NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal has directed the Chhattisgarh government to sanction Rs 335 crore to construct road for transporting coal from mines to thermal power plants to minimise air pollution.
The NGT asked the state government to disburse the amount at Rs 3 crore per km for construction of 111 km road (Raigarh to Dharmajay Garh, about 76 Km and Punjipatra to Milupara about 35 Km) and ensure its execution before March 2021.
"In this context time bound action plan with bank guarantee of Rs 35 crore may be obtained from PWD, Chhattisgarh to ensure timely execution of the work," said a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice A K Goel.
The tribunal said the action taken by the state government to abate pollution is not adequate and further steps need to be taken in light of the recommendations made by an expert committee formed by it.
"The Principal Secretary, Health and the PWD Department, Chhattisgarh Government and the South Eastern Coalfields Limited (SECL) may act as per recommendations of the Committee. Coal transportation by rail be increased for abatement of air and dust pollution," the bench said.
The tribunal also directed the concerned authorities and the Committee to consider suggestions of the petitioner to minimise air pollution in the area.
The NGT sought a status report after four months by e-mail and posted the matter for hearing on April 13 next year.
The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Shivpal Bhagat and others seeking steps against pollution caused by the thermal power plants, coal washeries in Tamnar and Gharghoda blocks of Raigarh in Chhattisgarh, including Jindal Power Limited, Jindal Power and Steel Ltd, TRN Energy Pvt Ltd, Mahavir Energy & Coal Benefaction Ltd, Hindalco Industries Ltd and Monet Energy Ltd, SECL.
The plea said the operation of these units is resulting in contamination of air, water and land and having adverse impact on the environment and the habitants.