Shimla: Cement major Lafarge suffered a major setback for setting up a cement plant at Alsindi in Mandi district after the National Environment Appellate Authority (NEAA) revoked the environment clearance that was granted by the central government.
The NEAA judgment was delivered after the one-man team, consisting of NEAA Chairman JC Kala made an on the spot inspection at the plant and mine site in June 23.
Local people and environmental groups had petitioned NEAA, after the company had managed to get the all important environment clearance from the central government on 8th June, 2009.
The Himachal government had approved the 3 million tons per annum Greenfield cement plant to the French conglomerate on 25th September 2006 in the hope of attracting Rs 900 Crore investments for the proposed captive mine plant at Alsindi.
Environmentalists Manshi Asher and Prakash Bhandari, who have been opposing the cement plant said that NEAA judgment spells out the adverse implications of the project and also points towards the faulty and inadequate Environment Impact Assessment done for the project plans.
NEAA is an appellate body that hears public grievances against environmental clearances handed out by the ministry of environment and forestry.
â€œA detailed impact study with respect to air, water, soil, noise and socio-economic components was undertaken within 10 km radius of the proposed project site and necessary safeguards provided,â€ the spokesperson said.
He said manufacturing at the site would be undertaken through a dry process technology using minimal water and based on zero-discharge concept. Any surplus waste water would be treated and solid waste from treatment plant would be disposed off in an environmentally sound manner.
Lafarge India Pvt Ltd., is a subsidiary of the French giant, which happens to be the worldâ€™s second largest cement company in the world.