Gandhinagar/New Delhi, March 18 (IANS) The Supreme Court Friday refused to grant interim relief to Nirma’s proposed cement plant in Bhavnagar district of Gujarat. The opposition Congress Friday walked out of the state assembly when a BJP member was not allowed to raise the issue of farmers’ stir against the plant.
The apex court bench of Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia and Justices K.S. Panicker Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar has directed the Environmental Appraisal Committee of the union ministry of environment and forests (MOEF) to constitute a panel of five expert scientists to visit the site for spot assessment.
The expert panel will submit its report in eight weeks, the court said. The construction of the plant will remain in abeyance until such time.
The cement plant is to come up near Mahuva in Bhavnagar district of Gujarat.
Congress members staged a walkout after the Speaker denied permission to Mahuva’s BJP MLA Kanu Kalsaria, who is leading the farmers agitation, to raise the issue in the house.
Kalsaria was suspended for the day after he trooped into the well of the house following the speaker’s refusal of permission to raise the issue. He was later escorted out by marshals, triggering protests from the Congress members who raised anti-government slogans and then walked out.
Show-cause and stop construction notice was issued by the environemnt ministry March 12, which Nirma challenged before the Gujarat High Court. The high court had March 16 refused to interfere with the ministry’s notice.
Nirma Ltd. had approached the Supreme Court challenging this order.
A Gujarat High Court division bench March 16 rejected Nirma’s petition seeking stay of the ministry notice. Leader of Opposition Shaktisinh Gohil of the Congress told mediapersons, “We walked out of the house in protest against the anti-farmer attitude of the state government.”