NCTPS expansion threatens to degrade Ennore green belt

The thermal plant expansion threatens to degrade the ‘last surviving’ 190 acres of a dynamic ecosystem in Ennore, say activists.

Published: 20th November 2016 01:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th November 2016 04:43 AM   |  A+A-


(L) A man fixing a camera trap under the tree and wild boars snapped by the camera in the floodplain of Ennore | special arrangement

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The under-construction North Chennai Thermal Power Station (NCTPS) 1x800 mega-watt super-critical plant is threatening to degrade the ‘last surviving’ 76.9 hectares (190 acres) of green belt in Ennore, which is a dynamic ecosystem and a critical floodplain.

Local environmentalists allege that the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report was not in consonance with the terms of references awarded by the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC). The power plant is mooted as part of NCTPS Phase-III expansion.

The proposed area where the new plant is being constructed was shown as the green belt to get approvals for Phase-1 and Phase-II and now the same area is being developed, which will deteriorate the local ambience.

“Already, there is large-scale destruction and reclamation of waterbodies, mangrove cover and mud flats by power plants and Kamarajar Port by virtue of dumping dredge soil and fly ash. Now, this particular move will completely alter that ecological  balance of the place,” said Nityanand Jayaraman, noted environmentalist.

Even the Forest Department seems to be averse to the NCTPS expansion plans. Forest ranger C Murugesan told the Express that the department had installed 52 CCTV cameras on the 900-acre NCTPS campus and did a survey after there was a ‘tiger scare’ in the area. “Though we haven’t found a tiger, these camera traps confirmed the presence of significant number of endangered species. We found monitor lizard, jackals, jungle cats, wild boar, vultures, even a rare common trinklet snake just crossing the street. Now, the degradation of habitat meant losing all these species,” the official said.

Interestingly, NCTPS in its declaration in the statutory Form 1 submitted to the Environment Ministry to obtain clearance noted that there were no endangered and endemic species of fora and fauna, which activists read ‘a false submission.’

Animal activist Shravan Krishnan, who was part of the survey, claimed that there were more species of migratory birds and mammals than what are found in Guindy National Park. “Besides animals and birds, there are good number of banyan trees that were over 100 years old. This green patch has to be protected,” he said.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp