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Regularise ash pipeline project: TANGEDCO to GoI

The Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) sought permission from the Union Environment Ministry to regularise the ash pipeline project recently.

Published: 03rd December 2021 06:44 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd December 2021 06:44 AM   |  A+A-

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TANGEDCO (File photo | EPS)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (TANGEDCO) sought permission from the Union Environment Ministry to regularise the ash pipeline project recently. The corporation had already started its construction without obtaining the statutory clearances. An application for amendment in environmental clearance for the 800 MW North Chennai Thermal Power Station (NCTPS) stage-3 was filed by TANGEDCO Chief Engineer (projects) Gnanapalan before an expert appraisal committee of the Union Ministry. 

Earlier this year, TNIE reported how TANGEDCO began constructing an ash pipeline from NCTPS stage-3 plant to an ash dyke passing over Ennore creek without obtaining mandatory clearance under Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification. An Ennore fisherman R Ravimaran filed a petition in NGT alleging that TANGEDCO’s old ash pipelines that leak and the new construction polluted the river beyond use hampering the livelihood of hundreds of fishermen. 

The tribunal formed an expert committee, which also confirmed the new pipeline violated CRZ rules. “Environmental clearance was granted for NCTPS stage-3 plant and CRZ clearance for foreshore facilities, including coal conveyor, supporting trestles, seawater intake, and outlet pipes, but not for laying pipelines for transmitting slurry across Kosasthalaiyar backwaters. This is a gross violation of CRZ rules,” the report says. 

Environmentalist Pooja Kumar said the work has commenced and there is no provision for post-facto clearance under the law. “The Union Environment Ministry said in case of any deviation or alteration, the TANGEDCO should file a fresh application. Failure to comply with any of the conditions would result in withdrawal of the clearance and attract action under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.”

However, TANGEDCO officials said the NGT in its order permitted the power corporation to resume the activities after obtaining amendments to the existing clearances from the Ministry. “We are following the NGT directions,” said a senior TANGEDCO official.


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