Kerala High Court directs EIAA to consider quarry owners’ applications

The court issued the order on the petitions filed by quarry owners from Idukki, Kottayam and Pathanamthitta districts against EIAA for not considering their applications.

Published: 27th February 2018 04:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th February 2018 04:13 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court has directed the Environment Impact Assessment Authorities (EIAA) to consider the environmental clearance application of quarry owners, whose establishments do not fall within the limits of ecologically-sensitive areas (ESA).

The court issued the order on the petitions filed by quarry owners from Idukki, Kottayam and Pathanamthitta districts against EIAA for not considering their applications.The EIAA cited there was an ambiguity with regard to whether or not the areas, where the quarrying/crushing was proposed, fell within the ambit of ecologically sensitive areas as notified by the Centre. Counsel for petitioner Mathew A Kuzhalnadan sought a directive to the respective EIAA to process the applications for environmental clearance expeditiously by treating the petitioner’s project as falling under the non-ESA category.

The court said with regard to the fixing of the boundaries and description of the Western Ghats eco-sensitive area in the state, the draft notification finds the eco-sensitive area is spread over 9,993.7 sq km, which includes 917 sq km of forest area and 886.7 sq km of non-forest area.The court stated since the quarries of the petitioners are not presently situated in the ESA areas, there was no impediment to consider their applications.

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