Surat : In a major setback to the Hindustan Zinc Limited (HZL), a Vedanta Group company, the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) postponed the public hearing for Environment Clearance (EC) for its Zinc Smelter complex at Doswada village in Tapi district’s Songadh taluka on Monday.
The GPCB officials took the decision to postpone the public hearing amid serious protests by tens of hundreds of villagers against the Hindustan Zinc Limited.
Amid heavy police security, villagers thronged outside the public hearing site at HZL at Doswada village holding placards ‘No Vedanta’ ‘No Zinc Smelter plant’. The villagers shouted slogans against the company and the GPCB for not allowing the village stakeholders to participate in the public hearing.
HZL proposes to setup state-of-the-art Zinc Smelter Complex with proposed capacity of 1×0.35 MTPA of Zinc Smelter along with Fumer Plant, 2X90 MW of Captive Power Plant (CPP) and 35 MW Waste Heat Recovery Boiler (WHRB) at GIDC Doswada village in Songadh taluka.
As per Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification dated September 14, 2006, the proposed project falls under category-‘A’ of project activity 3(a) metallurgical industries (ferrous & non-ferrous) and 1(d) thermal power plants and requires prior Environmental Clearance (EC) to be obtained from Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change (MoEF&CC) before the commencement of ground activity
People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) activist, Krishnakant Chauhan told TBT, “We won’t allow the public hearing to take place in future. This was the first step towards our victory. Allowing HZL for setting up Zinc smelter complex will have a huge environmental impact in Doswada village. The public hearing by GPCB is just an eyewash”