Industry | VOL. 16, ISSUE 96, May-June 2016

Non-compliance and Sarguja Plant

On December 30, 2015 a public hearing was supposed to be conducted in Sarguja, Chhattisgarh as a part of the ‘environmental clearance’ process of a thermal power plant (TPP). However, a few days prior to the scheduled date, the district collector of the region ‘postponed the public hearing until further notification’ (Das, 2015 December 26). Earlier on December 21, 2015 a group of community representatives of the region submitted a letter to the district collector highlighting the obvious discrepancies in the draft environment impact assessment (EIA) report prepared by Greencindia (a consulting firm) highlighting the non-compliance of environmental clearance conditions of the main coal mine with which Sarguja Thermal Power Plant was interlinked by design.   A mine and its power plant The facts of this story are simple. There was a coal block that was allocated for mining way back in 2006-07 to the Rajasthan Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Limited, a state owned enterprise. It subsequently received its environmental and forest diversion related approvals on December 21, 2011 and March 15, 2012 respectively. The TPP under question was always part of the plan to operate this mine as it was to operate using rejects from the coal washery associated with the mine. Both the mine and proposed TPP are located in the Hasdeo Arand region of Chhattisgarh. The Hasdeo Arand region is one of...

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