Hindustan Zinc Ltd faces protest at its Gujarat plant site

Hindustan Zinc is facing the ire of locals in Gujarat for its upcoming Rs 10,000-crore zinc smelter complex at Dosawada industrial estate in Tapi district. Police had to lodge an FIR against 200 ‘unknown’ people late on Monday night following violent protests during the public hearing of HZL’s proposed 300 kilo tonnes per annum (KTPA) greenfield zinc smelter plant, touted as the world’s biggest zinc smelter complex.

As part of the statutory requirement, Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) had conducted a public hearing for 91 villages located in the radius of 10 km from the proposed plant site. During the hearing, a large group of locals started opposing the proceedings and pelted stones on the officials. According to a senior police official more than 120 teargas shells were lobbed by cops to disburse the mob.

Vedanta group-owned leading zinc producer Hindustan Zinc Ltd (HZL) had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Government of Gujarat for a greenfield zinc smelter project in Tapi in South Gujarat in October 2020. HZL has committed to invest upto Rs 10,000 crore for setting up of the 300 kilo-tonnes per annum (ktpa) greenfield zinc smelter in Doswada industrial estate of Tapi district in South Gujarat.

Located over 100 km from Hazira port and 90 km from the upcoming Magdala port, the zinc smelter facility will occupy an area of 415 acres. The facility is expected to be operational by 2022. The new facility will use modern zero discharge technology and automation and create employment for 5000 people directly and indirectly. The project is expected to be among the lowest cost smelters in the world. Along with zinc, the new facility will also produce other minor metals and will be in close proximity to its downstream user industries.

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