The Southern Bench of the National Green Tribunal came down heavily on Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) for failing to comply with its orders with regard to the removal of ash from the Ennore Creek and observed that if the leakages in the ash pipes were not fixed within a week, it would be forced to pass an order to close down the two units.
The Bench comprising Justice P. Jyothimani and expert member P.S. Rao orally warned that it would be forced to direct the closure of the North Chennai Thermal Power Stations, after the applicant’s lawyer Yogeshwaran showed the Tribunal videos of the lack of progress made by Tangedco in clearing the ash.
The Bench also ordered that action be taken against errant officials under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, and Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act. Tangedco has also been directed to submit a detailed report to replace all the old pipes.
However, sources told The Hindu that despite the same direction in earlier orders, no action has been taken.
Meanwhile, the Tribunal asked advocate Lakshmi Narasimhan to oversee the removal of the ash, and to inspect the pipelines and see what kind of treatment of the ash is being undertaken in the power plants.
The Bench also ordered a committee to be set up to assess the impact of the ash dumping on the mangroves, Buckingham canal and other vegetation and flora and fauna.
The Bench said the committee must include environmental experts, soil specialists, hydrology experts, and posted the matter to August 3 for next hearing.