Will hold public hearing in physical form on PRR project, KSPSB tells HC

The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) told the High Court that it will conduct one more round of public hearing in physical form on the draft Environment Impact Assessment/Environment Management Plan for the eight-lane Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) project.

A submission in this regard has been made before a division bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Sachin Shankar Magadum during the hearing of a PIL petition.

KSPCB advocate Gururaj Joshi told the bench that the board is ready to conduct one more session of public hearing in physical form by following the COVID-19 guidelines after issuing a public notice notifying the date for hearing.

He clarified to the bench that a physical hearing was conducted in August last year followed by a virtual hearing in September 2020 to enable those who could not participate in the physical hearing due to COVID-19 restrictions.

On recording the statement made on behalf of the KSPCB, the bench disposed of the petition.

Anushka Gupta and two others had questioned the correctness of the decision of the KSPBC to conducting a public hearing on September 23, 2020 through a video platform. They sought court’s direction to the authorities to conduct a physical hearing.

In September last year, the court had declined to stay the virtual hearing, but directed the State Level Expert Appraisal Committee not to undertake appraisal process on the EIA based the outcome of the virtual public hearing until further order from the court.

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