Hold GSPCB hearings seriously: Delhi HCPANAJI: The Goa State Pollution Control Coard’s six simultaneous public hearings on five different mines at Sanguem in 2007, has led the Delhi high court to ask the Union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) to take corrective steps and hold the hearings in seriousness.
NGO Utkarsh Mandal had approached the court and sought the quashing of an order issued by the MoEF in 2007 granting environment clearance to Panduranga Timblo Industries (PTI) for renewal of its mining lease at Rivona. During the hearing the scheduling of public hearings by GPSCB in respect of five mines (including that of PTI) on January 31, 2007 at 11 am at Vithal Devasthan at Sanguem came under the court’s scrutiny.
While setting aside the order passed by MoEF granting the environmental clearance to PTI, a division bench comprising chief justice Ajit Prakash Shah and justice S Murlidhar observed, “We find from the notice of the public hearing in the present case that as many as six public hearings were scheduled in regard to the projects (including PTI) by GPSCB on the same date and time and at the same venue.” The court also noted that it is a matter of concern that the requirement of public hearing under the EIA notification has been taken so lightly by the MoEF. “We expect the MoEF to immediately issue necessary instructions in this regard so that public hearings in terms of the EIA (environment impact assessment) notification dated 14th September 2006 take place with the seriousness which they deserve.”