BENGALURU: Hearing the matter pertaining to the fire that had occurred in the Yelahanka Gas Power Plant in October 2020, the National Green Tribunal on Friday pronounced that the Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL) has to pay environmental damages.
The Tribunal stated KPCL has to deposit Rs 10.1178 lakh with the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board within a month (starting from date of issue of the order -- April 22, 2022). In the fire, 15 people from KPCL, BHEL and General Electric Power Ltd had sustained burns. Of them, three had succumbed to their injuries.
The Tribunal had taken up a suo motu case based on an article published in TNIE dated October 3, 2010 -- “Gas turbine explodes at power plant, 15 injured”. The NGT also noted, “The plant personnel gathered near the danger zone instead of safe assembly point leading to the human injuries and loss of lives. Lack of proper awareness and strict adherence to the safety protocol intensified the damage caused to human life. The fact that the gas turbine enclosure door, which was kept closed and latched during the operation of the unit, was opened due to manual interference caused the deflagration outside the enclosure leading to human injuries. This also affected the efficiency of the fire protection system by CO2 discharge and limiting oxygen supply for arresting the fire.”
Tribunal stated that the carbon dioxide emissions from the lube oil burning during the incident is estimated at 449.68 tonnes of CO2. “KPCL shall provide a thick green belt consisting of tall growing trees (preferably Miyawaki method) towards residential areas around the plant to arrest sound nuisance/ any hazard including providing permanent high range sprinklers towards residential areas all along the periphery of the plant. The concerned authorities such as urban development authority and town planning shall strictly ensure that sufficient buffer in the form of green belt is available while approving the plan for residential apartment/layouts around already existing industries/units with probable accident hazard.”
The root cause analysis committee comprising BHEL, GE and KPCL representatives in the December 28, 2020 report before NGT stated, “From the quantum of oil leak (close to 10,000 litres) only during the last run indicates that it was a high-volume, low-duration leak. This is possible only by a restriction in the drain line. Photographic evidence found points to this as the prime reason for the oil leak.”