Tuesday’s Gujarat High Court notice was issued to the Central Pollution Control Board, Gujarat Pollution Control Board, and Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB). This notice challenged a GPCB Public Interest Litigation (PIL), which sought to challenge a GPCB notice for a consolidated public inquiry for environment impact assessment (EIA), eight projects by Adani Enterprises. The hearing was set for April 30.
Kheti Vikas Seva Trust, through its president Naran Bhharu Seda Galvi, moved the PIL. The trust, which includes farmers, fishermen, and local villagers in Kutch, argued that the GPCBs notice of a consolidated hearing for eight Adani projects was not compliant with the requirement that there can be a consolidated public hearing for different projects, as per a 2009 Delhi High Court judgment.
A division bench of Chief Justice Aravind Kumar & Justice AJ Shastri issued notices to both the CPCB) & GPCB. Additionally, the state government and Kutch district collector were made parties to the litigation together with Adani Enterprises and Union of India.
While issuing notice, it added that respondents could make a decision subject to the outcome of
This petition. According to the petitioner, a notice was published on March 18 for a public hearing scheduled for April 30 for eight projects of Adani Enterprise.
The eight projects include manufacturing of a semi coke unit, calcium carbide unit, acetylene unit, VCM unit, PVC unit, caustic soda unit, ethylene glycol unit and cement plant, near two villages — Vandh and Tunda — in Mundra, Kutch, averred as Category A projects.
The public notice asked affected residents to attend the hearing or to send written responses to GPCB member secretary before the hearing date. It noted that the public hearing will be held at 11 a.m. on April 30 at Tunda village, Mundra, Kutch.
Siraj Gori, petitioners advocate, pointed out Tuesday that the location for the public hearing was only at one of the villages where the proposed projects were planned.
Gori also argued, that a similar case for public listening of more than one project had been brought before HC in 2010. Adani Enterprise was a respondent in the case. The court had ruled that public meetings will need to be held in phases and not in one day.
Adani Enterprises senior advocate Mihir Joshi argued that the main distinction between the judgments relied on by petitioner and the current case was in the former case, project proponents differed, whereas the Gujarat HC’s public hearing for eight projects is an integrated project.
Senior counsel Joshi pointed out that the petitioner-trust is approaching the court over a month after the public notice was issued.
The matter is expected that it will be heard again on June 20.