Tamil Nadu

Cheyyur thermal plant may endanger waterbodies: study

The proposed Cheyyur project has dumping sites for toxic fly ash which will ruin these waterbodies next to the sea.  

A new study by Community Environmental Monitoring has shed light on the hydrological implications of the proposed 4000-MW Cheyyur thermal power project.

“Site selection for the power plant has completely ignored its impact on the surface water resources such as tanks and ponds and the interconnected network of streams,” said S. Janakarajan, one of the authors of the study, currently Professorial Associate at the Centre for Water and Development, SOAS, University of London, and president, South Asia Consortium for Inter-disciplinary Water Studies (SaciWATERs), Hyderabad.

The project proponents have failed to study the impacts of key components of the project such as a proposed 4-km road to the East Coast Road, a coal conveyor belt, a coal conveyor corridor, a stormwater drain and a 25-km railway line, on local drainage and flooding, the study finds.

“It is only near the coast that you will find all three types of water — salty, brackish and freshwater. The proposed project has dumping sites for toxic fly ash, which will ruin these waterbodies next to the sea,” Mr. Janakarajan pointed out.

Environmental activist Nityanand Jayaraman, who contributed to the study, said information obtained under the Right to Information from the Revenue Department showed that the plant and ash pond sites in the proposed project enclose more than 150 acres of waterbodies. “If these are polluted, the local population, which depends on them for livelihood and drinking water needs will be severely affected,” he said.

Shripad Dharmadhikary from Manthan Adhyayan Kendra had been on a 10-day tour of coastal power plants across the State and reached the conclusion that it is not advisable to set them up from the point of view of long-term water security for the rapidly urbanising population in the State.

The authors of the study were not against thermal processing for power per say, Mr. Jayaraman said, adding that the government should be more careful while choosing the location of these plants. “It is a tough call between choosing electricity or water, but the choice has to be made nevertheless keeping the future needs of the population in mind.”

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 10:25:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/cheyyur-thermal-plant-may-endanger-waterbodies-study/article6210618.ece

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