Sunday, July 18, 2010

Chhattisgarh case against Jindal Power - India - The Times of India

Chhattisgarh case against Jindal Power - India - The Times of India
NEW DELHI: Jindal Power Ltd (JPL) could be in for more trouble with the Chhattisgarh government filing legal proceedings against the company for illegally starting work on its 2,400 MW thermal power project in the state.

The proceedings have been launched by the Chhatisgarh Pollution Control Board after it was found that the company, whose board is chaired by Congress MP Naveen Jindal, had begun construction at the site without prior environmental clearance from the Union ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) as per the Environment Protection Act (EPA), 1976.

The Rs 13,410-crore project faced roadblocks when on June 18 MoEF retracted the terms of reference (ToR) granted for the expansion of the project from 1,000 MW to 2,400 MW. The retraction came in the wake of a complaint from an NGO alleging illegal construction without requisite clearance.

On May 22, the ministry sent an inspection team and found rampant construction for the proposed facility within the premises of the existing one which was in violation of Section 2 of the EIA Notification, 2006, under the EPA, 1976.
JPL had applied for the expansion phase of the plant in April 2007, while the 1,000 MW plant was still under construction. The expansion was to be of 1,320 MW and located adjacent to the 1,000 MW plant. The land requirement was pegged at 750 hectares. The ToRs were granted in July 2007.

In August 2008, the company proposed another expansion of 1,600 MW. It was granted TORs in December 2008. JPL revised the proposal yet again in early 2009, and fixed the new expansion capacity at 2,400 MW. This time around, it required 1,041 hectares of land. The state government ordered a public hearing under the EPA on April 5, 2010, but JPL allegedly had begun construction on the expansion way ahead of the processes that precede environmental clearance.

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