#India – Locals oppose steel plant expansion plan

By Express News Service – JAIPUR

13th April 2013 08:52 AM

Many locals including PRI members present at a public hearing on Friday objected to proposed expansion of Mideast Integrated Steels Limited (MISL) at Kalinga Nagar industrial complex area in the district.

The villagers raised objection to organising the public hearing, convened by the Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB), without prior information to them.

They alleged that it was a ploy by the company officials to ensure that villagers cannot attend it.Though around 200 people had congregated at the venue of Danagadi Bhawan under Danagadi block, only 22 of them participated in the hearing. Out of them, 17 participants opposed its expansion.

“The company has already polluted the entire area. As the nearby Gandanal, used by thousands of people, has been polluted, people residing around the plant are suffering from tuberculosis and various skin diseases. The company never provides any medical assistance to us and has never cared to improve our standard of living,” said vice-chairman of Danagadi block Sudhakar Bhanj at the meeting.

Bidyadhar Mohanty, another participant, alleged that MISL has been providing work for only six months to its workers in a year. If the company remains closed for half of the year, why should it be allowed for expansion.

Regional Officer of OSPCB Santosh Kumar Panda admitted that only 22 persons participated in the hearing.


Novartis Update: Supreme Court adjourns final hearing to 11 September 2012

As directed by the Supreme Court of India on 10 July 2012, the petition filed by Novartis AG, 
challenging the Intellectual Property Appellate Board’s rejection of its appeal against the 
Indian Patent Office’s refusal to grant it a patent for the beta-crystalline form of imatinib 
mesylate, and related matters were listed today before a bench comprising Justice Aftab Alam 
and Justice Ranjana Desai. The case has now been re-scheduled to 11 September 2012.

In July 2012 itself, when Novartis sought an adjournment on account of the unavailability of 
one of its counsel, the Court had indicated that it could not be certain about its schedule 
and had informed the parties that, while the matter would be listed on 22 August 2012, it was 
not certain if final hearing would commence on 22 August 2012.

As the day progressed, it became evident that the hearing of the matter listed at item no. 1 
(a case that was already part-heard and relating to collection of voice sample vis-à-vis the 
fundamental right against self-incrimination) would continue today and tomorrow.
Therefore, when the Court reconvened after lunch, Novartis’ counsel mentioned the matter to 
ascertain when the final hearing of the Novartis matter would commence.

Alluding to the objections regarding maintainability of Novartis’
petition before the Supreme Court, Mr. Gopal Subramaniam, senior counsel appearing for 
Novartis, said that Novartis would argue both the issue of maintainability of its special 
leave petition as well as the merits of the case and that Novartis would take three days to 
argue the matter.

After ascertaining the court’s schedule and the convenience of the counsel arguing for all 
parties, the matter has now finally been re-scheduled to 11 September 2012 for final hearing. 
The matters will be listed at item no. 1 on the causelist on 11 September 2012.

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