Vijayawada

Public hearing on shale exploration on Dec. 6

VIJAYAWADA: The proposed shale oil/gas exploration in the villages in West Godavari district by the government has raised the hackles of social activists who argue that while several countries have banned the activity in view of its several problems, the government was going ahead with it at the cost of the health of the people in the vicinity.

National convenor of the National Alliance of People’s Movements B. Ramakrishnam Raju and a former scientist K. Babu Rao have taken a strong exception to the fact that the residents of the villages where this activity is proposed to be initiated, have been kept in the dark.

Mr. Ramakrishnam Raju said following a strong protest by them, the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board has scheduled a public hearing on the controversial shale exploration on December 6 at the Alluri Seetharamaraju Mahal in Bhimavaram. The public hearing session will commence at 2 p.m.

“Shale oil/gas exploration is highly controversial and detrimental to public health and local economy. Many countries have banned such explorations,” reiterated Mr. Raju.

He said they had requested the district Collector to organise the public hearing session at Mahadevpatnam and Suryaraopet of Undi and Kalla mandals in West Godavari district, where exploration activities are proposed to be taken up. The objective is to allow participation of the villages that would get affected by the move, make themselves aware of the facts and express their opinions, they said.

The Principal Bench of the National Green Tribunal, New Delhi, had given a direction in September 2011 emphasising that the venue of public hearing should be very close to the site of activity, preferably within 1 km, they pointed out.

“Conduct of public hearing at a far off place from the actual place of activity amounts to hoodwinking the innocent villagers and depriving them of their legitimate right of being informed,” Mr. Rao said.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 3:15:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/Public-hearing-on-shale-exploration-on-Dec.-6/article16727465.ece

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