AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday ordered the promoters of Mundra Port Special Economic Zone and Alstom Bharat Forge Power Ltd to stop construction activity till green clearance is obtained from the Union environment ministry.

A division bench of Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J.B. Pardiwala observed that till Mundra Port SEZ (MPSEZ) does not get environment clearance even lease of land to interested parties is unlawful.

The bench passed the order on a public suit filed by the residents of Navinal, one of the villages directly affected by the MPSEZ. MPSEZ is coming up in Mundra block of Kutchh district, 500 km northwest of state capital Gandhinagar.

The union commerce ministry granted permission for setting up multi-speciality Special Economic Zone at Mundra. It is promoted by Adani Group. The MPSEZ is spread over 18,000 hectares of land, of which, over 6,472 hectares is the SEZ.

Petitioner Ramjubhai Jadeja had sought a stay against the construction by MPSEZ and ALSTOM Bharat Forge Power Ltd. as neither of them have got environmental clearance. The petitioner's lawyer, Anand Yagnik, argued that both the companies must get environment clearance before starting any activity in the SEZ.

They brought to the notice of the court that the environment ministry has also constituted an expert committee to study the environment impact assessment, as the company has violated Coastal Regulation Zone Act (CRZ) too.

The respondents in their affidavit argued that the construction activity will not have any impact on humans or the environment but the court did not buy the argument and ordered all construction activity to stop with immediate effect.



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