In a major blow to Lafarge’s operations in Bangladesh, the Supreme Court refused to endorse the environmental clearance given by the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) to the company to mine limestone in Meghalaya. The court said approval for resuming mining operations can only be given to the company after “proper study (of environmental impact) by specialised agencies”.
On February 5, the apex court had restrained Lafarge from continuing mining operations for extracting limestone for cement production at its Lafarge Surma plant in Chhatak, Bangladesh.
A special forest bench headed by Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan said: “We are not prepared to consider the environmental clearance granted by MoEF in view of the amicus curiae’s submissions that certain reports ought to be submitted...Till the time appropriate reports are submitted by MoEF, we are not inclined to accept the report of MoEF and permit the mining activities.”
The court posted the matter for hearing in July first week.