NGT breather for TS-Genco on Manuguru thermal plant

Updated - July 12, 2016 07:47 am IST

Published - July 12, 2016 12:00 am IST - HYDERABAD:

In a big relief to the Telangana State Power Generation Corporation Ltd (TS-Genco), the southern zone bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Monday party allowed a petition filed by the Human Rights Forum against execution of 4 x 270 MW Bhadradri Thermal Power Plant at Manuguru in Khammam district by the former.

The NGT bench, according to official sources, however, has refused to direct the TS-Genco, the third respondent in the case, to demolish the structures of the plant already put up. The Bench comprising Justice P. Jothimani and P.S. Rao has asked the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests & Climate Change (MoEF) to proceed with the process of appraisal of the project, provided the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) gives its nod.

In its judgment delivered in a petition filed by K. Venkata Narasaiah, general secretary of HRF Khammam district unit, the Bench said the MoEF, through EAC, shall proceed with the appraisal in case the committee takes a positive decision over the impact assessment, as possible by virtue of activities already carried out by the TS-Genco.

Further, the Bench stated that in the event of EAC deciding against the project proponent, the same may be communicated to the regulatory authority with the MoEF passing appropriate orders.

The MoEF has to decide expeditiously, at any event, within a period of eight weeks, the Bench said.

In case the EAC decides that appraisal can be carried by the TS-Genco, the EAC shall proceed further and complete the process and issue appropriate recommendations to the authorities, who shall pass appropriate orders accordingly. The NGT Bench directed the TS-Genco to maintain status quo with regard to works of Bhadradri power plant, till such orders are passed by the regulatory authority or Environmental Clearance (EC) is given.

The NGT bench also directed the Telangana State Pollution Control Board (TSPCB), the second respondent in the case, to initiate appropriate action against the officials of TS-Genco for violations, if any, within four weeks.

The HRF petitioned the NGT against the thermal project in December last year alleging that the TS-Genco was executing the project in violation of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, and the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification, 2014 by using outdated technology.

However, the Ministry of Power gave exemption for the sub-critical technology being used for the Manuguru project in March this year.

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