NEW DELHI: National Green Tribunal has sought a reply from the ministry of environment and forest (MoEF) on a plea challenging the environmental clearance granted to Kudgi Super Thermal Power Project Stage-I (2,400 MW) in Karnataka.
A bench headed tribunal’s acting chairperson AS Naidu sought MoEF’s response on the plea seeking quashing of clearance granted on January 25, to the NTPC project in Bijapur.
The Kudgi project is the first project to be set up in Karnataka by NTPC with a total installed capacity of 4,000 MW, in two stages, with phase one of 2,400 MW.
The appeal, filed by MP Patil, retired ‘outstanding scientist’ of Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) , challenged the project saying MoEF’s clearance is “based on wrong assessment and false information and data by project proponent NTPC Ltd”.
Patil, appearing in person before the Tribunal, said the land acquired for the project is claimed to be a “rocky and barren” land but over 50% of the land is irrigated double crop agricultural land. He also submitted photographs of the land with farmers to buttress his argument.
“NTPC has repeatedly given wrong assessment of land requirement and MoEF, instead of pointing out discrepancy for corrective action, has given general instructions repeatedly instead of specific instructions taking into account the coal quantity and the capacity of project among other parameters applicable if any,” the petition stated.
He further said huge quantity of poisonous ash is likely to be discharged from the project which will be stored in vicinity to the populated areas, crops as well as a reservoir of nearby Almatti dam. He said “no concrete plan has been given by NTPC for ash utilisation”.
“Considering the huge quantity of ash likely to be stored there is a potential threat for a disaster which will damage life, land, crop and in worst situation contaminate the Almatti Dam (reservoir) resulting in irreversible damage affecting even future generations,” the petitioner contended.
Seeking quashing of the environmental clearance granted on Stage I of the project, the petition said it is “illegal, unjust, arbitrary and opposed to principles of public policy”.