Monday, November 29, 1999

PIL against Hiranandani``s 350-MW power project in Pune

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Mumbai, June 17 (PTI) The Hirandani Group''s proposed 350-MW power project in Navlakh Umbre village of Maval Taluka in Pune has run into rough weather, with residents filing a PIL in the Bombay High Court demanding that the project should be shifted elsewhere. Justice J N Patel and Justice S C Dharmadhikari today asked the Maharashtra government to file its response to the PIL by July 29 after the company made a statement that it will maintain the status quo and will not fell trees until it gets clearance from the statutory authorities. Hiranandani Group firm Hindustan Electricity Generation Company Pvt Ltd had proposed to set up the project in the village and had obtained environmental clearance from the authorities after convening a public hearing with villagers. The PIL pointed out irregularities in sanctioning the environmental clearance for the project, saying the public meeting was a "farce", as it was attended by a handful of people. It also demanded a fresh public hearing. The PIL said such a project should be ideally located in an industrial area and needs to be shifted. Besides, there was a wildlife presence within a ten km radius around the site. The PIL also alleged that power generation activities at the plant would release toxic gas. The PIL further alleged that the Environment Impact Assessment report had been doctored to state that there was no human habitation within 10 km of the site.

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