The Indian Supreme Court Saturday questioned the government why it had given environmental clearance to Lafarge’s mining site in the forests of Khasi hill in Meghalaya.
A special forest bench, headed by Chief Justice S H Kapdia, asked Attorney General Goolam E Vahanvati as to why the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) relied on the wrong report of the local authority and did not send its own team to verify the facts.
The bench said: "When you have doubts regarding the project, you should send a team there... can you say that it was not a forest without going there. On this, Vahanvati said there is no mechanism to send a team and verify the facts under current rules and regulations. Vahanvati said the environmental clearance given to Lafarge in August 9, 2001 was based on a report submitted by the East Khashi Hill Autonomous Council that there was no forest and plantation in the area.