The controversial Enron power project in
Maharashtra's katnagiri district has been referred
back to the ministry of environment and forests
(MFF) for clearance. The decision was taken on
September 27 by a division bench of the Bombay
High Court, following a writ petition filed in August
by the Bombay Environmental Action Group.
The Rs 9,000 crore gas-based project had. earlier been exempted from a January 1994 MEF notification that sought environmental impact studies of power projects along with suggestions and objections from the public. The ministry contended that the exemption was granted as the Dabhol Power Company's (DPC) application for environmental clearance was submitted before January.
The judges, however, disagreed. They specified, a j-point action plan that entails the submission of all documents relating to the project's environment impact by the ivc to the MEF; the examination of these documents by an expert committee comprising representatives from the ministry's thermal power and ports committees; making the committee's recommendations available to Bombay's environment groups for scrutiny within 2 days; an MEF hearing of the suggestions and objections; and, finally, the verdict.
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