HC seeks report on power plant

Nagabhushana and others, all residents of Yermarus village, had approached the court seeking that the project be quashed. The Division Bench comprising Justices Sridhar Rao and L Narayanaswamy directed the State and the Centre to submit whether all the norms had been adhered to, before granting environment clearance to the project.

The petitioners had moved the Court stating that the environment clearance dated November 17, 2009 by the Union Ministry for Environment and Forests (MoEF) was erroneous, illegal, contrary to provisions of law and against public safety. Pointing out that KPCL had already set up a thermal power station in Raichur (RTPS) with seven units, each with a capacity of 210 megawatt, they said the new power station with a capacity of 2,400 megawatt at Yermarus was not necessary in the region.

Noting that the ambient concentration of sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen were high around RTPS, the petitioners said people living in a radius of five to eight km were suffering from respiratory disorders and the studies conducted by some agencies had shown that the fly ash from the thermal station was emitting several dangerous chemicals which had filled the air and also entered the water.

With Yermarus situated on the banks of Krishna, heavy metals like boron and mercury would be entering the water making it unsuitable for domestic use, they said. The petitioners said a project of this magnitude required clearance from the Centre and the State after a proper Environment Impact Assessment. They sought directions to quash the clearance issued by the MoEF.

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