NEAA cancels environmental clearance to Vedanta bauxite mining

In three separate decisions says no to Vedanta, Kotli-Behl but approves Bhavanapadu power plant

By Sumana Narayanan
Published: Friday 17 September 2010

The National Environment Appellate Authority (NEAA) today cancelled the environmental clearance given to Vedanta's bauxite mining in the Niyamgiri hills of Orissa. The authority has now referred the matter to the Union environment ministry for final consideration.

NEAA also cancelled the environment clearance given to Kotli-Behl 1B dam on the Alaknanda river in Uttarakhand . The NEAA also heard the case against the environment clearance given to the 2,640 MW Bhavanapadu thermal power plant in Andhra Pradesh. However, it did not cancel the clearance reasoning that construction of the plant, promoted by East Coast Energy Pvt Ltd, has already begun. The plant is located on an important wetland- the Nowpada swamps.

NEAA quoted a report submitted by Asad Rahmani, director of Bombay Natural History Society, to support its decision. Rahmani's primary recommendation was that the plant should not be constructed as it could destroy the wetland. However, in the secondary recoomendation he contended that since construction has begun and caused irreversible damage, mitigation measures should be put in place if the plant is allowed.

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