Himachal greens upbeat over 'environmental justice'
Jaiprakash Associates Ltd. (JAL), a subsidiary of the JP Group, was last week slapped the hefty penalty for violation of environmental laws by the top court of the state.
Him Parivesh Environment Protection Society, a Nalagarh-based NGO and one of the petitioners in the high court, Sunday hailed the order, saying "it's an environment justice".
A division bench of Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjay Karol passed the landmark judgment May 4 ordering payment of Rs 100 crore as damages for having set up a cement plant by adopting fraudulent means and ordered the company to dismantle the 62 MW captive thermal plant within three months that is being constructed in the same premises.
Both the plants are located in vicinity at Bagheri in Nalagarh area of Solan district, some 120 km from state capital Shimla.
The bench found JAL guilty of a variety of lapses, including misleading the authorities on various occasions to obtain clearances.
Jagjit Singh Dukhia, president of Him Parivesh, said, "The judgment would prove that big corporate houses and government officials cannot hoodwink the public; it would come as a shot in the arm of activists fighting against injustice."
Its general secretary Balkrishan Sharma said, "We will continue to fight against hazardous industries like thermal, cement and pharma and the high court order (in JAL case) will further strengthen our efforts to rein in the regulatory bodies which are failing to do their job."