Final assessment report on the environmental carrying capacity study for expansion of 2 X 600 MW Udupi power plant, Karnataka, 24/01/2022
Final assessment report on the environmental carrying capacity study for expansion of 2 X 600 MW Udupi power plant in appeal no 86 of 2017 (SZ), Janajagrithi Samithi, Karnataka Vs Union of India.
During the study, it was noticed that UPCL has not followed environmental norms at several points including CRZ Rules and Stack Emissions Rules for SO2. TCLP (Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure) samples of coal from coal yard, bottom ash, pond ash and fly ash were analyzed. Analyzed heavy metal parameters were within the limits of TCLP standards, except Arsenic (As) in pond ash and fly ash. There is a likelihood of soil and groundwater contamination in the vicinity.
A serious lapse is observed during the study in not replacing the broken outfall pipeline, which has resulted in the release of the effluent near the shore itself instead of 670 mts. into the sea, and it was not buried to a safe depth. Local fishermen also complained about its interference in the fishing operations in the intertidal and sub-tidal areas.
Several aspects pertaining to the carrying capacity of the 10 km radial area around the proposed thermal power plant expansion site have been studied. The capacity to withstand the present as well as the future pollution levels, loss of natural resources, and agriculture from the expansion of the existing or establishment of new industry would require serious mitigation of adverse impacts.
Expansion of the capacity of the power plant is likely to have adverse implications from air pollution including dust, marine ecology, and groundwater and soil contamination from heavy metals. Inadequate/non-functional environmental management practices/facilities followed/established by UPCL need corrective actions before expansion plan is considered.
Note: The report, January 24, 2022 was uploaded to the NGT site, February 4, 2022