Orissa HC orders eviction of machinery for power plant from forest land in 15 days

They were levied fine and JSW Energy Ltd had taken over the management of the power plant in 2018.

Published: 20th August 2023 10:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th August 2023 10:50 AM   |  A+A-

Orissa High Court

Representational image of Orissa High Court

By Express News Service

CUTTACK: The PIL over illegal constructions undertaken over forest land for the establishment of a thermal power plant in Jharsuguda district’s Lakhanpur tehsil took a significant turn after nine years with the Orissa High Court ordering the eviction of all structures and machineries from the ‘encroached forest land’.

The eviction order relates to constructions undertaken by Ind Barath Energy Utkal Limited (IBEUL) for the 2x350 MW  coal-based thermal power plant in 2014. The high court issued the order recently after taking note in the meantime constructions including buildings, boiler, turbine, track hopper, chimney etc and transmission towers for linking the power plant with the eastern power grid had come up on forest land. Case records showed eight encroachment cases were instituted against IBEUL, which had applied for the diversion of forest land measuring 35.98 hectare for the establishment of the power plant.

They were levied a fine and JSW Energy Ltd had taken over the management of the power plant in 2018. The two-judge bench of Chief Justice Subhasis Talapatra and Justice Savitri Ratho in its August 14 order said, “We have gathered from the records that no such approval for diversion has been granted so far. But, surprisingly, IBEUL now JSW Energy Ltd is still on encroachment over the forest land”.

The Bench posted the matter to September 4 for passing further orders and directed the state government to file by then an affidavit indicating whether JSW Energy Ltd has vacated the encroached forest land or not.

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