Tamil Nadu: NGT cracks whip on Ennore plant fly ash pollution
THE southern bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) to start criminal prosecution against the officer in-charge of Tamil Nadu Generation
Published: 01st June 2017 06:16 AM | Last Updated: 01st June 2017 06:16 AM | A+A A-
CHENNAI: THE southern bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) to start criminal prosecution against the officer in-charge of Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation Ltd (TANGEDCO) for failing to stop the discharge of toxic fly ash from the North Chennai Thermal Power Station (NCTPS), polluting water bodies in Ennore.
The National Green Tribunal Bench, comprising Justice P Jyothimani and expert member PS Rao, was also critical of the TNPCB, pulling it up for failing to exercise the power vested with it under Air and Water Act.
“You have ample powers to take action against the offenders. You can’t expect the tribunal to pass orders in every case. We are of the considered view that it is only appropriate for the board to take immediate criminal prosecution against the officer in-charge of TANGEDCO,” the Bench stated in the order.
The tribunal had passed an order restraining North Chennai Thermal Power Station from letting out the fly ash or slurry into adjacent water bodies, which were already in deep distress.
It had directed TANGEDCO to remove the fly ash dumped into Buckingham Canal and Kosasthalaiyar river. TANGEDCO indeed removed the fly ash, but continued discharging the waste. This irked the tribunal.
The National Green Tribunal directed the chairman and managing director of TANGEDCO to appear in person at the next hearing on July 13, and asked the TNPCB to ensure the fly ash was removed by TANGEDCO and a status report filed.
In another application, Kamarajar Port has been accused of destroying mangrove vegetation in Kosasthalaiyar River by dumping dredged soil. To look into the matter, NGT appointed Sai Krishna as advocate commissioner and file a status report.