The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has made it clear that any coal tar processing unit operating in the country without clearance from State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) or Environment Ministry shall cease its operations till it obtains the requisite permission.

A bench headed by Justice P Jyothimani, however, made it clear that if a unit does not fall within the purview of the 2006 Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification, which provides for environment clearance (EC) requirement, it shall not be prohibited from operating.

The bench in its order noted that as per the 2006 EIA notification, a coal tar processing unit if located within a notified industrial area requires EC from SEIAA, while those set up outside such an area requires clearance from the Environment Ministry.

The order came on an application of a coal tar unit which was prohibited from operating by the NGT on August 14 for not having an EC from SEIAA or Environment Ministry, as is applicable.

The unit has claimed that it or others like it do not require environment clearance and added that the August 14 order should be applicable to all such units.

Meanwhile, another NGT bench here issued notice to the Centre and Odisha government on a separate plea opposing the proposed setting up of a coal tar processing unit in Angul district of the state.

The petition by Mandar Dalbehera, a resident of Parang village in Angul district of the state, alleged that the unit which Philips Carbon Black Ltd is planning to establish there has not obtained environment clearance.

His petition, filed through advocate Rahul Choudhary, contended that the unit is proposed to be built close to an irrigation project and could result in pollution of the environment apart from being a threat to the life of the villagers there.