Ranchi, June 4: Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board yesterday convened a public hearing at Lathehars Kasturba Gandhi Residential School for its proposed Ganeshpur open-cast coal mine project.
The cast mines were allotted to Tata Steel and Adhunik group jointly in 2009.
The public hearing, presided by Latehar additional collector Durga Kumar Sinha, was attended by hundreds of villagers from more than 15 hamlets who would be directly affected by the project.
Presenting their proposal, officials of Tata Steel said that the 4 MTPA project would use the latest technology and modern equipment. They also promised that the company would use the best mining methods available to protect and preserve the environment.
The company also said that it would put in place a system whereby water can be recycled. The new mines, they claimed, would absorb blasts so as to give out minimum vibrations. A number of trees too, they said, would be planted in the area after excavation of the coal.
Lauding the awareness of the villagers for having turned up for the public hearing, R.R. Srivastava, head of Tata Steels Ganeshpur project said that the company cared about the environment as much as the villagers and would do everything to protect it.
The villagers attending the meet said that they had no objections to the project if the Tatas stayed true to their promise of environment protection.