The National Green Tribunal has slammed the Chattisgarh government for its failure to construct a road for coal transportation from coal mines to thermal power plants in order to minimize air pollution.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel directed the chief secretary, Chattisgarh to ensure to take necessary action on the part of departments concerned on the subject of construction of road and providing health care facilities and drinking water to those affected by air pollution in the area.
“The State should prepare a list of areas where unscientific disposal of fly ash has taken place and generate data about the quantity of the coal mined, used in the industries and available to thermal power plants”, the bench said.
They further added – Steps need to be taken expeditiously for the development of health facilities, constructing necessary roads from Raigarh to Dharamjaygarh and from Punjipatra to Milupara , disposal of fly ash in abandoned coal mines and constitution of Sate Level Committee to look into scientific utilisation of the fly ash . Taking such steps is undoubtedly necessary for Environment Protection.”
The NGT asked the Oversight Committee formed by it to make an assessment of compensation of the violation on the basis of which statutory State board may take further action.
Looking at the grave seriousness of the issues, NGT has directed the Overnight Committee to be headed by Justice VK Shrivastava, former Judge of Chattisgarh High Court, at Bilaspur.
The Tribunal was hearing a plea made by Shivpal Bhagat and others seeking steps against pollution caused by thermal power plants, coal washeries in Tamnar and Gharghoda blocks of Raigarh in Chattisgarh, including Jindal Power Limited, Jindal Power and Steel Limited, TRN Energy PVT Ltd., Mahavir Energy and Coal Benefactions Ltd., Hindalco Industries and Monet Energy Ltd, SECL.