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NGT seeks report on environmental damage by TSPL's unscientific management of fly ash in Mansa

ANI | Updated: Jul 16, 2020 13:24 IST

New Delhi [India], July 16 (ANI): The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has sought an action taken report (ATR), including restoration plan and compensation assessment, for the damage caused to the environment due to the unscientific management of fly ash by Talwandi Sabo Power Limited (TSPL) in Punjab's Mansa district.
A bench of the NGT, headed by its chairperson AK Goel, directed a joint committee comprising of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPBC), State Pollution Control Board, State Environment Impact Assessment Authority, and Mansa District Magistrate to furnish the ATR.
The tribunal, in its order on Wednesday, said that the nodal agency for compliance will be the State PCB and added that the joint committee may give an opportunity to the unit in question of giving its viewpoint, which may be independently verified.
It said that a copy of the report should be furnished to Justice Jasbir Singh, former Judge of Punjab and Haryana High Court, who has been appointed to look into certain environmental issues in Punjab for information and such action as may be found necessary.
The bench was also hearing a petition filed by Kulwant Singh seeking directions to TSPL to pay compensation for damage to the environment and the agricultural fields on account of unscientific management of the fly ash.

On account of such activities, radioactive and heavy metals in coal and fly ash have affected the soil, apart from air pollution caused on account of the emissions from the plant of the said unit, the petitioner said.
The plea said that the farmers and residents of the area are suffering as their agriculture crops have been adversely affected on account of fly ash generated by the unit.
"The plant is using light diesel oil as fuel though it is designed for use of coal only. There is an excessive buildup of fly ash in the silos. The SDM assessed compensation at Rs 84,99,574 for nuisance under Section 133 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), which is not being paid," the plea said. The petitioner said that the victims have not even been identified.
The plea submitted that the coal with ash content exceeding 34 percent is being used in violation of Rule 3 of the Environment (Protection) Rule, 1986.
After hearing the submissions, the NGT said that it was prima facie satisfied that the application raises substantial questions of the environment, which need to be adjudicated by the tribunal. (ANI)