Norms violated: SCCL now under the radar of Ministry of Environment and Forests

Ministry says the PSU did not have green clearance for expansion.

Published: 02nd July 2018 05:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd July 2018 05:33 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of Ministry of Environment and Forests(MoEF) has directed the Telangana State Pollution Control Board (TSPCB) to take action against Singareni Collieries in five cases for violating environmental norms.

All five cases are pertaining to the violation of Environmental Impact Assessment(EIA) notification, 2006, as Singareni Colleries mined 8.48 million tonnes per annum(MTPA) of coal, which is more than the maximum allowed capacity. The company did not obtain any environmental clearance from MoEF for expanding the coal production capacity of its mines.

The violations were detected in five coal mines of the Singareni Collieries—Ramagundam Opencast-I mine at Nagepalli village in Peddapalle district, Koyagudem Opencast-II mine at Koyagudem village in Bhadradri Kothagudem district, Kasipet-I Incline underground mine at Mancherial district, Dorli opencast-I mine at Dorli village in Asifabad district and Jalagam Vengal Rao opencast-I mine at Ayyagaripeta village in Khammam district.

According to the EIA notification, 2006, if an existing coal mining project wants to expand its production capacity, it should obtain prior environmental clearance from MoEF based on recommendations of an EAC constituted by the Union government.

However, Singareni Collieries went ahead in expanding the coal production capacity in the five coal mines without obtaining any environment clearance for the expansion from MoEF.
In the eighth EAC meeting on the proposals involving violation of EIA notification, 2006 held on June 13, the minutes of meeting which were uploaded online by the MoEF recently. It is learnt that the EAC issued as many as 10 recommendations for each of the five coal mines found to have violated the environmental
norms.

One of the recommendations was that the TSPCB should take action against the project proponent, which is Singareni Collieries, under the provisions of Section 19 of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. It also said that no ‘Consent for Operation’ for expansion should be issued till the coal mine is granted environmental clearance for the expansion. Some of the other recommendations also include submitting a bank guarantee to TSPCB prior to grant of EC, equivalent to the amount required for ecological remediation and natural and community resource augmentation; assessment of ecological damage with respect to air, water, land and other environmental attributes; preparation of environment management plan corresponding to the ecological  damage and certified compliance report of earlier EC conditions at regional office of MoEF in Chennai.

SCCL achieves 8.4% growth rate this year
Khammam: Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) has achieved 8.4 percentage growth rates in first three months of this year in coal transporting as compared to last year. Releasing the press note on Sunday, the company said that last year 155.7 lakh tonnes was transported as against 168.76 lakh tonnes transported this year. This way, there has been about 1.5 per cent growth rate in coal production this year. Last year in the first three months, the production was 143.35 lakhs tonnes while this year during the same time, the production has been 145.63 lakhs tonnes. SCCL also received an award for paying the highest GST of `2,100 crore.

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