Courts Update Southern Zone NGT stays for 7 months, environmental clearance...

Southern Zone NGT stays for 7 months, environmental clearance given to NTPC


Chennai, May 29 (ILNS) The Southern Zone, Chennai-National Green Tribunal has stayed the environment clearance given to the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) for starting a new thermal power plant at Ramagundam village and Mandal in Karimnagar district of Telangana, for seven months.

The Bench headed by Justice K Ramakrishnan said that the Environment clearance granted to
the project proponent dated January 21, 2016 and subsequent amended clearance in 2017 and 2020, are
directed to be kept in abeyance for a period of seven months.

An appeal was filed in the Tribunal, challenging the Environment Clearance granted to the NTPC for starting a new thermal power plant having capacity of
2x800MW on following grounds-

I. The Expert Appraisal Committee on its 46nd meeting had mechanically recommended the
project though the project proponent had not complied with the earlier directions issued by
them as per their 45th Meeting wherein they have sought for certain clarification and further
II. The project proponent had not produced any coal linkage with any coal supply unit or mines
to ascertain the nature of coal which they were expected to use. They had also not conducted
any proper study regarding the radioactivity and heavy metal analysis of the coal to be used
from which the fly ash is likely to be produced by using the coal as fuel.
III. The ambient air quality study was not properly conducted. The modelling ambient air quality
prepared was not representing the real status in that area.
IV. There was no proper cumulative impact assessment of ambient air quality done especially
when it is a high polluted 8 industrial cluster. Hydro-geological impact and impact on ground
water, surface water etc has not been properly assessed. Further, there was no proper study
conducted in respect of Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) claimed by the project proponent as
during monsoon they were permitted to discharge the treated water into Godavari River
which itself is being polluted on account of other untreated discharge of different types of
effluents including sewage water.
V. There was no proper health impact study conducted in that area.
The two power plants are planned to be developed at a cost of Rs 10,598 crore and were expected
to be commissioned in the upcoming financial year.
The Tribunal has directed the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to direct the NTPC
to conduct various studies and after these studies and assessments are conducted, reports are
submitted to the MoEF and their evaluation is done by the Expert Appraisal Committee.
The appeal is disposed with directions to MoEF&CC is directed to conduct a further study on
following aspects-
I. Project proponent shall be directed to conduct radio-activity and heavy metal test of coal to
be used including alternative coal which they propose to use and probable impact of the
same on environment and the mitigative measures to be taken to reduce impact if any on
II. The project proponent shall be directed to conduct cumulative impact assessment of ambient
air quality modelling for a radius of 15 km from the project
III. The project proponent shall be directed to conduct fresh study regarding the area for
installation of FGD system, Hydro-geological impact assessment on account of the ash pond

due to storage of ash slurry in the ash pond its location and the mitigation measures to be
taken for avoiding any possible pollution on account of the same on water quality in that
IV. They are also directed to conduct a proper study on the disposal of waste water/effluent by
using methodology of ZLD system on a scientific basis taking into account the water quality
V. After getting the impact assessment report as directed, the MoEF&CC is directed to forward
the same to Expert Appraisal Committee for further appraisal and getting their
recommendations of additional conditions, if any, to be imposed and then consider the same
and impose necessary additional conditions for this purpose and allowing the unit to operate
till then the environment clearance dated January 21, 2016 and other environment clearance
granted in 2017 and 2020 relied on by the project proponent are directed to be kept in
abeyance. ILNS/HS/RJ


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