NEW DELHI: Only small, micro and macro-level industries which are eco-friendly, non-polluting or necessary to secure essential amenities can be allowed in Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ), the National Green Tribunal has said.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel made the observation while setting aside the environmental clearance granted to a mining company for extraction of minor minerals.
The green panel said the project in question is a ‘red category’ project involving blasting within 10 km of TTZ which is not permissible and the impugned EC is liable to be set aside.
“However, in absence of any representation by the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) and the project proponent, we direct the ministry to pass an appropriate further order in the matter within two months and till such a decision is taken, the impugned EC may not be given effect and no mining in terms of the project may be carried out,” the bench said.
The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Rajasthan resident Haribhan and others against the order of the MoEF granting environmental clearance in respect of mining of minor minerals including ‘Khanda, Gitti and Boulders’ by m/s A Millstone Pvt Ltd, located at Kandoli, Ghata, Bokoli, Mahalpur, Kachhi, Baroli, Dahina, Ranpur, Jatroli, Lakhanpur, Rajpura, Ranpura villages in Bharatpur.
The main ground for challenge in the appeal is that the expert appraisal committee (EAC) did not determine the question whether the project could be allowed in TTZ area where adhoc moratorium on expansion and setting up of the new industries is in the operation, as per the decision of the MoEF.
The project will affect Taj Mahal, which is a World Heritage site, the plea said.
TTZ is an area of about 10,400 sq km spread over the districts of Agra, Firozabad, Mathura, Hathras and Etah in Uttar Pradesh and the Bharatpur district of Rajasthan.