Set back to Vidarbha’s 132 Power Projects as Supreme Court issues Notice to Lanco Power Ltd and MOEF
NAGPUR: 18TH June 2012
Vidarbha epicenter of India’s farmers suicide which already known as Graveyard of cotton farmers has new threat to get converted in to environmental graveyard due 132 mega power projects one of the power plant out of 132 power plants are proposed to come up in Vidarbha to produce 86,407MW enough to do environmental disaster even after very big huge nad cry by environmental activist MOEF turned blind eye toward all facts today received major set back to today when Supreme Court of India comprising of Hon’ble Justice H. L. Gokhale and Justice Ranjana Desai has issued notices to M/s Lanco Thermal Power Ltd., Ministry of Environment and Forest, New Delhi, District Collector Wardha, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board and others in SLP ( C ) CC No:-9053/2012 filed by four farmers namely Padmakar Deshmukh, Chandrashekhar Bhende, Laxman Manwatkar, Vijay Muley, of District Wardha challenging the Judgment of Bombay High Court and the “Environmental Clearance” granted to company, Kishore Tiwari president informed in press release today.
As per inputs given by petitioner’s lawyer Adv. Tushar Mandlekar, it is reported that petitioners have alleged that the “Environmental Clearance” was obtained by fraud and misrepresentation by suppressing the facts violating the EIA Notifications dated 14-09-2006 and 01-12-2009. It may be recalled that the “Public Hearing” held on 17-09-2010 was held to be illegal and vitiated by the High Court in its earlier judgment in PIL No:-78/2010. The poor farmers were ruthlessly beaten and an FIR was lodged against the company officials. All the rules regarding procedure of “Public Hearing” were openly violated and Police Officials were found to have threatened the poor villagers. The petitioners alleged that the Ministry of Environment and Forest has not cancelled the “Environmental Clearance” which is bound to be done as per the mandatory statutory requirements and in view of the guidelines laid down by the Hon’ble Supreme Court.
It is the case of the petitioners that the “Public Hearing” if found to have been vitiated then the decision to recommend the Environment Clearance has to be cancelled. The Hon’ble High Court though held that “Public Hearing” was not held in accordance with the rules and was not fair but did not cancel the “Environmental Clearance” which was granted by MOEF during the pendency of the petition in High Court. Taking advantage of the situation the company has started the construction of 660 x 2 MW Power Plant in Wardha, petitioners lawyer Adv. Tushar Mandlekar added.
Hon’ble Supreme Court has directed the company to file an affidavit stating the clear measures taken to protect the Environment, and the current status of the project. The Hon’ble Court has also said that fresh Public Hearing will be conducted as per the schedule on 20-06-2012 subject to outcome of the SLP.It is also reported In view of the serious propositions of significant dimensions, involved in the present matter Hon’ble Supreme Court was pleased to issue Dasti Notice to MOEF and other government authorities, petitioners lawyer Adv. Tushar Mandlekar informed.
There is very strong protest from farmers over the issue of acquiring land, permission for water and coal blocks and MOEF has been giving environment clearance where as local administration has been arranging stage managed public hearing for the same and
District-wise break-up of 132 plants include 28 in Nagpur (17,070MW), 58 in Chandrapur (28,114MW), 16 in Bhandara and Gondia (22,035MW), 19 in Amravati and Yavatmal (13,845MW), 6 in Wardha (2,843MW), 3 in Gadchiroli (2,000MW) and 2 (expansion of Paras plant) in Akola (500MW).