HYDERABAD: In a relief to Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL), the Supreme Court has set aside the order of the National Green Tribunal, New Delhi, which directed the SCCL not to take up mining operations in its open cast coal mines in Jayashankar Bhupalpally district in Telangana. The Apex Court, however, made it clear to the SCCL that the mining operations should be in accordance with the environmental clearance that was granted on Oct 26, 2016. The Apex Court bench of Justice L Nageswara Rao and Justice Hemant Gupta was passing this order recently in the appeal by SCCL challenging the order of the tribunal.
Dealing with a petition filed by Nagavelli Rajalingamurthy and others, the tribunal found fault with the decision of the Ministry of Environment and Forests in accepting the SCCL’s proposal for deleting the condition pertaining to acquisition of surface land up to 500 meters from the mine boundary and according approval for amendment in the environmental clearance by deleting condition pertaining to the acquisition.
The tribunal opined that the said deletion would result in giving the SCCL a free hand to conduct blasting operations in the mining area which would adversely affect the adjacent habitations, and set aside the order of the EC. The tribunal ordered that no mining operations should take place without compliance of above condition. Aggrieved with the same, the SCCL moved the Supreme Court for relief. Advocate K Sravan Kumar, appearing for Rajalingamurthy, complained about the difficulties faced by the inhabitants of villages. There was constant air, water and noise pollution, he said.
Senior counsel Nadkarni, appearing for SCCL, submitted that the condition that was relaxed related only to the land acquisition and that the mining operations, including blasting, shall be conducted strictly in accordance with the EC.After hearing the case, the bench opined that the said condition would not lead to relaxation of essential conditions of mining operations carried on by the SCCL. Precautions relating to pollution stipulated in the EC cannot be compromised, the bench noted.