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NGT stops Tangedco’s construction of a pipeline across Kosasthalaiyar, without any environmental clearance

NGT stops Tangedco’s construction of a pipeline across Kosasthalaiyar, without any environmental clearance

Fines for the electricity agency 50 lakh and 4.12 crore Environment Compensation imposed previously

Tangedco has been directed by the National Green Tribunal’s Southern Bench to stop construction of a fly ash slurry piping system across the Kosasthalaiyar river at Ennore. Tangedco must go through the process of getting Environment Clearance, including applying afresh and obtaining Terms of Reference, conducting environmental studies, and a public hearing. Tangedco was also penalized by the bench with a 50 lakh additional fine for attempting to construct a pipeline, but not obtaining the EC.

The Tribunal also imposed a previous Environment Compensation of 4.12 million on Tangedco. Tangedco has been ordered to pay the compensation in three months. If that fails, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board is directed to start recovery proceedings. Tangedco’s compensation can be used by TNPCB for protection of the Ennore creek as well as the Kosasthalaiyar. This will allow the environment to recover from the damage done and provide protection to prevent future encroachment.

The Tribunal was notified that Tangedco had unlawfully started and constructed a part of the ash-pipe for its new project without Environment or CRZ clearances. The applicant also stated that Tangedco had applied post facto for clearance and that it was deplorable as there was no law to grant such clearances.

The Tangedco was directed not to proceed with the construction of the pipeline through the CRZ area and in any other area in violation to the Environment Clearance or CRZ Clearance granted in 2016. They will need to file a new application in accordance to law to get further clearances.

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Tangedco was also ordered by the bench to replace old pipelines within the prescribed time frame by the Tribunal. Tangedco was also instructed to follow the recommendations of the joint committee appointed to the NGT in spirit and letter to prevent future fly ash intrusions into the riverine.

The Joint Committee and the Pollution Control Board directed the Tangedco to take immediate steps to remove fly ash from the area. This will reduce the damage to the riverine environment. The bench directed the Tangedco to take the necessary steps to prevent any leakage from pipes. They must also keep watch over the old pipe lines until they are replaced and immediately arrest any breaches.

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