CHENNAI: The southern bench of National Green Tribunal has kept in abeyance, the environmental clearance granted to the 2x800 MW Uppur supercritical thermal power plant, which is currently under construction in Ramanathapuram.
The NGT bench comprising Justice K Ramakrishnan and expert member Saibal Dasgupta said that, as TANGEDCO has proposed indigenous coal in place of imported coal, the entire process will have to be reassessed. “There is some necessity to go for a further study on the basis of the specific coal that is to be used for the project as a fuel.
So, it is necessary to direct the Union Ministry of Environment to conduct a further study before allowing the unit to commission. The EC granted requires revisit by the Expert Appraisal Committee and so we feel that the present EC has to be kept in abeyance,” the bench said. The NGT has asked the EAC to direct TANGEDCO to conduct fresh coal analysis in respect of the specific coal that they intend to use in respect of radioactivity and possible ash content and get a fresh Environmental Impact Assessment report from the competent accredited agency.
The tribunal has certain queries about land acquisition and its availability for TANGEDCO to meet the conditions for operating the unit in an environmental friendly way. “All exercises will have to be completed within a period of six months. Till then, the impugned EC is directed to be kept in abeyance and the project proponent is directed to suspend their work till they get the revised EC,” the order reads.