The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) on Tuesday informed the Supreme Court that a cement plant of Nirma Industries in Bhavnagar district of Gujarat is located in an ecologically sensitive wetland area situated next to the natural habitat of Asiatic lions.
The ministry said that the plant has to be re-located immediately. The MoEF was replying to a petition filed by Nirma against a stop-work notice issued by the ministry.
A three-judge bench, led by Chief Justice of India S H Kapadia, adjourned the matter till Friday, giving Nirma the option of challenging the MoEF order either before it or the Green Tribunal.
The bench had earlier ordered a fresh environmental study by the Expert Appraisal Committee of the MoEF to ascertain whether the plant was in any wetland area or near water bodies. The panel was asked to seek reports from a body of experts with five scientists. Field visits were also ordered. The court had asked the experts panel to hear all the parties concerned, including Nirma and the residents near the site, and ascertain the project’s environmental impact.
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