An expert committee appointed by Environment and Forest ministry on the order of the Supreme Court of India is visiting Gujarat’s Mahuva site of the contraversial Nirma cement plant for an on the spot review.
The committee visited Malan and Samadhiala water bodies in the morning and interacted with those opposing Nirma plant and those supporting in the afternoon.
The Supreme court bench of Chief Justice of India SH Kapadia and Justices KS Panicker Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kuma had directed fresh assessment by a panel of five expert scientists appointed by Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) on 18 March, and ordered to stopped construction of the plant in till the next order.
The expert body report is in Mahuva to find answers of following questions:
- Whether the lands in question were wetlands/water bodies?
- Whether project could come upon such a wetland/water body? If so what would be its impact in terms of environment degradation?
- If at all, the project should come up on such wet lands/ water bodies, what steps should the user agency take for environmental safeguards?
- What is the precise stage of projects?
The panel would submit its report before 18 May to the Ministry of Enviornment and Forest. The ministry will then appraise the apex court of the findings and conclusions on the next hearing listed for May 10.