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Green effect: HC pulls up RIL

The Madras High Court has taken exception to Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) going ahead with a gas pipeline-related project in Puducherry without obtaining environmental clearance in advance.

business Updated: Jul 21, 2010 22:33 IST

The Madras High Court has taken exception to Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) going ahead with a gas pipeline-related project in Puducherry without obtaining environmental clearance in advance.

Passing an order on a PIL filed by S. Sai Kumar, hailing from Yanam, a territory of Puducherry, a division bench comprising Justices Prabha Sridevan and G.M. Akbar Ali said the fact that RIL had obtained approval after commencing the project was not enough.

The court also asked the Puducherry government to ask for and obtain an environment impact report from experts, since the project area was spread over mangrove forests.

The bench said it was disturbed by the company's attitude and expected it to have greater social responsibility. “If an environment disaster strikes, it will strike the mighty and the weak equally. We do not understand why the company should have commenced production and then obtained approval,” the bench said.

In his petition, Kumar asked the court to restrain respondents from establishing a “block valve station” for the pipeline project in Dariyalatippa village without due process of law as laid down in the Madras River Conservancy Act. He said he apprehended there would be environmental damage if the project was established.