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Clearances granted to Adani's Udupi power plant illegal, rules NGT

Daijiworld Media Network - Udupi

Udupi, Mar 15: In a major blow to Adani's Udupi Power Plant project at Yellur village of Udupi district, the principal bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) declared on Thursday March 14 that all the clearances granted to set up the power plant were illegal. It has also ordered the suspension of the environmental clearance dated August 1, 2017 granted to expand the plant by addition of 2x800MW units to raise ultimate capacity to 2800MW.

A press release by Janajagrithi Samithi said the Tribunal invoked the 'Polluter Pays' principle and appointed a committee of experts to ascertain the damages to the crops and the environment in general of the area. It has directed the company to pay Rs 5 crore as an interim environmental compensation to CPCB which will also be the nodal agency to study the damages caused. It has also ordered the company to pay Rs 1 lac as cost to the petitioners.

The Tribunal found that genuinely serious issues raised by the villagers and the applicants had not been given the due attention by all concerned including the government. "The fact that multitudes of disputes and litigations relating to the project had been instituted bears witness to the fact that all was not well. Environmental clearance dated 20.03.1997 had been granted without following the due process statutorily prescribed and mandatorily required to be followed," the press release stated.

The Tribunal further noted that the project had been granted an extension of the validity period of the environment clearance on April 16, 2002 without authority of law, as the project had not been started within the stipulated time. The environment ministry cancelled the clearance on October 5, 2004, but the cancellation was recalled through a personal letter dated January 31, 2005 by the director of the environment ministry under 'questionable circumstances at the request of the project proponent'.

The Tribunal pointed out that the procedures laid down under the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) notifications are not mere formalities to be followed but have been prescribed to ensure that the environment is duly protected while taking up a project keeping in view the precautionary principle and the principle of sustainable development. The fact that the procedures prescribed in the notification were not at all followed except a few parts of it, led it to reasonably conclude that there has been damage caused to the environment for which consequences have fallen on the people in terms of health, decline in the agricultural productivity and, therefore, their livelihood, degradation of natural habitat of birds and animals, etc.

The Tribunal took a serious note of the study carried out on environmental profile and people's livelihood aspects in the vicinity of coal-based thermal power plant at Yellur panchayat by a group of scientists as 'CES technical report 126' dated April 2012 published by the Energy & Wetland Research Group, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, which has made alarming observations in respect of the project area during field investigations. "It has been observed that mismanagement of the environment was evident from the contamination of the water (surface and ground), soil and air apart from the impaired functional aspects of the biotic elements. This was deduced from the reduced productivity of grains, jasmine flower and horticultural produce, reproductive ability of livestock, poultry animals, etc. There was dust on the leaves during the dry seasons which induced phyto-toxicity leading to poor pollination and hence reduced productivity. There was reduction in the population of pollinators. Stunted growth of saplings and enhanced respiratory diseases, etc were noticed caused by release of saline mist from the cooling towers of the plant which is locally dispersed by the wind even up to 2 km," the release stated as detailed in the CES report.

The Tribunal observed that justifiably, therefore, the directions would be called for to remove the plant and order for restoration of the area and the environment.

It has thus invoked the "Polluter Pays" principle under Section 20 of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 and held Udupi Power Corporation Ltd liable to pay environmental compensation which shall be assessed by a committee of experts. It has constituted a committee comprising of a senior scientist of CPCB, a senior representative from IIT Chennai, and a senior scientist from IIT-Bangalore. The CPCB shall be the nodal agency to coordinate among the members for taking up the task. The committee has been asked to assess the environmental damage on account of the environmental violations and submit its report within three months. While the report is awaited, the Tribunal directed UPCL to pay an interim environmental compensation of Rs 5 crore with the CPCB within a month, which shall be utilized for restitution and remedial works for restitution of the environment including the possible plight of the people affected by the plant.

Comment on this article

  • Sahil, Mangaluru

    Sat, Mar 16 2019

    Jai modiji Jai modiji Jai modiji from very far. When reality effected to us go modi go modi go modi.

    DisAgree Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Hitesh, Mumbai

    Sat, Mar 16 2019

    Government also have to recheck it's approval of jharkhand proposal. Their also they harrase ADIVASI. And if ok , then also postponed it's approval till election and recheck it's documents. This company in big debt . Why government help them to ruined ADIVASI life & ENVIRONMENT. As per me NGT must have to check it's all plant and REMOVE all plants which ruined life of people & ENVIRONMENT.

    DisAgree Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sanjeev Kamath, Udupi

    Sat, Mar 16 2019

    This Adani plant became fully operational well before 2014. So, you know who are the original sinners.

    DisAgree [13] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • David Pais, Mangalore

    Sat, Mar 16 2019

    d.k. people should chase dis gujju adani

    DisAgree [5] Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sunil Pinto, Dubai/ Udupi

    Sat, Mar 16 2019

    It is humanly impossible for any single individual anywhere to amass such vast capital assets like power plants, ports, airports, thermal, coal, turnkey projects in a span of only 20 years without massive govt interference and intense corruption to aid the projects..

    DisAgree [1] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • G M Hegde, Udupi

    Sat, Mar 16 2019

    I been raking this issue up at different forums & seminars but not received adequate response. How conspiracy of politicians of Bailuseeme to transfer all hazardous harmful industries to the coast from Bangalore Mysore Karnataka. Even same Chamalapura fly aah based project near Mysore was shelved & transferred here after peoples opposition there becoz here people are meek & mostly abroad so by the time they return their fragile environment destroyed which cannot be livable for next generation. And our politicians get into deal with them to divert our Netravati water in order to win from there. Wake up. Dont be blinded by religion. YourVoteYourChoice. Save DK Malnad.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

  • Joe, Mangalore

    Sat, Mar 16 2019

    This power plant should not have been built in udupi, it is the failure of politicians who should have stalled it. But what can anyone do, congress in those days had to please its big leader in Andra whose company initially built this plant and sold it . Most of the people are just commenting without knowing the facts.88

    DisAgree [4] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rudy, Udupi

    Sat, Mar 16 2019

    Now NGT has shown the way let local people and affected people unite and decide future course of action. Don't depend on anybody. Nobody is going to help.

    DisAgree Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • Raghavendra, Manipal

    Sat, Mar 16 2019

    As I recall, environmental clearance and permission was given by central govt headed by Deve Gowda as prime minister. In 2004, when environmental clearance was cancelled and again reissued in 2005, it was the Congress govt that did it and interestingly, energy ministry was under Dr. Manmohan Singh himself.. Modi govt gave permission for extension in 2017... That means all parties are partners in crime, why blame Modi alone?

    DisAgree [3] Agree [25] Reply Report Abuse

  • Valerian DSouza, Udupi/Mumbai

    Sat, Mar 16 2019

    Let truth be revealed, Let's know the truth, whoever it is! Ultimately fight is between right and wrong.

    DisAgree Agree [22] Reply Report Abuse

  • Valerian DSouza, Udupi/Mumbai

    Sat, Mar 16 2019

    If you carefully analyse, since many decades, 90% of the scamsters are from a particular state:-
    Be it Harshad Mehta, CR Bhansali, and many more of the past.
    Of recent times, Mehul Choksi, Lalit Modi, Nirav Modi are all having political God Father.
    Despite huge, huge Bank defaults, Anil Ambani & Adani are getting best Govt contracts.
    Many collaborators in the loot are still supporting; saying that they are all Indians,
    If that's justification, then why keep Lalu, Sahara chief in Jail? Release all Indian fraudsters! Dismantle all anti corruption administration! Make loot free for all?
    Also why charge those grabbed Govt land, Forests, mines ? Why descriminate?

    DisAgree Agree [42] Reply Report Abuse

  • Joe, Mangalore

    Sat, Mar 16 2019

    All these people grew because of the favourable political conditions, they used to fund the congress those days today they are funding the ruling party.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • MN, Mangalore

    Sat, Mar 16 2019

    They funded since decades, now they are running away from country for obvious reasons....

    DisAgree [1] Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • GD, Udupi

    Sat, Mar 16 2019

    National resources and SEZ are for Ambani and Adani. All leaders, business men and scamsters from only one state. We have spineless leaders in our state, who can sell anything for money.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Sat, Mar 16 2019

    Ambani & Adani have the blessings of FEKU ...

    DisAgree [5] Agree [48] Reply Report Abuse

  • Tilak, Blore

    Sat, Mar 16 2019

    Do you also say who has the blessings of liar?

    DisAgree [16] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sanjay, Hebri

    Sat, Mar 16 2019

    We all know who gave licenses to UPCL..

    DisAgree [4] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sanjay, Hebri

    Sat, Mar 16 2019

    Illegal, then why let them run? Stop the production, let them go. We don't want power with pollution, which is effecting people.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [23] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rathan, Mangalore

    Sat, Mar 16 2019

    Nothing to going to happen. Power plant will run as usual. Within a short time plant will be expanded.
    All parties r responsible for this mess right from beginning of this project under different ownership

    DisAgree [16] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • Santan Mascarenhas, Kinnigoli/Mumbai

    Sat, Mar 16 2019

    When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in society, over the course of time, they create for themselves a legal system, that authorises it and a moral code that glorifies it. (Old saying)

    DisAgree [1] Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rohith, Mallikatte Mangalore

    Sat, Mar 16 2019

    Gautam Adani ke saath Modi Bhai hey. No National Green Tribunal (NGT) will able to do anything. He may buy these NGT official's or make someways to operate the power plant. Chowkidar Mera Gujju Bhai dekhlega.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [26] Reply Report Abuse

  • dilip varma, KOTTAYAM

    Sat, Mar 16 2019

    Environmental clearance given in 1997 by Congress. Power plant started in 2005, under Congress regime. So where does BJP or Modi come in the picture? But Tribunal judgement given now, during Modis regime. So who is supporting Adani? It is Congress.
    Ambani became big during Indira Gandhis period. BJP was not involved

    DisAgree [14] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse

  • geoffrey, hat hill

    Sat, Mar 16 2019

    Can't help wondering if any of the Gujju businessmen have legitimate business at all,... and if not for the strong political patronage, majority of them deserve to be behind the bars, no wonder their mafia sees to it that all the key positions in the country are occupied by 'their own'

    DisAgree [1] Agree [26] Reply Report Abuse

  • Narendra Kumar, Mangalore

    Sat, Mar 16 2019

    Warm welcome sign by NGT. Ecological imbalance has been created by man made disaster. Time to wake up and be a aware citizen and fight for their rights. Industry and growth is required but not at the cost of fertile land and consequences to human habitat. Jai hind. Jai Bharat. Adani aur Ambani ko bagao aur Desh ko Bachao. Both are good friends of NAMO and they financially take care of his party and brought that party into power by having a corporate give and take deal. Time to pack up this government and send Narendra Modi and Amith Shah to Gujarath back home! Anyway BJP Bhakts won't agree as usual.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [25] Reply Report Abuse

  • abdulla, india

    Sat, Mar 16 2019

    Like Kudanakulam multiply the Kaiga plant to produce 10 GB Nuclear power to generate Electricity for Industrialization...
    no need of another power that cause. air pollution...
    stop it.
    no need for any more.
    stream line. resources....
    maintain top of the range safety..and quality.
    best crew.
    all in A-1 perfect stream

    DisAgree Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • DON, Udupi

    Sat, Mar 16 2019

    Why the hell these killer plants have to come up within the proximity of people and farms?I Shame those who gave environmental clearance.
    This is also called poisoning the generation without any enemy invasions.

    DisAgree Agree [23] Reply Report Abuse

  • snk, Mlore

    Sat, Mar 16 2019

    What a mess!
    Govt's and departments played with people life's. Whenever I visit that area I keep questioning after all why did they pick such a pristine are to muck with. The impact is clearly visible for km's around this plant.

    Mind you, this is not blaming one political party or other. All are hand in glove in this.

    DisAgree Agree [21] Reply Report Abuse

  • YEZDI Praveen, Kavoor/ Muscat

    Sat, Mar 16 2019

    Bhagwan ka ghar mein Der hai lekin ander nahin.......better lare than never

    DisAgree [2] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • Anil, Dubai

    Sat, Mar 16 2019

    In-fact recent the major number of airports (the mass privatization ) in auctions gone to adani group..
    any illegal matter involved on this ....!!!!

    DisAgree [2] Agree [28] Reply Report Abuse

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Title : Clearances granted to Adani's Udupi power plant illegal, rules NGT


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