Bhubaneswar, 23.02.2014: As a part of the National level Exhibition-cum-Seminar “Odisha Moves Forward” organized by Utkal Chamber of Commerce & Industry (UCCI), a workshop on “Forest & Environment Clearances for Sustainable mining” by Mining & Geology and Forest & Environment Committee of UCCI was organized at the Chamber’s conference hall here on Sunday. The chamber on the occasion of its Golden Jubilee Year celebration has a series of events lined up, the seminar was one of them.
The guests were welcomed and introduced by Mr. Prabhakar Rout, Chairman, Forest & Environment Committee. He also gave a brief introduction on the theme workshop. The first session was chaired by Mr. Amiya Kr. Mohapatra Additional P.C.C.F (GIS). In his address Mr. Mohapatra said “The definition of the forest which was framed in 1996 needs to be revisited. Consolidation of small patches of pastures to create workable space and concentrated forest areas should be done.” Expressing his concern over the unnecessary bottle necks created by the Forest act drafted in 1996, he said, “The act should be redrafted from scratch.”
Mr. B. K. Mohanty, Former Director of Mines and Advisor, SGAT, Bhubneswar, criticised the negative approach of NGO and the negativity they spread among the people about the Industries to be set up in their locality. “NGOs spreading the idea of industries not being pro-environment and pro-people should be checked”. Frowning upon the strange way of consulting gram sabhas about mining issues he said, “The people who understand the least about mining are expected to give their verdict and the government works accordingly which is strange.”
The workshop had two sessions, the first being a discussion session where other eminent personalities Mr. Sidhant Das, Additional P.C.C.F (Nodal), Bhubaneswar, Mr. Deepak Mohanty, Director of Mines, Odisha, , Mr. Ashok Bal, CEO, Essel Mining & Industries Ltd. put forward their views about the issue, the second was a technical session where Mr. Piyush Srivastav, Chief, TATA, Sasol Project, Bhubaneswar, Mr. D. B. Sundaram, E.I.C (FAMD), TATA Steel Ltd., Kolkata and Mr. Dillip Behera, Senior Scientist, OPSCB, BBSR made presentations on topics related to the issue. Mr. M. V. Rao presented the vote of thanks.
Mr. Ramesh Mahapatra, President, UCCI in his short address said, “mines are the main stay and if we cannot harness it, we have no future.’Mr. Debabrata Dash, Secretary, UCCI, resolved to take a stand and fight for the Industrialist against the prejudiced and defamed section of mining industrialist. Mr. M. V. Rao, Co-Chairman, MG & FE Committee, UCCI presented the vote of thanks.