Nirma’s Bhavnagar cement plant must be relocated: MoEF tells Apex court

PTI New Delhi | Updated on May 10, 2011 Published on May 10, 2011

The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) today informed the Supreme Court that the controversial cement plant of Nirma Industries in Bhavnagar district, Gujarat is situated in an environmentally sensitive wetland area and has to be relocated.

The Ministry told the Apex court through an affidavit that the plant was constructed in Azone, which is the source of a sweet water body.

The Ministry further submitted that it has accepted the report of an expert committee which said that the cement plant was in an environmentally sensitive area and construction would have to stop.

Following the representation, a three-judge Bench headed by the Chief Justice, Mr S.H. Kapadia adjourned the matter to Friday, giving the option to Nirma to challenge the MoEF order before it or the Green Tribunal.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Nirma Industries, challenging the stop-work notice issued by the MoEF after environmentalists raised concerns.

Earlier the Apex court had ordered a fresh environmental study of the area where chemicals maker Nirma is setting up a cement plant that is believed to be on wetlands in Bhavnagar, Gujarat.

The Bench had directed the Expert Appraisal Committee of MoEF to study whether the plant was in the wetland area or water bodies.

The Apex court had directed the committee to seek reports from a body of experts with five scientists and should visit the site.

Senior advocate Mr Dushyant Dave, appearing for Nirma, had contended that the company was working for the past three years on the project based on previous clearances. He said the trouble has started as some local politicians were creating problems.

Mr Dave added that the group has already invested Rs 150 crore on the project and is committed to pumping in another Rs 450 crore.

Published on May 10, 2011
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