Mahuva Movement against Nirma Cement Plant

Reported by

Aditi PatilLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

January 6, 2020

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The Govt of Gujarat sanctioned to Nirma Ltd. 288 hectares (720 acres) to construct cement factory and 3000 hectares (7500 acres) for limestone mining in 2008. The grant was given after the Indian Minister of Environment and Forests granted Environmental Clearance to Nirma on the basis of rapid environmental impact assessment (EIA), that describes the project site as a wasteland. Nirma then obtained inprinciple approval from the state to mine limestone from 3,460 ha in Mahuvas Padhiarka village to feed the cement plant. Part of the project site was a reservoir, Samadhiyala Bandhara, and its catchment, spread over 100 ha. Farmers used the reservoir water to irrigate their fields and therefore the allotment triggered widespread protests. Around 5,000 people protested against the loss of agricultural land which farmers use for onion and cotton production. The MoEF, on 11 March 2011, issued a show cause notice to Nirma under Section 5 of The Environment Protection Act, 1986 for permanent suspension of work and revocation of the environment clearance granted to the cement plant, captive power plant and coke oven plant. The Supreme Court directed the MoEF to call for the report of an expert body consisting of five independent reputed scientists(XV) on 18 March 2011.  This body unanimously concluded that the site of Nirmas industrial complex must be relocated outside Samdhiyala Bandharaa common property resourceand its periphery (Babu 2011). Based on this report, the MoEF cancelled the environment clearance given to Nirma for the cement plant at Mahuva on 1 December 2011 and filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court stating the same on 8 December 2011. In February 2012, Nirma moved the NGT. In January 2015, NGT delivered final judgment and set aside the revocation order of environment ministry. Acquitting Nirma of any wrongdoing, the NGT has now asked the Gujarat State Pollution Control Board to monitor the project for a period of two years to see what the effects of the running of the project on the water body will be.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

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Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Government of Gujarat, National Green Tribunal, Gujarat High Court, Ministry of Environment and Forests

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Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Nirma Limited

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of Corporate Authorities Approached

Other Parties Involved in the Conflict:

People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Sahiyar (Stree Sangathan), Mahuva Khetivadi Paryavaran Bachao Samiti

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Documented By

Aditi Patil

Reviewed By

Aditi Patil

Updated By

Aditi Patil

Edited By

Aditi PatilLand Conflict Watch

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