It has to ensure that the ‘bandhara' water is not polluted by the cement plant

The Gujarat High Court on Monday permitted the Nirma group to go ahead with the construction of its proposed cement plant at Mahuva near Bhavnagar in the Saurashtra region, but laid down a set of conditions. The counsel of the displeased agitating local farmers, however, said the petitioners planned to challenge the High Court's order in the Supreme Court.

A division bench of the High Court comprising chief justice S. J. Mukhopadhyaya and justice Akil Kureshi in its order directed Nirma to return another 46 hectares, claimed to be part of a water body, to the State government.

The company had already returned 54 hectares out of 100 hectares of the disputed land which constituted the water body. The court also made it clear that these 46 hectares would be excluding the canals through which the water would go in bandhara (checkdam) and the company would not be allowed to use this water for the cement plant.

Additionally, it would also have to ensure that the ‘bandhara' water was not polluted by the proposed cement plant.

The petitioners had contended that 222 hectares out of the 268 hectares allotted to the company by the State government formed part of a water body.

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