Public dissent

Projects precede public hearing

By Ravleen Kaur
Published: Sunday 31 October 2010

PUBLIC hearing for two projects promoted by the Adani group in Gujarat’s Kachchh district were held amid loud protests. Villagers and fishers were angry about the scheduling of the hearings for the Mundra Port and its special economic zone and a power plant on two consecutive days—October 5 and 6.

The two hearings were initially slated for October 5. It was staggered over two days on the intervention of the Gujarat High Court, but people were not given sufficient notice. “It was quite difficult for affected communities like fishers and salt workers to reach the venue at Luni village,” said Bharat Patel, of Machimar Adhikar Sangharsh Sangathan, a fishworkers forum of Kuchchh.

At the hearing, affected villagers exchanged angry words with district officials, accusing them of favouring Adanis. Activists said the hearing was a farce as work on the two projects has already begun. More than 1,000 hectares of mangrove has been destroyed due to dredging on the mundra coast.

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