Skip to main content

Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti calls Gujarat govt's CRZ clearance to Mithi Virdi N-plant "unconstitutional"

Counterview Desk
Three senior environmentalists, Krishnakant, Rohit Prajapati and Swati Desai of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, in a statement have alleged that the recent move of the the Gujarat government's department of environment and forest giving coastal regulatory zone (CRZ) clearance to the proposed 6000 MW Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) at Mithi Virdi "is an act of endorsing the illegal and unconstitutional act of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL) and the Engineers India Limited (EIL)."
Signed by veteran Gandhian Chunibhai Vaidya and Shaktisinh Gohil, sarpanch of Jaspara village, and Arjunbhai Dabhi of Mithi Virdi, both leaders of the Bhavnagar Jilla Gram Bachao Samiti, the statement reads, "During and before the environmental public hearing (EPH) for the proposed NPP, villagers, local panchayats and voluntary organisations brought to the notice of the authorities that the EIL does not have necessary accreditation to prepare an Environmental Impact Assessment Report (EIA) for a NPP."
Yet, "in an instance of utter disregard and disrespect to the environmental law and the Constitution of India, NPCIL and EIL went ahead with the EIA study and the collector tried to go ahead with the illegal Public Hearing."
On March 5, 2013, the day of public hearing, the statement says, "about 6,500 villagers, local panchayats and voluntary organisations, raised this issues and sought clarification from the chairman of the public hearing, the then collector of Bhavnagar VP Patel." They failed to get "any answers to the important questions raised by them, and the EPH was held."
The statement adds, "The villagers were left with no choice but to walk out from the illegal, unconstitutional public hearing. NPCIL and EIL have since then continued to resort to the illegal practices. This is evident from its application and presentations for CRZ clearance to the authorities in Gujarat without submitting adequate documents and information."
The environmentalists recall, on June 11, 2013, while giving the so-called CRZ clearance to the NPP, the Gujarat Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) stated that the authority deliberated on the proposal of the NPCIL, "and after detailed discussion", it decided to "recommend to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, to grant CRZ clearance for construction of intake, outfall facilities, jetty and desalination plant at village Mithi Virdi by NPCIL."
The environmentalists contend, the clearance was given "in a very casual manner, without asking for and reading the note on safety aspects, site clearance report, and without undertaking the site visit." They add, "The GCZMA has not taken in account basics, for instance eventualities like population increase in the immediate vicinity of the proposed plant."
The environmentalists comment, "It is unclear if the GCZMA is a victim of the non-transparent and secretive approach of NPCIL, which has not attached the report dated June 28, 2007 of the Site Selection Committee even in the EIA document and also to the GCZMA."
They quote the committee's report which stated that that lignite mining was being carried at a distance of 5 km towards south, that the ship-braking yard at Alang was at distance of 20 km on the southern side of the site, and that the the site was about 30 km from Bhavnagar city.
"On the southern side", the committee had noted, "a small check dam has been constructed to arrest rain water before flowing in to sea. There is hillock after the check dam. The Kalpasar Project, a multi-utility concrete dam across Gulf of Khambat is being planned just 18 km upstream of the site which may have bearing on the design of intake and outfall structure for the plant.”
The committee stated that “lignite mining is carried out nearby but as informed by state government the lignite is of poor grade and mining will be stopped if nuclear power plant is located in the region... Government of Gujarat had informed that there is proposal to develop Mithi Virdi as a port. Gujarat Maritime Board has agreed to shift the proposed port at least five km from the central line of reactor."
Then, the "Kalpasar Project authorities proposes a dam of 65 km in length and top width of 35 metres across the Gulf of Khambat of 18 km north the Chhaya (Mithi Virdi) site. This will (affect) the Nuclear Power Plant, especially due to sedimentation, flooding due to dam break, aspects of reservoir induced seismicity."
Further, the committee said, "The Ship Breaking Yard is touching the exclusion zone boundary of the plant. As per AERB Code, within sterilized zone upto 5 Km natural growth is permitted but planned expansion of activities, which will lead to an enhanced population growth are not allowed by administrative measures."
Saying that these aspects "have been brought to the notice", the committee stated, “A detailed seismotectonic study 300 km radius around site is to be carried out for the assessment of seismic hazards leading to determination of design basis ground motion parameters during design state. Seismotectonic status of offshore region will be included in this study in order to ascertain and offshore existence and extensions of lineaments and faults. Micro- seismic survey of the surrounding area will generate useful data for this purpose. In addition effect if any due to Kalpasar on seismicity should be taken into account at site evaluation stage.”.
Based on this, the committee recommended that a "detailed study be conducted to examine the effect of Kalpasar dam in the upstream of NPP site on the flooding of the proposed site due to breaking of dam in the event of an earthquake of very high magnitude as the Kalpasar dam is located over deep sited fault."
As regards the ship breaking yard, it said, it is "presently located at outskirt of the plant boundary 2 km away from the centre of the 6th reactor building", hence, the restriction of the growth of population in the sterilized zone (5 km area) "is required to be maintained by administrative action" And as for lignite mining, "surface mining, as done in Kudankulam project, can be permissible up to the start of plant."
Environmentalists wonder why this information is not crucial for the GCZMA. "While the Environmental Appraisal Committee (EAC) of the Ministry of Environment and Forest has sought the clarification regarding the issue of accreditation of EIL for NPP, GCZMA has hastily decided to grant conditional clearance to the project without even checking the mandatory accreditation certificate of the EIA consultant", they underline.

Comments

TRENDING

You promised 50 lakh houses, give us one: Ahmedabad migrant women's plea to Modi

Women display letters containing rakhi for PM    By Hirabhai Solanki, Bhartiben Dantani, Ramesh Shrivastav*  Poor labouring families, including seasonal or long-term migrants of nearly 15 squatter settlements -- working as construction and casual workers and petty vendors, providing cheap but critically important labour for Ahmedabad city, living under plastic sheetings -- have reminded the Gujarat and Central Governments about the promise made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of building 50 lakh dwellings, wherein every pavement dweller and homeless would be given a decent home by the end of 2022. Holding a meeting in Ahmedabad under the aegis of the Majur Adhikaar Manch, they also referred to the appeal of the Prime Minister to poor and labouring women, seeking his support as brother by sending rakhis to protect their humble basti dwellings and provide them with decent housing, which is secure for them and their families. So far, about 300 women have posted rakhis to the Prime Ministe

Kailash Satyarthi NGO floats new centre in Delhi to 'empower' underprivileged children

By Our Representative  A voluntary organisation linked with Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi-supported NGO has floated a unique children’s resource centre at Sanjay Camp, Chankyapuri, New Delhi, in order to facilitate in imparting remedial education, recreational training and holistic development of children of around 2,500 under-privileged slum-dwelling families. Virender Singh Kadian, MLA of Delhi Cantonment, inaugurated the centre, which is called Shaheed Kalu Bal Vikas Kendra. The resource centre is in memory of Kalu Kumar, who died at an young age serving and working towards the development of under-privileged children, said an NGO source. A firebrand activist, Kalu Kumar was trafficked from Bihar to the carpet manufacturing belt of Allahabad when he was six. He was rescued by the Bachpan Bachao Andolan at the age of 10. A bright student, Kalu he covered up the lost ground very quickly and grew up to become a leader fighting for the rights of other child slaves at Bal Ashram. In

A countdown to disaster: Breach in fly-ash bunds of Nagpur's thermal power plants

Fly-ash dyke, Koradi thermal power plant  By Dhwani Shah, Deepmala Patel*  Last month the residents of several villages of Nagpur district woke up to the nightmare of being inundated with fly-ash. Located in the north of Nagpur city are Koradi and Khaparkheda thermal power stations which have their ash dykes in the vicinity. On July 10, 2022 at 3 am, the ash dyke of the Khaparkheda thermal power station broke, leading to ash contaminating the Kanhan river. Though the authorities claimed to have acted quickly and the fly ash dumping in the river was stopped, the claim stood to be misleading and false. Even today, the Kanhan river continues to be polluted with fly-ash, and the water supply to the city is affected. Not only did ash dyke of the Khaparkheda power station break, on July 16, 2022, the ash bund of the Koradi thermal power plant also broke. Fly-ash and water stored in the dyke gushed downstream to six villages -- drowning houses, water bodies and farmlands. With such large-

Golwalkar's views on tricolour, martyrs, minorities, caste as per RSS archives

By Shamsul Islam*  First time in the history of independent India, the in-charge minister of the Cultural Ministry in the current Modi government, Prahlad Singh Patel, has glorified MS Golwalkar, second supremo of the RSS and the most prominent ideologue of the RSS till date, on his birth anniversary, February 19. In a tweet he wrote : “Remembering a great thinker, scholar, and remarkable leader #MSGolwalkar on his birth anniversary. His thoughts will remain a source of inspiration & continue to guide generations.”

Multi-crore NRC updation scam? Awaited: Assam media's self-cleaning mechanism

By Nava Thakuria  If some editor-journalists are allegedly involved in a financial scam, shouldn't the people get an opportunity to identify them? As the mainstream newspapers and news channels of Assam are avoiding the issue in their coverage, how come the actual picture will come to the public domain? If the mainstream media outlets intentionally kill the news, reasons best known to the editors, should the social media users take a lead? By now a number of senior journalists (with experience in print journalism for many decades) have highlighted the issue in social media. Their message is loud and clear- identify the corrupt television journalists who grabbed a huge amount of money which is actually meant for thousands of Assamese professionals. It all began when a second first information report (FIR) was filed by the outgoing State coordinator of National Register of Citizens (NRC) against his predecessor alleging corruption and money laundering while updating the 1951 NRC in A

US rights groups claim 'continued violation' of basic freedoms in J&K since August 2019

By Our Representative  Top US-based non-profit, Human Rights Watch (HRW), headquartered in New York, and the Washington DC-based Indian diaspora group, Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), recalling the abrogation of Article 370 three years ago, have taken strong exception to "continued restrictions" on free expression, peaceful assembly, and other basic rights in Jammu and Kashmir. Claiming that after revoking the region’s special autonomous status on August 5, 2019, the government’s “repressive policies and failure to investigate and prosecute alleged security force abuses have increased insecurity among Kashmiris”, in a statement, HRW said, “The government action was accompanied by serious rights violations including arbitrary detention of hundreds of people, a total communications blackout, and severe restrictions on freedom of movement and peaceful assembly.” It added, “Since then, the authorities have released many of the detainees and restored the internet, but have

Why global recession is 'big threat' to India, despite Nirmala Sitharaman’s bravado

By Prasanna Mohanty*  It would be imprudent to assume that a global recessionary trend will bypass India. In fact, a day after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman categorically ruled out the possibility of recession and stagflation (with high unemployment and high inflation India is technically witnessing stagflation) hitting India in her responses to the Parliament earlier in the week, Commerce Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam dropped a bomb shell. He released latest trade data showing fast deteriorating trends. The data showed, in July 2022, exports fell to five-month low of $35.2 billion and imports sequentially increased to $66 billion. The details revealed a fall in seven of top 10 export items: engineering goods, petroleum products, gems and jewellery, pharmaceuticals, readymade garments, cotton yarn and plastics. All this happened, Subrahmanyam acknowledged, due to the growing recessionary trends in developed countries and elevated commodity prices. The trade deficit (merchandise g

Bangladeshi women crossing borders: Demand to sensitise cops, BSF personnel

Counterview Desk  Bringing more instances of how the security personnel along the borders in West Bengal refuse to probe the human trafficking angle while arresting Bangladeshi women, human rights leader Kirity Roy has said, they are treated as accused in violation of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Government of India and the Government of Bangladesh on Bilateral Cooperation for Preventing of Human Trafficking, especially trafficking in Women and Children. In a letter to the chairman, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Roy, secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM), and national convenor, Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity (PACTI), Hooghly, said, “The victims should be immediately repatriated to their own country and the criminal charges against them must be withdrawn at the earliest”, insisting, “The matters must be handled by the police or the BSF personnel with a human approach.” Text: I am writing this complaint regarding det

A tale of horror and fraud: Profits in trillions of dollars for vaccine manufacturers?

By Aruna Rodrigues*  John Leake is a best-selling and “experienced non-fiction, true crime author”. Having just read what must be described as an extraordinary ‘telling’ of the Covid-19 saga, his book “The Courage to Face Covid-19: Preventing Hospitalization and Death While Battling the Bio-Pharmaceutical Complex”, co-authored with Peter A McCullough, MD, MPH, is the narration of true crime on a scale that could top the list in the history of ‘man’s inhumanity to man’. The book chronicles the unique role of national governments across the world and their health agencies, led by the USA and WHO, which followed an agenda that led to completely avoidable fatalities numbering several million. The question is why? The usual culprits are money and power. But to ascribe cause to these two is woefully insufficient. The sheer magnitude of the ‘dark agenda’ – coordinated and played out by governments, health agencies, the medical establishment (hospitals, doctors and chemists) and the massive a

Draft notification: MoEF&CC should 'critically protect' eco-sensitive Western Ghats

Counterview Desk  In a detailed representation to the secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Shankar Sharma, power and climate policy analyst, commentin on the draft gazette notification of the MoEF&CC dated July 6, 2022 on the Ecologically Sensitive Area (ESA) of the Western Ghats (WGs), has said that the political class, having vested interests in Karnataka, has been opposing such a move for many years. Stating that there is no “rational basis to do so”, and stating that the opponents do not even seem to have even read the recommendations of Dr Kasturi Rangan committee report or the actual draft notification itself, Sharma underscores, the only aim of the vested interests, who have “unauthorisedly occupied massive pieces of forest lands”, to continue to do on in near. “These vested interests are continuing to be ignorant of the fact that Western Ghats not only harbour rich biodiversity of critical importance to our people, but also support