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Nirma told to suspend cement plant work

on March 13, 2011


The ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) on Saturday issued a showcause notice to Nirma for permanent suspension of work and revocation of environment clearance for the company’s upcoming cement plant near Mahuva in Bhavnagar district. The ministry has directed Nirma to stop work at the site with immediate effect.
The decision to issue a notice comes after a report submitted by an expert committee constituted by the ministry following a Supreme Court order.
Members of the committee who visited the plant site on February 3-5 concluded that the plant will cause environmental damage to the wetlands in the area. The committee has also recommended that there were alternate sites available in the vicinity where the plant can be allowed without affecting the eco-system.
“This is a victory for all those who have been protesting against the plant in a nonviolent way for the past twoand-a-half years. We welcome the move,” Kanu Kalsaria, Mahuva BJP MLA, told TOI. Kalsaria has been spearheading the agitation against the Nirma cement plant, which was given a go-ahead by the state government. When contacted, Union environment and forest minister Jairam Ramesh, said, “I don’t wish to comment on the matter as it is sub judice.”
Earlier, on November 23, 2010, the apex court had asked for a report from MoEF on the proposed cement plant of Nirma on the Saurashtra coastline.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia had issued notice to the ministry directing it to reply within a month in response to an appeal filed by a group of farmers under the banner Shree Mahuva Bandhara Khetiwadi Pariyavaran Bachav Samittee challenging an order issued by Gujarat HC.


Vijaysinh Parmar | TNN


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