MoEF defers approval to Yadadri power project

Pylon of the Yadadri Thermal Power Project at Damarcherla.–Photo: By Arrangement  

The proposed 5 x 800 MW super critical Yadadri Thermal Power Project at Damarcherla of Nalgonda district ran environmental hurdles when the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) under the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) deferred Terms of Reference (ToR) for the project, citing ecological concerns.

“The presentation was lacking in clarity and only verbal submissions were being offered by the PP (Project Proponent) on the concerns that have been raised,” the EAC noted, referring to TSGenco’s presentation to answer the questions raised about the tributary of Krishna River flowing through the plant site.

Concerns about the tributary, ‘Thungapahad stream’ were raised by EIA Resource and Response Centre (ERCINDIA), a Delhi-based NGO, in its representation to the MoEF, where it pointed out that a single-time assessment of geology and hydrogeology of the project site could be insufficient.

“This is inadequate as the hydrological scenario varies drastically between wet and dry seasons, which in turn will cause seasonal variation in drainage and discharge. The wet season will be characterised by increased flow into the Krishna River Basin, including the Thungapahad stream that passes through the study site, and might also give rise to numerous seasonal nalas that would otherwise be absent in the dry season,” the organisation’s petition to MoEF said.

Finding fault also with the site selection, the representation said it was done during an aerial survey by the Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, but not after judicious consideration of all alternatives. The ministry’s guidelines barred thermal power plant on forest land or prime agricultural land, and stipulated that the site should be at least 500 metres away from the food plain of the riverine systems.

The resource centre also felt that one-time assessment of the flora and fauna and soil quality study at the project site will not be sufficient to understand the seasonal changes. The ToR does not mention the quantum and spatial distribution of sampling effort which should ideally be proportionate to the study site.

Absence of cumulative impact assessment in the area, and uncertainty with regard to ash utilisation were two more concerns raised by the organisation. Subsequent to the representation, a sub-committee constituted by the EAC visited the project site, watched the tributary’s flow and interacted with local people, before submitting its report. In its latest meeting on December 18, the committee observed that the TSGenco’s presentation did not appear to deal with the NGO’s concerns, and asked the latter to come up with an action plan for implementing the sub-committee’s recommendations.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2022 7:06:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/moef-defers-approval-to-yadadri-power-project/article8039085.ece

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