Opencast expansion at Chhattisgarh mine violates NGT order -Ishan Kukreti

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published Published on Sep 16, 2020   modified Modified on Sep 17, 2020

-Down to Earth

The EAC recommended that the coal mine be expanded to 1.5 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) from 1 MTPA through opencast method

A central expert appraisal committee (EAC) has okayed the expansion of a Chhattisgarh coal mine, which is in violation of a National Green Tribunal (NGT) order.
Gare Palma IV-4 can produce 1.5 million tonnes per annum (MTPA), up from 1 MTPA, through the open-cast method, recommended the EAC under the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

The EAC meeting for environmental appraisal of coal mining projects constituted under Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification, 2006, took place on August 17-18, 2020.

The amendment of the terms of reference (ToR) for the expansion of the said coal mine was in violation of the NGT February 27, 2020 order, which prohibits any new open-cast coal mine in the area, according to experts.

ToR is the blueprint of a project on the basis of which a public consultation is carried out.

The tribunal had passed the order on petitions filed by Dukalu Ram and Shivpal Bhagat in 2014 and 2018 respectively. The petitions flagged pollution due to the thermal power plants and coal washeries of companies such as Jindal Power Ltd; Jindal Power and Steel Ltd; TRN Energy Pvt Ltd; Mahavir Energy & Coal Benefaction Ltd; Hindalco Industries Ltd and Monet Energy Ltd; South Eastern Coalfields Ltd in Tamnar and Gharghoda blocks of Raigarh.

The coal mine in question is owned by Hindalco Industries Ltd.

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Down to Earth, 16 September, 2020,

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