Justices Vineet Kothari and Krishnan Ramasamy were informed by Additional Advocate-General S.R. Rajagopal that environment clearance was one of the many permissions required by the company for the proposed expansion but the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests-cum-Chief Wildlife Warden had returned its proposal.

CHENNAI
Sun Pharma’s plea to expand near Vedanthangal returned, says government
The Vendathangal Bird Sanctuary is home to around 40,000 species of migratory birds that visit it every year from various parts of the world. Photo: File
The Vendathangal Bird Sanctuary is home to around 40,000 species of migratory birds that visit it every year from various parts of the world. Photo: File | Photo Credit: B. Velankanni Raj
Mohamed Imranullah S.
CHENNAI 24 JULY 2020 23:47 IST
UPDATED: 24 JULY 2020 23:47 IST

Madras High Court disposes of public interest litigation against company, says it is now rendered infructuous
The State government told the Madras High Court on Friday that it had “returned” as early as on June 15 a plea for environment clearance by Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Limited to expand operations within the premises of its existing unit situated close to the Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary in Kancheepuram.

Justices Vineet Kothari and Krishnan Ramasamy were informed by Additional Advocate-General S.R. Rajagopal that environment clearance was one of the many permissions required by the company for the proposed expansion but the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests-cum-Chief Wildlife Warden had returned its proposal.

The submission was made during the hearing of a public interest litigation petition filed by T. Vennila, 36, secretary of the environmental wing of Naam Tamilar Katchi.

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The petitioner had sought a direction to the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority to reject the proposal submitted by the pharmaceutical company.

When the case was listed for admission, her counsel Rajiv Gandhi told the court that the sanctuary was home to around 40,000 species of migratory birds that visit it every year from various parts of the world. He said the birds rest, nest and feed on a wetland spread over 29.51 hectares.

On July 3, 1998, the State had declared all places within the 5-km radius from the wetland a wildlife sanctuary zone. However, the pharmaceutical company was permitted to continue operations since it had been established before 1998.

On May 30 this year, the company applied for environmental clearance to expand its operations on 17.27 acres within its existing premises. Claiming that the industry was situated within 3.72 km from the wetland and that it uses hazardous active pharmaceutical ingredients, the petitioner insisted on rejecting the proposal.

Pending proposal

Since the proposal had been returned, the judges said the petitioner’s prayer had become infructuous. During the course of arguments, the petitioner’s counsel said the State government was attempting to shrink the wildlife sanctuary zone from a radius of 5 km to 3 km.

The Additional Advocate-General said a proposal to declare the immediate radius of zero to 1 km as a core zone, a further radius of 1 km to 3 km as buffer zone and 3 km to 5 km as eco-sensitive zone, as per the Centre’s stipulations, was pending with the National Board for Wildlife.

Since no decision had been taken yet on this issue, the judges disposed of the PIL petition after granting liberty to the petitioner to approach the appropriate authority before which the matter was pending

CHENNAI
Sun Pharma’s plea to expand near Vedanthangal returned, says government
The Vendathangal Bird Sanctuary is home to around 40,000 species of migratory birds that visit it every year from various parts of the world. Photo: File
The Vendathangal Bird Sanctuary is home to around 40,000 species of migratory birds that visit it every year from various parts of the world. Photo: File | Photo Credit: B. Velankanni Raj
Mohamed Imranullah S.
CHENNAI 24 JULY 2020 23:47 IST
UPDATED: 24 JULY 2020 23:47 IST

Madras High Court disposes of public interest litigation against company, says it is now rendered infructuous
The State government told the Madras High Court on Friday that it had “returned” as early as on June 15 a plea for environment clearance by Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Limited to expand operations within the premises of its existing unit situated close to the Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary in Kancheepuram.

Justices Vineet Kothari and Krishnan Ramasamy were informed by Additional Advocate-General S.R. Rajagopal that environment clearance was one of the many permissions required by the company for the proposed expansion but the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests-cum-Chief Wildlife Warden had returned its proposal.

The submission was made during the hearing of a public interest litigation petition filed by T. Vennila, 36, secretary of the environmental wing of Naam Tamilar Katchi.

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The petitioner had sought a direction to the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority to reject the proposal submitted by the pharmaceutical company.

  • When the case was listed for admission, her counsel Rajiv Gandhi told xthe court that the sanctuary was home to around 40,000 species of migratory birds that visit it every year from various parts of the world. He said the birds rest, nest and feed on a wetland spread over 29.51 hectares.

On July 3, 1998, the State had declared all places within the 5-km radius from the wetland a wildlife sanctuary zone. However, the pharmaceutical company was permitted to continue operations since it had been established before 1998.

On May 30 this year, the company applied for environmental clearance to expand its operations on 17.27 acres within its existing premises. Claiming that the industry was situated within 3.72 km from the wetland and that it uses hazardous active pharmaceutical ingredients, the petitioner insisted on rejecting the proposal.

Pending proposal

Since the proposal had been returned, the judges said the petitioner’s prayer had become infructuous. During the course of arguments, the petitioner’s counsel said the State government was attempting to shrink the wildlife sanctuary zone from a radius of 5 km to 3 km.

The Additional Advocate-General said a proposal to declare the immediate radius of zero to 1 km as a core zone, a further radius of 1 km to 3 km as buffer zone and 3 km to 5 km as eco-sensitive zone, as per the Centre’s stipulations, was pending with the National Board for Wildlife.

  • Since no decision had been taken yet on this issue, the judges disposed of the PIL petition after granting liberty to the petitioner to approach the appropriate authority before which the matter was pend

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