Rajasthan High Court Stays 4 GW Solar Facility In Sambhar Lake

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The Rajasthan High Court ruled Hindustan Salt Ltd not to proceed with the construction of the 4,000 MW (4 GW) solar facility in Sambhar Lake due to the environmental harm and ecological imbalance that the project will impart.

The Times of India (TOI) stated on December 11 that Sambhar Salt Ltd, a subsidiary of Hindustan Salt Ltd, has requested expressions of interest (EoI) from solar power companies for the establishment of this gigantic solar facility.

Amicus curiae R B Mathur bespoke for a project stay, sending a copy of TOI report as well as the EoI for the project. 

“The court took note of the TOI story published on December 11 and listened to the arguments in detail before delivering the ruling that Hindustan Salt Ltd can hear applications in regard to the EoI but cannot take any further action,” Mathur added.

Before issuing the decision, the court was content with the issues mentioned in the application and the TOI report, according to Mathur.

The 4,000MW project will require more than 16,000 acres, which entail erecting solar panels across vast belts of land, according to TOI. It is believed that such a large-scale undertaking on the marsh will annihilate the ecology and all of its genetic diversity. 

At present, nobody is in charge of Sambhar management. However, the multi-departmental Sambhar Development Agency, which is looking forward to permission from the law department, is intended to play a significant role in safeguarding the wetland and developing a sustainable development model for the benefit of local populations.

Former Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, initially proposed a similar-capacity solar plant in 2013, when he visited Jaipur to campaign for the party ahead of the state elections. The project was cancelled after Vasundhara Raje took office because it would harm the wetland’s habitat and ecosystem.

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