Nirma’s cement plant could be shifted: Environment ministry

May 10th, 2011 - 9:12 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 10 (IANS) The environment ministry Tuesday told the Supreme Court that Nirma’s under-construction cement plant in Gujarat, located in a wetland, will damage the environment in the area and could be shifted to an alternate site.

The ministry, in an affidavit submitted to the court, said that any activity that obstructs water flow into a water body or affects water quality should not be allowed.

“There could be alternative sites enough in the vicinity that breeds no contention. No fresh water sanctuary needs to be razed to pitch a cement plant. The approval accorded may be revoked as it was initially founded on undisclosed and incorrect postulates,” the ministry said.

The ministry on March 11 had issued a show cause notice under Section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 for permanent suspension of work and revocation of environmental clearance to the company’s cement plant in Mahuva block of Bhavnagar district in Gujarat for violating green norms.

The ministry said the show cause notice was issued based on the findings of the expert appraisal committee (EAC), that the plant is expected to cause irreversible damage to the wetland.

The apex court was hearing a petition filed by Nirma following the stop work order issued by the ministry for its 1.9 metric ton per annum (MTPA) cement plant and a captive power plant in the state.

The Gujarat government has told the court the land is a “wasteland” and not “wetland”.

The court had adjourned hearing on the matter for Friday, giving the option to Nirma to challenge the stop-work order before it or the Green Tribunal.

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