The Supreme Court has stayed an order of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) putting on hold the 2400 MW Kudgi Super Themal Power Project undertaken by the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) in Bijapur district of Karnataka.

A Bench of Justices T.S. Thakur and C. Nagappan stayed the operation of the NGT’s March 13 order and directed the matter to be listed for final hearing on August 5.

NTPC is implementing 2400 MW Kudgi Super Thermal Power Project in Bijapur district of Karnataka. This is one of the ambitious bulk tendering projects of NTPC with a unit size of 800 MW, expected to yield benefits from December, 2015 and the work is in full swing. On 13th March, 2014, the NGT passed an order directing MoEF to keep in abeyance the environmental clearance granted to the project and directing NTPC to maintain a status quo at the project.

In its appeal the NTPC maintained that the work at Kudgi STPP was already in an advanced stage with contracts worth Rs. 9500 Crores under execution and actual expenditure of about Rs. 2600 Crores already incurred. It said, “There is a workforce of about 3500 employees deployed at site by various contractors and sub-contractors. Stopping the work at this stage will not only hamper the timely completion of the project, vital for capacity addition in a power starved country like India, but also put the huge investment of public money at stake”, it said.

It also drew the court’s attention to the fact that the order of NGT itself stated that Bijapur district had a very low per capita income, there was no large industry or commercial activity in the district, the area in question needed development and establishment and operationalisation of such a big project was bound to improve the economy of that area. The NTPC prayed for quashing the NGT order and interim stay of its operation.

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