Tuesday, Nov 25, 2003
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By Our Legal Correspondent
The writ petition was filed by J. Rama Rao representing the Forum for Better Hyderabad. The petitioner complained to the court that the airport was a polluting industry as defined by the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Union of India had sought to set up an airport within 10 km radius of Himayat Sagar lake.
The petitioner said that the Government had issued G.O. Ms.No.111 prohibiting setting up of major hotels, industries and any polluting activity, which might cause even air pollution within this zone. The petitioner said that the Supreme Court had considered the impact of the Government Order and struck down the decision of State Government seeking to permit an industry near Osman Sagar Lake.
The petitioner said that a huge terminal building which was equivalent to a major hotel and runways were sought to be located within 10 km of the prohibited zone.
The Bench felt that airport could not be construed as polluting activity similar to the earlier cases attracting stringent conditions of GO Ms.No.111.
The Bench further considered the contentions of the respondent authorities that when the GO was brought to their notice, they had forced the proponent to move out garages and work shops under such major activities outside the 10 km radius zone.
The Bench said that it was satisfied that AP Pollution Control Board and the Union of India had assessed the situation and came to the conclusion and the contention of the petitioner could not be agreed to.
Reacting to the High Court order, Capt. J. Rama Rao said that the forum would go in appeal to the Supreme Court. He said the Union Environment Ministry's notification of January 27, 1994, clearly listed airport activity as pollution causing, along with those at ports and harbours. They were grouped as item number three in the list of 30 pollution-causing activities requiring Environment Impact Assessment and prior clearance.
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