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NGT issues notices over environment norm violation in Talabira-1 coal mine

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National Green Tribunal, Eastern Zone bench, Kolkata has issued notices to Ministry of Environment and Forest, Odisha government and Odisha State Pollution Control Board over plea for cancellation of environment clearance granted to Talabira-1 opencast coal mining near Hirakud Reservoir.

Human rights activist Subash Mohapatra and Hemant Rout, a local resident from the coal mining site, had moved to NGT pointing out various discrepancies in respecting environmental norms.

Shankar Pani, counsel for the petitioners, said, “the Talabira-1 mine has been operated in violation of both environmental and mining norms. As per information supplied by Deputy Director Mines, Sambalpur in response to a RTI query, on March 31, 2014, around 6.98 MT of coal has been dispatched in the period from 2009 to 2011. And within this two year period as per the permissible limit it should not be more than 3 million ton which 1.5 metric tonne per annum.”

Pointing out that the coal mining was being carried out very near to eco-sensitive zone, Mr. Pani said, “the coal mine operator has been consistently violating norms.

There should be green belt in 25 Hectares. However in reality there is no such green belt in the mining lease area. The mine water is being discharged into the reservoir without proper treatment and thereby causing damages to the reservoir as well as the agricultural field surrounding the reservoir.”

“A very recent inspection to the unit has been made by Regional Officer of OSPCB, Sambalpur and had suggested that the non-compliances and infirmities in controlling the pollution remains unchanged and for last 10 years the unit has been violating the pollution norms blatantly,” petitioners pointed out in the petition.

Petitioner prayed for the Environment Clearance granted in 2011 should be suspended till full compliance of all the conditions imposed in environment clearance is met. Coal mining should immediately be stopped, they said.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 6:03:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/ngt-issues-notices-over-environment-norm-violation-in-talabira1-coal-mine/article8204378.ece

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