“The public hearing was held as per norms and video graphed. In the first meeting, the Expert Appraisal Committee sought clarifications and did not accept the EIA report as it is. In the second meeting, the clarifications were duly evaluated,” the NGT said
New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal Tuesday refused to quash the environmental clearance granted to 1,320 MW coal-based super critical Khurja Thermal Power Project in Uttar Pradesh saying concerns for air and water pollution have been duly addressed. The green panel said the procedure laid down as per Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification of 2006 has been duly followed and detailed EIA report has been prepared by an accredited consultant dealing with all environmental issues exhaustively.
“The public hearing was held as per norms and video graphed. In the first meeting, the Expert Appraisal Committee sought clarifications and did not accept the EIA report as it is. In the second meeting, the clarifications were duly evaluated,” the NGT said.
“The concerns for air and water pollution have been duly addressed. We, thus, do not find any ground to interfere with the impugned EC,” the tribunal said.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice A K Goel, however, directed that all the EC conditions must be strictly complied with and duly monitored.
“Further, as regards general condition relating to utilisation of 100 per cent fly ash, requirement of 100 per cent utilisation only from fourth year of operation cannot be justified in view of Notification issued by the Environment Ministry.
“The said date cannot be extended. Even for the new projects, granting of more time will be in violation of the said notification and fly ash disposal must be simultaneous with the generation,” the bench said.
Accordingly, the said condition will stand modified to the effect that 100 per cent utilisation of fly ash be ensured from the date of commissioning of the project itself, the tribunal said.
The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by an NGO, SAFE seeking quashing of the environmental clearance granted to the Rs 9,747.5 crore project in Bulandshahr district which is to be implemented by state-run THDC India Ltd (THDCIL) and the UP government.
The petition had alleged that the the coal-fired power plant has been approved without any consideration of the environmental and social implication of establishing such a polluting activity in an area which is already highly polluted and water stressed.
It had also sought a temporary prohibition on new proposals for thermal power plants within 300 km of Delhi till there is a decline in the levels of pollution.
The plea, filed through advocates Ritwick Dutta and Rahul Choudhary, had said the draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) report on the project was submitted on March 30, 2013 and the public hearing was conducted on August 1, 2015 that was ovber two years after the submission of the EIA report.
“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 seven days from the receipt of the draft EIA Report,” the plea had said.
The proposal is for setting up of two units of 660 MW and the power generated from the project will be evacuated through 400 KV transmission systems by Power Grid Corporation Ltd.
About 1,400 acres of land is required for the project, of which 1,200 acres has already been acquired. The coal requirement would be 5.4 million tonnes per annum which will be sourced from the Madhya Pradesh State Mining Corporation.
A total population of 4,171 will be affected from five villages due to the project activities.
Khurja Super Thermal Power Station in Bulandshahr district is one such station being set up for supply of power to the beneficiaries of northern region and Uttar Pradesh.