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Lafarge denies mining violation in Meghalaya
SHILLONG, MAR 20:
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Published on 21 Mar. 2010 1:09 AM IST
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Lafarge Umiam Mining (LUM), a subsidiary of the French cement giant, has rubbished allegations of violating Supreme Court order on mining activities in Meghalaya.
Shella Action Committee (SAC) was seeking justice from the apex court against Lafarge’s ‘’violation of the Constitutional provision’’ against transfer over of tribal land in Meghalaya.
According to a report in UNI, the committee alleged that quarries operated by Lafarge would have long-term implications on the people of Meghalaya in having control over indigenous lands and using of sustainable resources.
LUM is to mine and supply limestone for its 250 million dollar cement plant at its Surma Cement at Chhatak in Bangladesh, located just ten km away from the quarries across the Indo-Bangla border.
The minerals are sent through a 17 km-long unique cross-border mine to plant conveyor belt.
In an e-mailed statement issued here, Lafarge said, ‘’There is nothing new in the allegations made by the SAC which is an unconnected breakaway group of Shella Village Durbar.’’ It added that the company had always followed the environmental and legal compliances. “We are strictly adhering to the Supreme Court’s decision and we have immediately stopped its mining operations in the area,’’ the statement added.
The cement giant also denied the allegations of the organisation that the company had obtained environmental clearance by falsely showing thick forest land as wasteland.
‘’Similar allegations were made by the SAC in a case filed in Gauhati High Court. It was examined by the government and found to be false and baseless, and accordingly the government filed an affidavit in the High Court to the same effect,’’ the statement said.
On February last, the Supreme Court had stayed Lafarge’s mining activities in the area after the Committee had filed an application in the court.

 
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