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PCBA urged to postpone public hearings


GUWAHATI, Jan 4 � The All India Students' Federation (AISF) has called upon the Pollution Control Board Assam (PCBA) to postpone the public hearings on the draft Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the Rs 600-crore project for protection and rejuvenation of the Bharalu and Kolong rivers.

The student outfit said that PCBA gave too little time for concerned parties to study the DPR before conducting the public hearings.

"The draft DPR was uploaded in the website of the PCBA on December 31 and it called for public hearings at Morigaon on January 4, followed by hearings at Guwahati on January 6 and Nagaon on January 7. The time given to study the DPR is not adequate and in today's hearing at Morigaon only the Communist Party of India (CPI) participated," AISF Assam State Committee secretary Madhujya Baruah said.

The students� body has demanded postponement of the final two hearings to allow respondents more time to study and analyze the DPR and prepare their response.

AISF has submitted a petition in this regard to the PCBA.

The DPR was prepared by US-headquartered The Louis Berger Group and New Delhi-based DHI (India) Water & Environment Pvt Ltd, Baruah said.

Meanwhile, the Society for Socioeconomic Development in the Region NE also expressed dissatisfaction about the entire process of preparation and study of the DPR.

In a press statement, SSEDR said that PCBA has violated the guidelines of the National River Conservation Department by holding the public hearings in such haste.

It said that the Project Feasibility Report has not been prepared, even though PCBA had given an assurance in this matter.

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