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Environmental impact appraisal Study of NTTPS

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Questions are raised on the Energy department’s plans for expanding Dr. Narla Tatarao Thermal Power Station (NTTPS) notwithstanding the environmental clearances secured for the project.

Voluntary organisations are raising concerns over the major environmental hazard the project would pose to the people and environment in the surrounding villages. They are questioning the `casual manner’ in which the environmental impact assessment was made for the project.

Study conducted by a Hyderabad-based NGO recommended scrapping of the plans considering “the injury to the environment and people” by the existing power station. Cerana Foundation has conducted the study at the request of people belonging to Guntupalli village abutting the Thermal power station.

A five-member team led by principal investigator and environmental engineer Sagar Dhara collected data and interviewed people in villages –Moolapadu, Guntupalli, Elaprolu, Guntupalli Railway Colony, Paritala, Nakalampeta, Jupudi, Undavalli, Mangalagiri and Trilochanapuram of Krishna and Guntur districts lying within 15 km radius of the plant on September 18, 19 last year. Pre-tested questionnaires that collected data on crop and milk yields were given to farmers – both individuals and groups.

Mr Dhara said that the appraisal conducted by the team was limited because it was zero budget survey. The survey, within its limitations, made clear that the impact of the existing units of NTTPS on environment and people was “unacceptable”. Yield losses in crop and milk in a radius of 10 km around the plant was Rs 300 crore a year. Loss to structures due to acid gas corrosion in the Railway colony alone was Rs 100 crore.

The cost of sequestering (removing and cleaning) Carbon dioxide “dumped” into the atmosphere by the plant was to the tune of Rs 8,500 crore. The extent of losses could be gauged by the fact that the survey did not cover losses to human health, water bodies and forests. “Such a large impact is not acceptable”.

He said regulatory agencies — state and central — failed to factor in environmental aspects and the people as they was no clarity on ``what is acceptable and what is not’’. This was very clear in the way the EIA consultant made light of the existing damage and cleared the expansion proposals. This was quite contrary to the experience of the people living around the plant, Mr Dhara said.

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Printable version | Jun 18, 2018 12:47:29 PM | http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/environmental-impact-appraisal-study-of-nttps/article6250257.ece