Friday, February 22, 2013

Agency which carried out Environmental Impact Assessment of N-plant not accredited: Environmentalists

Trupti Shah
By Our Representative
Rohit Prajapati
In a glaring revelation, senior environmentalists Rohit Prajapati and Trupti Shah, from Vadodara, Gujarat, have brought to fore a top document which says that though environment public hearing (EPH) for 6000 MW Mithi Virdi Nuclear Power Plant is proposed for March 5, 2013 at Navagam (Nana) village, Taluka Ghogha, Bhavnagar, Gujarat, the agency which prepared environment impact assessment has till date not got any accreditation by the top Central authority, National Accreditation Board for Education and Training (NABET) for nuclear projects.
In a letter to Union environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan, other senior government officials of the Central government and state government, the environmentalists says, “It is really shocking that an establishment like Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited, claiming to be taking utmost care for safety measures has nominated Engineers India Limited (EIL), Delhi, as consultant for preparing Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report for proposed 6000 MW Nuclear Power Plant at Mithi Virdi area of Bhavnagar district, Gujarat. The said agency, EIL, does not have necessary accreditation to conduct EIA for Nuclear Power Plants.”
The letter says, “This has been mentioned in the EIA report itself on page Nos 387-389, volume I.” The environmentalists quote The EIA report as stating:
“12.0 DISCLOSURE OF CONSULTANTS 
“... The division is assisted by a multi-disciplinary team with engineers and scientists with experience ranging from seven to thirty years or more and equipped with the latest computer software and hardware. It is capable of providing the entire range of services related to environmental pollution assessment, control and management to the following major sectors of industry in India and abroad: 
· Petroleum Refining 
· Petrochemicals 
· Oil and Gas Processing 
· Metallurgy 
· Chemicals 
· Food Processing and Dairy 
· Distillery 
· Fertilizers 
· Thermal Power Plants 
EIL is also capable of providing environment related services for various other industries like textile, eather, pulp and paper etc. besides the different industries mentioned above… 
“…National Accreditation Board for Education and Training (NABET) – under the Accreditation Scheme for EIA Consultant Organisations has accredited EIL as EIA consultant for 9 EIA Sectors, vide NABET notification dated 14.09.10. The list of sectors for which the accreditation has been accorded by NABET is given in Fig. 13.1. The same can be referred from the NABET website www.qcin.org/nabet/about.php.” 
“… For “Nuclear Power projects and processing of nuclear fuel” sector EIL’s application along with other consultants are still pending at NABET. However, till date NABET has not cleared any application related to nuclear sector.” 
The environmentalists, for ready reference of state and Central officials, have attached the relevant pages of the EIA report, pointing out, “Facts on pages 387-389 of Volume – I of EIA for Mithi Virdi Nuclear Power Plant by EIL invites strict action against NPCIL and the EIL also. We are really shocked that how come the concerned authority has given clearance for conducting EPH in such a matter of grave concern involving security of the lakhs of people.
In their demand, they state that:
1. The concerned authority should immediately reject the EIA of Mithi Virdi Nuclear Power Plant of NPCIL prepared by EIL.
2. The concerned authority should immediately cancel the public hearing.
3. The concerned authority should apologise to the people of Gujarat for such a grave mistake allowing the public hearing on an illegal EIA.
4. The concerned authority should pass stricture against NPCIL and consultant EIL for such an illegal action on their part.

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