India: A public hearing over Birla Corporation subsidiary Reliance Cement’s planned 3.9Mt/yr Mukutban cement plant in Yavatmal district, Maharashtra has raised objections against the company’s quarry plans. The Times of India newspaper has reported that the plant is due to source its limestone from a 7.6km2 quarry in Korpana, Chandrapur district. Critics say that the company has failed to complete a wildlife management plan, and that the site of the mine lies on a 120km wildlife corridor between the Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary and the Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary in neighbouring Telangana. Reliance Cement said that an environmental report had shown the presence of no scheduled species within 10km of the proposed site.
Maharashtra state wildlife board member and honorary wildlife warden Bandu Dhore said, “Although there is no forest area under the proposed mining site, it acts as a regular corridor as there is forest on either side within 1km. We are pursuing the matter with the forest department and would press it with higher officials to ensure that the precious corridor remains undisturbed. Protection of corridors is a must for conservation of wildlife and hence we are going to raise the demand of re-survey of the project site from the wildlife point of view.”