Saturday, December 19, 2009

State govt committee against Essar thermal project at Jamnagar, reveals RTI

A three-member state government committee from the Department of Forest and Environment had recommended against permitting Essar Bulk Terminal limited to set up a thermal power project at the Marine National Park `eco-fragile' area in Jamnagar district on December 31 last year, an RTI filed by Pankti Jog from the Ahmedabad-based NGO Janpath has revealed.
But, according to the official communiqué — to Essar Power Gujarat Limited — by the Government of India, Ministry of Environment and Forest, environment clearance was given to the 1,200 MW coal-based power project at Nana Mandha, Jamnagar district on July 17, 2009.
According to the Forest Department officials, the state government had formed a committee on November 10, 2008 to find out the status quo, as the project fell under the Marine National Sanctuary. Pradeep Khanna, the then Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF), Wildlife; H S Singh, Chief Conservator of Forest, Land; and J K Vyas, Director Environment, were members of the committee. They had recommended against giving a go-ahead to the project.
The RTI said: "It was desired that the area that is required to be dredged be examined for the presence of corals. In the first meeting, representatives of the applicant company were also called, who had the area photographed by the divers. But the report made available by Essar to the three committee members remained inconclusive in the first meeting."
Complete Article
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