New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday sought a response from the Adani Group of Companies, the Centre and others on a petition seeking to stall work at the former’s Rs7,400-crore multi-product Special Economic Zone in Gujarat.
A bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan issued a notice to Adani, the ministries of Commerce and Environment and Forests, Mundra Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd, Gujarat government, Gujarat Pollution Control Board and others and tagged the petition with another similar plea filed by the fishermen of Gujarat.
Mundra SEZ, established under the SEZ Act of 2005, is proposed to come up in about 6,000 acre of land.
Challenging the Gujarat High Court’s interim order that rejected their prayer for staying the development activities at Mundra SEZ, the petition filed by seven fishermen has opposed the allotment of land which falls in the areas that come within the purview of the Coastal Regulation Zone.
It assailed the filling and construction activity in the Coastal Regulation Zone undertaken by the Adani group in the creeks situated in Mundra area of Kutch district.
According to the petitioners, the company, after allotment of an additional area of 2113.7962 hectare of land, had undertaken construction and development activity for the additional SEZ without obtaining prior environmental clearance as mandated by the Ministry of Environment and Forests’ notification of 14 September 2006.
Giving details about the alleged constructions, the fishermen said the Adani Group had constructed an air strip and airport, residential township, roads and fencing and reclaimed water front area and filled up creeks, which was in violation of the notification.
While seeking a direction to appoint a committee comprising senior officials of Environment ministry, the fishermen said the panel should file a detailed report regarding the development already undertaken by the Adani Group in the SEZ.
Alleging the development was undertaken without obtaining prior environmental clearance as mandated by the notification, the petition said the state pollution board had also refused to grant permission to the Adani Group for installation of high capacity coal, other bulk cargo terminals and waterfront development plan.
Even the notice which was published informing the public about the SEZ was in English despite knowing that the affected persons did not know the language, it added.
“Moreover, the authority has contemplated a hearing at only one village when the development will affect the entire district of Kutch and more particularly Mundra Taluka having a large number of villages,” it said.