NGT quashes ECs for two limestone mining sites in Babarkot
Real Estate

NGT quashes ECs for two limestone mining sites in Babarkot

In a significant delay to cement giant Ultratech Cement Ltd, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has stopped environment clearances (ECs) for its two limestone mining sites in Babarkot village of Jafrabad taluka in Amreli district.

In its order dated February 21, the special bench of NGT ruled that the project fell under category A and was beyond the purview of the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) to award environment clearances. It further noticed that the said mines dropped under cluster mining and are the extensions to the current mining project which should have been reported by MoEF & CC (union ministry of environment, forest and climate change). They hold the project to be category 'A' as the mining area is integral and over 50ha. The conclusion of the Committee does not help the PP (Ultratech). It is observed that the total area is a cluster, the spirit of EIA (Environment Impact Assessment) needs that the influence of the entire activity is studied integrally, and the spirit of EIA notification needs such projects to be category A.

Further, it is the growth of existing projects which has to be appraised by MoEF&CC only and not by SEIAA, as has been done by way of impugned ECs, the bench said while stopping two ECs of Ultratech Cement Ltd and its subsidiary Narmada Cement. As per the case details, two appeals were filed in NGT challenging two ECs awarded by SEIAA for limestone mining by Bhagvan Solanki, president of Go Green Foundation.

The petitioner had claimed that the area of mines was over 50 hectares, so it comes under category A and cannot be provided EC by SEIAA. He further claimed that to overcome the legalities, the project was displayed as that of two separate mines.

Solanki also claimed that ECs have been awarded without following the due process of law in eco-sensitive areas. The petitioner contended before the NGT that ECs were awarded ignoring the influence of the project on the environment, wildlife, air pollution, water pollution, watercourse and the eco-sensitive area. Initially, SEIAA asked for additional data in January 2018, but thereafter, the project was sanctioned without the availability of the data, the petitioner claimed.

Image Source

In a significant delay to cement giant Ultratech Cement Ltd, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has stopped environment clearances (ECs) for its two limestone mining sites in Babarkot village of Jafrabad taluka in Amreli district. In its order dated February 21, the special bench of NGT ruled that the project fell under category A and was beyond the purview of the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) to award environment clearances. It further noticed that the said mines dropped under cluster mining and are the extensions to the current mining project which should have been reported by MoEF & CC (union ministry of environment, forest and climate change). They hold the project to be category 'A' as the mining area is integral and over 50ha. The conclusion of the Committee does not help the PP (Ultratech). It is observed that the total area is a cluster, the spirit of EIA (Environment Impact Assessment) needs that the influence of the entire activity is studied integrally, and the spirit of EIA notification needs such projects to be category A. Further, it is the growth of existing projects which has to be appraised by MoEF&CC only and not by SEIAA, as has been done by way of impugned ECs, the bench said while stopping two ECs of Ultratech Cement Ltd and its subsidiary Narmada Cement. As per the case details, two appeals were filed in NGT challenging two ECs awarded by SEIAA for limestone mining by Bhagvan Solanki, president of Go Green Foundation. The petitioner had claimed that the area of mines was over 50 hectares, so it comes under category A and cannot be provided EC by SEIAA. He further claimed that to overcome the legalities, the project was displayed as that of two separate mines. Solanki also claimed that ECs have been awarded without following the due process of law in eco-sensitive areas. The petitioner contended before the NGT that ECs were awarded ignoring the influence of the project on the environment, wildlife, air pollution, water pollution, watercourse and the eco-sensitive area. Initially, SEIAA asked for additional data in January 2018, but thereafter, the project was sanctioned without the availability of the data, the petitioner claimed. Image Source

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