|A limestone mining project of UltraTech Cement Limited in Chhattisgarh had landed into a spot after the state government recently cancelled a non-objection certificate granted for expediting the project.|
The water resources department had given an NoC dated January 03, 2017 to the mining department, stating that the Pendraon reservoir adjoining the mine would not be affected by the mining activities. The mine, with a production capacity of four million tonnes per annum (mtpa), had been allotted to UtraTech Cement. The project is located across four villages in Tilda block of Raipur district and is interlinked with company’s integrated cement plant in the neighbouring Balodabazaar district.
The mined limestone will be used for the manufacturing of cement in the existing line as well as proposed new line II of cement plant, cement (2.75 to 6.75 mtpa) and clinker (2.2 to 6.75 mtpa). In April 2015, the company has received environmental clearance for the project. The company had been granted mining lease but the execution of mining deed was under process.
After the NoC was granted, local villagers launched a vehement protest against the project stating that the catchment area of the reservoir was coming under the mining area. They said the existence of the reservoir was at the stake. Over 11,000 acres of land was irrigated from the reservoir water in the area.
"The NoC has been cancelled with immediate effect as the state government is committed not to diminish even an acre of irrigation land from Pendraon," Chhattisgarh's irrigation minister Brijmohan Agrawal said. Following the cancellation of the NoC, the mining activities would not be allowed in the area.
The company did not respond to a mail sent for its version on the issue.