Report of the expert committee set up by the MoEF as per orders of the Supreme Court dated March 18. The report clearly states that the plant is situated within the catchment area of the Samadhiala bandhara. It is indeed a wetland or a waterbody and the committee report recommends the relocation of the Nirma cement plant. This is the first of its kind decision by the Ministry.
Some hundred people, men and women, were gathered on the hill. Many more, I could see, were trudging up. Their faces were resolute. I asked why they were opposing the cement plant. Their answer was simple: “We cannot eat cement.” “But the plant will bring you employment and prosperity,” I said. The reply this time, with a touch of irritation, was: “We have our fields and now with the water in the tank we have good produce. We are not rich like you but we have food to eat.” I persisted, “But your land is not being taken away to build the plant. The government says it has only allocated village grazing land and wasteland to build the factory.” Their anger spilled out.