CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court (HC) has ruled that there is no valid reason to set up an industry by destroying the ecosystem without hearing the grievances of the local people.The ruling came while disposing of a PIL on IDCO allotment of 8 acres of forest land for establishment of the industry in Sodamal under Kolabira tehsil in Jharsuguda district.
Members of New Light Yubak Sangha, a club in the locality, had filed the PIL. The petition claimed that the club members had created a new forest cover over the land with the trees supplied by the Forest department under the afforestation programme. Advocate Jyotirmay Gupta represented the petitioner.
However, as the petitioner’s representation raising objection to allotment of the land to a private party for establishment of the industry was pending with the Collector & District Magistrate, Jharsuguda, the High Court directed the latter to consider the representation and “pass a reasoned and speaking order by affording opportunity of hearing to the petitioner vis-a-vis the private party and other affected persons, if any”.
The division bench of Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice BR Sarangi said, “No doubt, industrialisation is required for enhancement of revenue, but not at the cost of people’s lives by destroying the ecosystem.”