Saturday, December 05, 2009

RTI Stays Athena Power Plant Clearance

The National Environment Appellate Authority on 17-11-2009 stayed the Environment Clearance granted by Ministry of Environment and Forests to Hyderabad based Athena Chhattisgarh Power Pvt Ltd for establishment of 1200 MW Thermal Power Plant in Chhattisgarh. The decision came as a result of the Appeal filed by Jan Chetana and the "Villagers of Singhatarai" who challenged the environmental clearance on the ground that the Ministry of Environment and Forest approved the project without considering the fact that the Public Hearing held on 15.01.2009 was cancelled by the chairperson in view of the documents not being made available to the affected public and the procedure as contemplated in the EIA Notification was not followed. There was nothing on record to show that the Expert Appraisal committee of the Ministry of Environment and Forests took note of the concerns expressed by the people and even took note of the decision of the chairperson (additional Collector) to declare the hearing null and void.

The NEAA went through the video recording (Obtained through RTI) of the Public
Hearing for over an hour which was provided by Jan Chetana and was convinced that there was discrepancy in what was recorded in the minutes of the public hearing and what was spoken in public by the A.D.M. Janjgir-Champa S.K.Chand. The video recording clearly showed large scale opposition of the public to the project.

Posted by Ramesh Agarwal on the Humjanenge board
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