EC to cement unit in Surat can't be sustained until concerns addressed: NGT

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New Delhi, Jan 22 (PTI) The National Green Tribunal Friday said the environmental clearance (EC) granted to a cement grinding unit in Surat cannot be sustained until all environmental concerns are duly addressed.

A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice A K Goel said the object of Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) is to ensure that all concerns affecting the environment are duly taken care of which has not been done in this case.

The tribunal was hearing plea filed by engineering and construction major Larsen & Toubro against order of the State Level Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA), Gujarat, granting the EC to Sanghi Industries for setting up of stand-alone Cement grinding unit at Shivrampur village at Choryasi in Surat.

L&T alleged that the project in question will have hazardous impact on Hazira Manufacturing Complex where it is manufactures defence equipment. The NGT in its order noted that the Counsel for the project proponent and SEIAA were unable to show any discussion in the minutes of State Expert Appraisal Committee which shows application of mind to the assessment of impact of dust generation during the transportation of cement.

“Beyond saying that provision has been made for covering the vehicles during transport and sprinkling of water, it has not shown as to how generation of dust and causing of noise pollution by movement of large number of heavy vehicles will be neutralised, given the carrying and load bearing capacity of the Panchayat road in question,” the bench said.

The tribunal referred the issue of assessment of carrying and load bearing capacity of the Panchayat road in question and evaluation of EIA and environment management plan prepared by the project proponent to the EAC of the Environment Ministry dealing with the cement plants, along with the representatives of CPCB, NEERI and IIT Mumbai.

“The CPCB will be the nodal agency for coordination and compliance. Coordination with the EAC may be through the MoEF.

“The Committee may assess how generation of dust and causing of noise pollution by movement of large number of heavy vehicles will be neutralised, given the carrying and load bearing capacity of the Panchayat road in question,” the bench said.

The Expert Committee may furnish its report to this Tribunal within three months by e-mail, the tribunal said. PTI PKS SA