Tribunal to hear plea against nod to Jindal’s power plant
Rakesh Kumar Kubde
April 27th, 2012

The National Green Tribunal today agreed to hear a plea challenging the environmental clearance granted to Jindal Power Ltd on November 4, 2011, for increasing the capacity of its 1,200 MW coal-based thermal power plant in Raigarh district of Chhattisgarh to 2,400 MW.

The Tribunal, however, refused to entertain the plea assailing the Ministry of Environment and Forest’s (MoEF) decision to grant environment clearance on March 18, 2011, for the first phase of the project on the ground that it was time- barred.

A bench headed by Tribunal’s acting Chairperson A S Naidu sought replies from MoEF, Chhattisgarh Environment Conservation Board and Jindal Power Ltd on a plea filed by NGO, Mehnatkash Mazdoor Kishan Ekta Sangathan.

“The cause of action for challenging the order dated March 18, 2011, has became grossly barred by afflux of time and thus has attained finality,” the bench, also comprising Professor R Nagendran, said.

“We hold that this appeal shall be confined to environment clearance granted by the MoEF by order dated November 4, 2011,” it said while seeking replies on the same by May 10.

The MoEF had on March 18, 2011, granted environment clearance for establishing a 2400MW coal-based thermal power plant but due to non-availability of coal Jindal Power Ltd established a plant for 1200MW (2×600 MW) and commenced production.

Jindal Power Ltd, however, managed to import more coal and filed another application seeking clearance for additional 2×600 MW coal based thermal power plant.

Jindal’s application was allowed and the MoEF by order dated November 4, 2011, granted clearance for the same.

Both the clearances were assailed in the plea on which the Tribunal held that the March 18, 2011 clearance could not be heard due to lapse of time allowed for challenging the clearances and agreed to hear the plea against the November 4, 2011 clearance.
Source: ET

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