Andhra Pradesh

Green violations by TSGENCO confirmed

The expert team from the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), which recently inspected the project site of the proposed Bhadradri Thermal Power Station at Manuguru in Khammam district, has highlighted the existence of a water body near the site, and recommended that the Ministry take it up with the project authority — Telangana State Power Generation Corporation (TSGENCO).

The 12-page report was submitted by MoEF to the regional bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) at Chennai during the hearing conducted on Wednesday over allegations of environmental violations by the TSGENCO. It confirmed the allegations, and recommended “appropriate action as deemed fit” by the Ministry.

The water body was observed to have its spread beside the switchyard area of the site and parallel to the Manuguru-Eturunagaram road.

While TSGENCO has failed to provide documentary evidence such as satellite imagery or land use of the site, the team headed by senior scientist M. T. Karuppiah felt that existence of water body even in the absence of rainy season needed to be examined.

“PA authority [Project Authority] claimed that the excess water has been received from the nearby agricultural land. But there is no any such (sic) probability, since the agricultural lands are in low-lying area and not having connectivity due to the barrier of existing Manugur-Eturnagaram Road,” the report read.

Besides, it confirmed the commencement and continuation of construction work in two blocks even before Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was completed, and environmental clearance was obtained. Works were on in the main power house area comprising 527 acres, and township area comprising 220 acres.

A material store yard stood on the area demarcated for township, and roads with electrical lighting, weigh bridge, storage sheds and parking for heavy vehicles could be found in use.

In the area of main power house, civil works were in progress for the laying of internal roads, construction of sub-station and site office, foundation work for erection of boiler house, electrostatic precipitator and chimneys, excavation of earth, and construction of switch yards, and batching plants, the report said.

The works had reportedly been continuing since October 2015, though during site inspection, only a few workers were found. Heavy machinery, equipment and vehicles were, however, kept at the site, the report said. Attached with the report were maps of the site and photographs taken during the inspection.

Human Rights Forum (HRF) had earlier filed a petition before the tribunal alleging violation of the Environment Act,

Water Act and Air Act, for construction of the 4X270MW power station by BHEL, the designated agency for implementation. Environmental clearance for the project ran into trouble owing to sub-critical nature of the plant.

According to sources, the TSGENCO has given an undertaking to the tribunal that the works would not be continued till further orders. The case has been posted for February 26 for filing of reply by the company.

Report on Bhadradri project

Highlights existence of a water body near the site

Denies Project Authority version that it is due to excess water from fam land

Says work on the project was taken up without

environmental clearance

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2021 9:21:34 PM |

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