The NGO, Hazira Kantha Vistar Odhyogik Pradushan Niravaran Samithi (HKVOPNS) alleged that the Hazira plant of the company had not complied with the Environment Clearance (EC) conditions and made no mandatory disposal in line with the environment clearance conditions.
It had also expanded the plant without due clearance. The NGO has voiced its concerns in a memorandum to the Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MOEFCC) and the Chairman of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in New Delhi, the Additional Chief Secretary to Forest and Environment department, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, the Chairman of Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB), Gandhinagar, the GPCB Surat Regional officer and the Surat District Collector.
The voluntary organization has demanded a thorough investigation into the environmental clearances provided to the company by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC).
In a public hearing held in September at Hazira for the company’s proposed modification to the existing plant and its plans to install auxiliary facilities and seek environmental clearance, residents of some 70 villages in the 10-kilometre area complained about water, air, and land pollution by the company. They pointed out that their crops had been damaged due to air pollution. The water pollution was causing health problems.
The public hearing was headed by GPCB Surat regional officers and district collector along with AM/NS company representatives who assured the villagers of remedial measures.
The latest complaint citing the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report for the project says that “based on the comparison of the satellite imagery freely available on Google Earth, it has come to the notice of the NGO that most of the plant units shown as proposed have been constructed already. A unit-by-unit comparison of satellite images of 2017 and 2020-21 makes the fact clear… This confirms the fact that the company has no regard for the environmental legislation, especially the EIA notification 2006 (amended), and is carrying out its operation in the most careless manner with total disregard to the environment and health of the villagers…”.
HKVOPNS Convener, Mr Dipak Patel said, “We have demanded immediate action on our complaint so that villagers staying in the vicinity of the company can get relief. Due to such pollution, several villagers were forced to migrate to Surat city. In our complaint, we have requested the authorities to form an expert committee comprising scientists, officials and our local representatives to address the key pollution issues. The outcome should be implemented… Till then the AM/NS plant should be closed down by MoEFCC and GPCB.”