Skip to main content

Tata Mundra power plant in Kutch, Gujarat, "fails" to get environmental clearance for the next phase

By Our Representative
In what is being seen by environmentalists and activists as an important success, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Government of India, has refused to give environmental clearance to the Tata Mundra Ultra Power Project (UMPP). Revealing this, Bharat Patel of the Machimaar Adhikaar Sangharsh Samiti (MASS), which is pitted against the UMPP at Mundra, has said in a statement that the MoEF decision has been reached "citing non-compliance of environmental conditions during the first phase." 
Hence, MASS' statement said, "The Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of the MoEF declined environmental clearance for the expansion plans for the UMPP." The MoEF decision is particularly surprising because Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been insisting on early environmental clearance to major projects which he considers of "national importance." Tatas are known to have gone close to Modi after they were provided with huge subsidies worth Rs 30,000 crore to shift their Nano car plant to Gujarat from West Bengal.
Referring to a meeting held on July 31-August 1, the minutes of which are available on the MoEF website, MASS quotes the EAC to say, “The environmental clearance (EC) of existing UMPP show that some of the conditions like mangrove plantation, green belt etc. are either non-complied or partly complied.” 
Hence, the EAC is said to have recommended “for a site-visit by a sub-committee for the issues regarding mangrove plantation, and for a detailed action plan for compliance to the conditions stipulated in the EC for the first phase, along with budgetary provisions for public hearing and such other engagements."
The Tatas' UMPP had planned to expand the existing 4,000 MW project by 1,660 MW and had sought environmental clearance. Earlier, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a co-investor in the $4 billion in the project, denied that it was considering to finance Tatas' expansion plans.
The MASS claimed, "The latest report of the EAC reconfirms what MASS, the local organisation of fishworkers affected by the power projects in Mundra, had been raising the past few years. Last year, investigating on a complaint filed by the MASS, the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO), the recourse mechanism of IFC, had found a number of policy violations by the company. The World Bank President, who is required to take actions on the findings of CAO, has not taken any yet."
"Last month, at the annual general meeting of the UMPP, investors raised serious questions about social and environmental issues of the Tatas' Mundra project. The directors of the company had promised prompt action. However, no action has so far been reported", MASS said.

Comments

TRENDING

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Mental health: India's 95% patients "deprived" of medical care, treatment gap 70%

By Moin Qazi*
Among the many challenges India faces, the most underappreciated is the ongoing mental health crisis. Mental illness is actually India’s ticking bomb. An estimated 56 million Indians suffer from depression, and 38 million from anxiety disorders. For those who suffer from mental illness, life can seem like a terrible prison from which there is no hope of escape; they are left forlorn and abandoned, stigmatized, shunned and misunderstood.

Modi model? "Refusal" to build Narmada's micro canals, keep Kutch dry; help industry

By Medha Patkar*
This is the latest photograph of the Kutch Branch Canal (KBC) of the Sardar Sarovar, as of April 8! What does it show, expose, and what memories do you recall? Is it dry or dead? Is it a canal or a carcass of the same?

Bill Gates "promoting" GMO, Bt cotton, like cartels that have roots in Hitler's Germany

By Our Representative
World-renowned environmental leader and ecologist Dr Vandana Shiva has expressed concern that Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Corporation, has joined the bandwagon of “a poison cartel of three" – Monsanto and Bayer, Syngenta and ChemChina, Dow and DuPont – all of whom allegedly have “roots in Hitler’s Germany and finding chemicals to kill people”.

Indian talc products contain "contaminated" asbestos structures, can cause cancer: Study

Counterview Desk
A recent study, using polarizing light microscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), electron diffraction, and X-ray analysis on multiple over-the-counter Indian talc products for the presence of asbestos, has concluded that large quantities of body talc products are likely to pose a public health risk for asbestos-related diseases, especially for the cancers related to asbestos exposure.

Why are you silent on discrimination against Dalit jawans? Macwan questions Modi

By Rajiv Shah
Close on the heels of releasing his book in Gujarati, "Bhed Bharat", which lists 319 cases of atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis across the country over the last five years, well-known Gujarat Dalit rights leader Martin Macwan has shot an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, telling him the reasons why he does not want vote for the BJP.

Emergence of a rare Dalit teacher in IIT-Kanpur "disturbed" certain faculty members

By PS Krishnan, IAS (Retd)*
Dr Subrahmanyam Sadrela, a faculty member in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kanpur since January 1, 2018, and one of the rare Dalit members of the faculty in IIT group of institutions, is facing the threat of revocation of his PhD thesis, and thereby also jeopardizing his job and career.

Investigation shows Narmada downstream "seriously" polluted. Reason: apathy, greed

By Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant, Swati Desai*
Our investigation regarding quality of water flowing in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD), dated April 6, 2019, between 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. reiterates, what is commonly known now, that the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) is planned without considering its impact on the downstream Narmada River stretch of 161 kilometres, its ecology, biodiversity and fishery, and lakhs of people living close to and dependent on the river directly or indirectly. This, in turn, has led to its present disastrous state.

RTE in remote areas? Govt of India "plans" to close down 2.4 lakh schools

By Srijita Majumder*
The Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, came into effect on April 1, 2010, for the first time made it obligatory on the part of the State to provide free and compulsory education to all children from 6-14 years of age in India. The Act, despite its limitations, had progressive elements like neighbourhood schools, community participation, ban on corporal punishment, no detention, continuous and comprehensive evaluation and it hence it appeared that India was not far from achieving universal elementary education.

Election Commission suffering from worst-ever "credibility crisis": Ex-bureaucrats

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to President Ram Nath Kovind, a group of ex-bureaucrats have lamented ‘weak-kneed’ responses of the Election Commission of India (ECI) in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Citing various violations of the model code of conduct, and pointing towards how ECI has taken little action, the letter asks the President to tell ECI to “conduct itself in a manner where its independence, fairness, impartiality and efficiency are not questioned.”