NGT Panel to Verify Media Report on Ecological Violations at Kulda Coal Mine, Tamnar Thermal Power Plant
New Delhi, April 2 (IANS): The National Green Tribunal has ordered to form a joint committee headed by the regional officer of the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Climate Change (MoEFCC) to consider a media report on the violation of environmental standards for the exploitation of the Kulda Coal Mine in Odisha and Tamnar Thermal Power Station in Chhattisgarh.
The main bench of NGT led by President Adarsh Kumar Goel spearheaded the formation of a joint committee of Central Pollution Control Board, Odisha and Chhattisgarh State PCBs, Regional Head of MoEF&CC at Bhuvneshwar and District Magistrates from Sundergarh (Odisha) and Raipur (Chhattisgarh) to verify the facts and provide a report.
“The committee may convene within two weeks and undertake a site visit. The committee may coordinate with other relevant departments and upon verification of the facts, the relevant statutory regulators may take further corrective action. A factual and action report may be provided to this Tribunal within two months,” reads the order dated March 30.
According to the media, it is alleged that the violations take place during the transport of coal from Kulda to Tamnar in 200 dump trucks with a capacity of 21 tonnes, requiring 400 daily trips or a truck passing every 3-4 minutes, 24 hours. out of 24., across 14 villages with a combined population of over 15,000 according to the 2011 census.
The construction works of a CCPC from Kulda could not be accelerated due to the non-availability of a dedicated coal link. JPL also plans to develop a dedicated rail spur. Pending this work, JPL will continue to transport coal by road from Kulda. Affected villagers have complained of an increase in respiratory diseases and contamination of water bodies and croplands, leading to loss of productivity and blackening of vegetables and paddy.
A new hearing on this case will take place on July 15.