SC permits French company to continue mining in Meghalaya

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New Delhi, Nov 24: The Supreme Court has permitted French cement manufacturer Lafarge to continue limestone mining in Meghalaya for its plant in Bangladesh.

A bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, Justices Arijit Pasayat and S H Kapadia yesterday granted permission to the French company accepting its contention that mining operations were not a threat to the environment of the area.

The Union Ministry for Environment and Forest had told the company to stop its operations as no mining is allowed in the forest areas. The apex court, however, agreed to the proposal as it is already being cleared by Centrally Empowered Committee(CEC) appointed by the apex court.

The apex court has already directed that no mining operations would be permitted in the forest areas of the country without prior permission of the Supreme Court. The CEC first considers the proposal of the company and also takes into account the damage it is likely to cause to the environment of the area and also ensures that the people affected by such operations are duly rehabilitated.

The Supreme Court while rejecting the application of Vedanta Aluminium Limited seeking permission to set up a refinery in Kalahandi district of Orissa, had taken into account the fact that the company had been black listed by Norway for violating labour laws as well as human rights.

The apex court while lauding the current growth rate of the country, expressed displeasure on account of the fact that the fruits of rapid economic growth were not reaching the weaker and downtrodden section of society, describing the growth ''not inclusive''.


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