The ministry of forest and environment (MoEF) on Monday told the Supreme Court that Lafarge Umiam could resume limestone mining in Meghalaya under the revised Conservation Plan and it had to pay up to Rs 130 crores towards afforestation and development of tribal area around the mines.
Asked by the SC on April 26 to conduct fresh environmental impact studies given the strong reservation towards mining by the Shella Village Committee, the MoEF filed an affidavit in the SC through counsel Harish Beeran brightening the prospect of resumption of supply of limestone to the French multinational’s cement plant, which had been stayed since February 5.
The ministry said Lafarge Umiam had to pay up Rs 72.66 crores at 9% interest from April 1, 2007 towards the adhoc CAMPA, which would work out to Rs 88 crores. In addition, it had to pay the government of Meghalaya Rs 90/t of limestone mined from the state since 2007, which would work out to around Rs 45 crores.
On April 26, the SC had asked the MoEF to conduct fresh environmental impact assessment and Lafarge to firm up plans for protection of biodiversity and the soil in addition to what was already promised by the multinational.