The National Green Tribunal on 08-2-20012 in a Judgment [Order made available on 14-2-2012 at www.greentribunal.in] directed that no construction activity should take place with respect to the 300 MW (2x150 MW) Thermal Power Plant at Village Bhadreshwar, Taluka Mundra by OPG Power Gujarat till all approvals are obtained by the Project Proponent. Construction had commenced at the site without all the required approvals including the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 and CRZ clearance. The ongoing constructions were challenged before the National Green Tribunal by Fisherfolks, Saltpan Worker and local villagers. The work on the project continues despite the fact all required approvals were not in place
The NGT in its judgement cited the environmental clearance letter which clearly stipulates that the project proponent shall not start any construction/ project enabling activities unless and until environmental clearance as well as all requisite prior permission/ clearances are obtained. [Para 13 of the Judgment].
The NGT held ‘that a cumulative reading of all the specific and general conditions…leads to the conclusion that the project cannot commence its activities until prior permission/ clearances are obtained from various authorities under different Acts/ law’.
The NGT further held that ‘it is well settled that in the absence of permission under the Forest (Conservation) Act and CRZ clearance , the EC granted in favour of Respondent No 3 becomes redundant in as much as the said EC is subject to permission and clearance granted under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 and the CRZ clearance”
It is pertinent to point out that the Forest Clearance application was rejected by the Government of Gujarat and the MOEF has on 6th February, 2012 issued a Show Cause to OPG Groups to show cause as to why the CRZ Clearance should not be kept in abeyance.
As a result of the Present Judgment of the NGT, OPG Power Gujarat cannot proceed with its project unless they secure all approvals and responds to the Show Cause issued by the MoEF with respect to the CRZ Clearance. In case OPG proposes any change, they have to apply to the concerned authorities for approval.
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