Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding pollution caused by the thermal power plants and the coal washeries in Tamnar and Gharghoda blocks, Raigarh, Chhattisgarh, 28/07/2020

  • 28/07/2020

The order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Shivpal Bhagat & Others Vs Union of India & Others dated 28/07/2020. The issue for consideration is the remedial action against pollution caused by the thermal power plants and the coal washeries in Tamnar and Gharghoda blocks of Raigarh District in Chhattisgarh, including M/s Jindal Power Limited, M/s Jindal Power and Steel Limited, M/s TRN Energy Private Limited, M/s Mahavir Energy & Coal Benefaction Limited, M/s. Hindalco Industries Limited and M/s. Monet Energy Limited, SECL.

The operation of the said units was allegedly resulting in contamination of air, water and land and having adverse impact on the environment and the habitants. Water and soil had toxic metals with potential for health hazard, requiring monitoring of emissions, making the polluter accountable and regulating the polluting activities.

The NGT on February 27, 2020 directed that the measures suggested in the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) report be adopted. The report suggested installation of electro-static precipitators (ESPs) and fluidized gas desulfurizers (FGDs) in the thermal power plants. The report also considered ground water depletion, soil pollution, forest loss and livelihood loss and after detailed study of various aspects. The court had directed that "any further expansion or new projects in the area should be allowed after thorough evaluation only and mechanism for remedial measures should be in place, including oversight of measures for health mitigation."

The Oversight Committee constituted for the purpose requested the NGT for extension of two months time for field visit and and meeting with concerned authorities about development of health facilities, road condition and drinking water supply. The extension sought due to COVID-19 was accepted by the NGT.