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Uttarakhand HC issues notice on PIL against stone crusher unit running without PCB approval

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The Uttarakhand High Court has issued notice on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) alleging that a private respondent has established and is operating a stone crusher in Village Udaypuri Bandobasti, Tehsil Ramnagar, District Nainital without the State Pollution Control Board’s consent.

The PIL has been filed by one Ajit Singh. The counsel for the petitioner has submitted that by Office Memo dated 31.12.2021, the State Government has granted the license to the private respondent permitting it to establish and operate the stone crusher for 10 years. The same is, however, subject to the specific conditions that private respondent should firstly, obtain consent to establish the stone crusher plant and, there after, should also obtain consent to operate the same from the State Pollution Control Board, in terms of the prevailing statutory scheme.

It is further submitted by the Counsel that no consent has been obtained from the State Pollution Control Board to establish the stone crusher plant.

The petitioner has placed on record photographs to claim that private respondent has already started undertaking to establish the stone crusher plant without having consent of the State Pollution Control Board.

The Counsel for the State Pollution Control Board on instructions stated that no consent has yet been granted to respondent no.6 to establish the said plant.

In these circumstances, the Division Bench of Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Ramesh Chandra Khulbe directed private respondent to maintain status quo and not to undertake further activities to establish the stone crusher plant till the consent to establish it is obtained from the State Pollution Control Board.

In case a private respondent applies for grant of such consent, the said application shall be dealt with on its own merits by the State Pollution Control Board, the Bench directed.

The Court has listed the matter on 29.11.2022 for further hearing.

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