KennedyValley Welfare Association v. Ceylon Repatriates Labourers Welfare and Service Society 2000(2) SCALE 143

KennedyValley Welfare Association v. Ceylon Repatriates Labourers Welfare and Service Society 2000(2) SCALE 143

A public interest litigation was filed by Krishna Nagar and Kennedy Valley Welfare Association and various other residents of the area seeking a mandamus to direct the closure of the stone-crusher and stone-quarries operating in the vicinity close to their residential area. The High Court Judge appointed an expert committee to inspect the area and submit a report.

 There by, the High Court of Madras issued a direction for the closure of all quarrying or crushing operation within 500 meters of the residential area. Beyond the 500 meter limit they would operate with a licence/permission and only if they adopt the pollution control measures recommended by the National Productivity Council, New Delhi  enclosing the jaw crusher and the screens so as to contain dust and noise and making arrangements for suppression of dust as well as air pollution. Further no quarrying of blue metal shall be permitted within 500 metres of the residential area and permitted only if they are beyond the limit of 50m of the residential area and strictly following the procedures required by the Mines and Safety regulations. Quarrying can be allowed by the State, provided it does not in any manner endanger human life or the vegetation. The Court expressed its concern as to why the State had not considered the applications made by the quarries for licences. It directed the State to dispose the applications within a month of the date of the order .

 The quarry owners filed writ appeal by virtue of which the limit of operation of the quarries was reduced from 500m to 50m. The residents of the locality in this petition are challenging this reduction of limit. This Court held that the lower Court was not justified in reducing the area restriction from 500m to 50m in respect of the quarries.

 This judgement is important as it has upheld the decision of the learned single judge who rightly appointed an Expert Committee and by accepting its recommendation ordered not to allow any quarrying or crushing operation close in residential area and within 500 meters of the residential area.