Lafarge has met with issues regarding green clearances for a project in Himachal Pradesh. The company intends to set up a 3Mta cement plant in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh and in 2009 received environmental clearance for the project. However, a petitioner from the affected village has filed a case before the National Environment Appellate Authority against the plant.
Among other things, they alleged that the plant was being established within 10km of a wildlife sanctuary. Such proximity is not allowed without the permission of the National Wildlife board, which Lafarge had not sought.
The NEAA cancelled the clearance given to the project after a site visit. Lafarge then went to the Himachal high Court appealing against the cancellation of the environmental clearance.
At the high court, the petitioners have claimed that Lafarge hid the fact that its proposed cement plant was close to a wildlife sanctuary, which was later affirmed by the state forest department as well as the statutory Forest Advisory Committee of the Union environment ministry and finally by the appellate authority. The Majathal Wildlife Sanctuary falls within 5km of the plant site, the NEAA had concluded.