HYDERABAD: The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) suffered a temporary setback when the National Green Tribunal south zone bench in Chennai on Thursday kept the environment clearance (EC), issued to NTPC for its new thermal power plant in Ramagundam, in abeyance for seven months.
The NGT bench wanted a re-appraisal done as per the additional terms and conditions of the Union ministry of environment and forest. It announced this verdict in a petition filed by a local from Karimnagar district identified as Uma Maheshwar Dahagama, who alleged that the NTPC had initially applied for 2X600 MW thermal power plant and later enhanced it to 2X800 MW capacity in violation of the terms.
The EC was granted to the NTPC in 2016 and it got amended clearances in 2017 and 2020. Maheshwar alleged violations and lapses in the EC given to NTPC in his petition. The NGT bench said in its orders, “After getting the impact assessment report, the MoEF should forward the same to the expert appraisal committee (EAC) for further appraisal. The EAC has to give recommendations. All this exercise will have to be completed within seven months.”
The NTPC was also directed to conduct a fresh study regarding the area for installation of flue gas desulferisation system (a set of technologies used to remove sulfur dioxide) and do a hydro-geological impact assessment on account of the ash pond due to storage of ash slurry, besides study the impact on water quality. “The project proponent should be directed to conduct radio activity and heavy metal test of coal to be used. These tests should also be done for alternative coal and mitigative measures to be taken to reduce impact on environment,” the NGT said.
The NTPC was told to conduct a cumulative impact assessment of ambient air quality modelling for a radius of 15 km from the project area.


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