Dear Mr. Stan Swamy
I completely agree with your posting that environmental hearings are only a mockery. I could not agree that it is so only in Jharkhand. And of late the Environmental Public Hearing processes also have been thoroughly diluted with the amendments. Maiking your voice heard has become nerly impossible in these hearings. But still we can do a couple of things like, sending our written petitions to the Secretary of State Pollution Control Board before the date of hearing by registered post with AD. And the second precaution is that we can ask for a video/audio recording of the whole proceedings of the Public hearing or can insist to to it for ourselves. Before the hering we ask the SPCB to record the proceedeings as that is warranted by the law and after the hearing ask the SPCB to produce the same under the right to information on the ground that due to non availaility of space you could not be a part of it and need the proceedings. This combination will be like a scissor that has the ability to cut from both the sides. And added to this we can on our own prepare the proceedings minutes and despatch copies to the panelists and most importantaly to the Secy, Department of Environment and forests. I know that this had worked in case of Sterlllite industries public hearing in Jharuguda way back in 1997. Well a lot has changed in between, and we have to find the way out.
Hope these interventions may be used in case of subsequent hearings. For this perticular hearning, # write down a more detailed proceedings and send the same to the Secy of SPCB, and Secry of MoEF asking for a more fair hearing.
# And do not forget to mark a copy of the same to the Honourable High Court seeking your right to be heard. And let us hope some result comes out.
#Also with the proceeding minutes submit a detailed report of the impact of the mining if availbable.
# Through the court or directly under the RTI, ask the SPCB whether the expansion will be damaging or not and whether they will be accountable for the damage that will be inflicted by the mines. This is where the question will be uncomfortable for the SPCB.
Thats it for now.
National Institute for Development