Loharshi village in Masturi and initially became the centre of a verbal spat between affected villagers of the ACC cement plant and the plant management over alleged disputed issues of compensation, rehabilitation, land acquisition, and forced displacement, a local reporter, Sudheer Suman, said.

The company management submitted bogus documents

The company management submitted bogus documents to carry out mining and the establishment of the plant in the area, showing the area as barren land, but in reality, the farmers have been continuously cultivating paddy and other crops in their fields for years, Premchand Jaishi, a Congress leader, alleged.

Permitting the company to carry out operations will bring devastation to villages like Buhardih, Godadih, Tangar Loharshi, Ghodadih, and Bhurkunda, the Congress leader said.

"We are totally against this illegal public hearing because the established norms were grossly flouted," Nagendra Rai, the agitator, alleged.

The dispute with the villagers started

Locals complained that the dispute with the villagers started in 2019, when the operations of the company were in their infancy. Without addressing the proper demands of the affected, the plant management started mining and other procedures, which angered the villagers.

However, on the disruption of the public hearing, clashes, and lathicharge, RA Kurvanshi and ADM Bilaspur made a statement in the media and said the public hearing was carried out in Loharsi village for the establishment of the ACC cement plant, but seeing the public's anger, the hearing was stalled.

"Officially, I have not ordered for the lathicharge, but if such a thing happened, I have already instructed for the investigation," the ADM said.

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