Environment

NGT sends notices to THDC, pollution control board on coal-fired power plant in Uttar Pradesh

Questions have been raised over procedural irregularities in granting environmental clearance

 
By Ishan Kukreti
Last Updated: Friday 14 July 2017 | 08:55:23 AM
The plant was allegedly cleared without the consideration for environmental and social implications of the project. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
The plant was allegedly cleared without the consideration for environmental and social implications of the project. Credit: Wikimedia Commons The plant was allegedly cleared without the consideration for environmental and social implications of the project. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has sent notices to the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPCB), Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and Tehri Hydro Development Corporation Ltd (THDC) in an ongoing case against setting up of coal-fired power plant by THDC in Khurja, Uttar Pradesh.

The power plant, which received environmental clearance on March 30, has been taken to the Tribunal by the Uttar Pradesh-based non-profit, Social Action for Environment and Forest (SAFE). 

The organisation has alleged that the plant was cleared without the consideration for environmental and social implications of the project. Moreover, the application filed by SAFE also points towards procedural irregularities.

“The project violates the Precautionary Principle as well as is based on submission of wrong and misleading information and data. The Expert Appraisal Committee and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change failed to undertake detailed scrutiny which is mandatory under the provisions of the Environment Impact Assessment Notification, 2006,” the application claims.

The applicants also mentioned that while the draft Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report was submitted on March 30, 2013, the public hearing for the project was conducted only after two years of this submission.

“It is pertinent to point out that as per the provision of the EIA Notification, 2006, the date, time and venue of the public hearing should be finalised within a period of 7 days from the receipt of the Draft EIA Report,” the application argues.

While the public hearing was delayed, the process laid down in the EIA Notification, 2006 for carrying out the activity was flouted, according to the application. It points out that no presentation of the impacts of the plant on the environment was made. “The entire proceedings seem to have been monopolised by officers of the State Pollution Control Board,” the application alleges.

“Coal burning is increasing air pollution. It will also increase air pollution in Delhi-NCR. Moreover, we have other methods of electricity production. Why government is still focusing on coal?” Vikrant Tongad of SAFE said.

The next hearing of the case is on August 8. 

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter :

Related Story:

Centre gives six months to deal with cases of environmental clearance violations

Why coal-fired power stations need to shut on health grounds

NDA government further eases environment clearances for projects

IEP Resources:

Protocol for sampling, analysis of coal and reporting of compliance in respect of implementation of the Gazette notification on use & supply of raw or blended or beneficiated coal with ash content not exceeding 34% ash content in coal based thermal power

National Green Tribunal quashes environment clearance of a thermal power plant in Chhattisgarh State of India

Judgement of the National Green Tribunal regarding environmental clearance granted to Tamil Nadu Power Company for the setting up of a thermal power plant in Cuddalore District, Tamil Nadu, 10/11/2014

National Green Tribunal (NGT) order on Pench thermal power project dated 11 July 2013

We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.