Saturday, September 26, 2009

No new projects in coastal areas, river basins

No new projects in coastal areas, river basins
Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times, New Delhi, September 18, 2009

The environment ministry has decided not to allow any new projects in the coastal parts of India, river basins of Teesta and Ganga and ecological hotspot of Western Ghats, till damage caused by existing projects is assessed.

It is for the first time that the ministry has put a moratorium on construction of new projects and implementation of the pending projects in the environmentally sensitive areas.

“We have decided that no new projects in 24 critically polluted areas and major river basins and no new coastal ports will be allowed till we find out whether local environment can cope with the additional burden that will be caused by these projects,” Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh said.

This means that work on four powers projects in Teesta river basin in Sikkim, National Thermal Power Corporation’s 600 MW plant in Lohari Nath Pala (Uttrakhand) and three power projects in Western Ghats (Karnataka) has been stopped.

Construction of at least seven new port projects has been stopped. No new industrial units are being allowed in polluted industrial areas like Vapi Akhileshwar in Gujarat, Tromboy in Maharashtra, Singrauli in Madhya Pradesh and Raichur in Karnataka.

The first protest came from Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. “The environment ministry’s decision of moratorium is unacceptable,” he said at a meeting in the Planning Commission. “The state economy thrives on ports, whose construction and expansion has been banned.”

The moratorium is likely to stay till end of November.

HC questions environmental clearance to Jaigarh plant of JSW

Print : 676141 : HC questions environmental clearance to Jaigarh plant of JSW

September 25,2009
Source: PTI
HC questions environmental clearance to Jaigarh plant of JSW

New Delhi, Sep 25 (PTI) The Delhi High Court has questioned the environmental clearance granted to JSW Energy to set up a power plant at Jaigarh, which falls under the ecological belt famous for growing premium alphonso mangoes.
A bench headed by Chief Justice A P Shah directed the a committee formed by the Ministry of Environment and Forests to reconsider the approval granted to the company to set up a 1,200 MW thermal power plant Jaigarh in Maharashtra. The court asked the panel to submit its report in the next three months.

JSW Energy in a statement today said that the"order does not prohibit the company to continue the implementation of the project nor undertaking tests and operational trials".

"We direct that the expert appraisal committee will re- examine the approval already granted after considering the report of KKVD on the basis of the data collected and analysed by them,"the court said.

The Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth, Dapoli, (KKVD), which carried out project's impact assessment survey, had said that the upcoming 1,200 MW power plant at Jaigarh in Maharashtra will"not have a irreversible adverse impact on environment."

The court also said till the expert committee submits its reports, the plant"will not be made operational and integrated with the power grid". However, it allowed the company to undertake test and trials at the plant.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Finally a Farmer's victory over Thermal power plant !!

Alphonso grower's plea holds up JSW power plant
Rakesh Bhatnagar / DNA
Thursday, September 24, 2009 2:39 IST

New Delhi: Power-starved Maharashtra has suffered another jolt with the Delhi high court ordering JSW Energy Limited not to make its 1,200MW thermal power station at Jaigad in the alphonso mango beltof the Konkan operational until it is cleared by an expert appraisal committee (EAC).

"While reconsidering the matter, the EAC will keep in mind the principle of sustainable development," a bench ofchief justice AP Shah and justice Sanjiv Khanna said. The bench ordered the committee to do the job quickly.

The order came on a writ petition filed by mango grower Bhalchandra Bhikaji Nalawade, who said his livelihood was endangered by the project. Nalawade said the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board gave permission to the plant without assessing its environmental impact.

JSW said the project was set in motion only after various environmental authorities granted approval and it was due to become operational in four months. The Bombay high court is also seized of the matter in another petition but hasn't stayed the project.

The company said the aspects relating to gaseous discharges and suspended particulate matter had been dealt with in environmental assessment reports and discussed by the National Environment Appellate Authority and the EAC.

The company said mango plantations within 10km of the plant account for just 1.07% of the area of 31,381 hectares. It also stressed the need for early execution of the project in view of Maharashtra's power crisis. But the court emphasised the need to strike a balance between economic growth and environmental protection.

The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) had signed a memorandum of understanding with JSW to supply 300MW from the plant. "This power was expected to start flowing into the state's grid only from October next year," an MSEDCL official said.

With inputs from Shwetaa Rahul in Mumbai

Monday, September 21, 2009

No load-shedding in two years, promises BJP

No load-shedding in two years, promises BJP
Sakaal Times - Pune,India
“After all, what's there to giving boost to a private power plant? ...
himself in the process of building a Rs 15000 crore private thermal power
plant said. ...