Jamshedpur: Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board organized a public hearing at Tetla Middle School ground at Tetla on Saturday on the proposed capacity expansion by M/S Shah Sponge and Power Limited of Potka.
The Pollution Control Board was represented by Ashok Yadav and Suresh Paswan and ADM Subodh Kumar. The programme was presided over by ADM Subodh Kumar. The villagers from 13 hamlets were present at the hearing. They had come from Pavru, Bhumri, Khapadsai, Judi, Hata, Tiring, Rangamatia and Chardihi.
The villagers of Potka put up protest against the company during the public hearing while alleging that the company authorities had neglected their duty towards prevention of pollution in their area. They said the dust flying in the air was making people sick. They said the company could not be allowed to turn a blind eye to its corporate social responsibility and rights of the people.
Local social activist Sidheshwar Sardar led the villagers to demand legal action against the company on charges of �treason�.
Notwithstanding the protests, many people also supported the company management during the hearing. They said the expansion of the company would provide direct employment to 594 people. They also said that the local people would get better education, drinking water and health facilities following the expansion.
The hearing was also addressed by the senior company official Arun Sinha. Sinha said the capacity of the sponge iron plant would be doubled from the present 200 tonne capacity after expansion.
He said the company had acquired 17 hectare land for the purpose. He said Rs 266 crore would be invested and power production capacity would reach 25 Mega Watt.
Among other protesters present during the public hearing programme included Nikhil Mandal, Bablu Sardar, Dr Anoop Mandal and Ganesh Sardar.