Lippa Judgement

NGT in Paryawaran Sanrakshan Sangarsh Samiti Lippa vs Union of India passed the attached judgment on 4 May 2016.

NGT Judgment

ERC, New Delhi

NGT suspends EC granted to the Nyam Jang Chhu Hydroelectric Project (780 MW) in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh

Save Mon Region Federation v. Union of India & Others

(Appeal No. 39/2012)

NGT in its judgment on 7.04.2016, suspended the Environmental Clearance (EC) dated 19.4.2012 for the construction of 780 Mega Watts (MW) Nyam Jang Chhu Hydroelectric Project (NJC-HEP) in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh.

The case was filed on behalf of Save Mon Region Federation, an organization of Monpa indigenous community in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh and Mr. Lobsang Choedar, a social activist, Senior Buddist Lama and Chief Advisor to the Federation.

The judgment is one of a kind, in that the NGT took into consideration wildlife aspects of the area, in particular, the Black Necked Crane, while considering the validity of the EC. The Black Necked Crane has been listed as vulnerable species by the IUCN. It is also revered by the Buddhist monks of the region, After hearing the matter for more than 4 years, the Tribunal has sent the impugned project back to scoping stage. NGT accepted the main ground for challenge of the Environmental Clearance i.e. misrepresentation/ non disclosure of material facts by the Project Proponent and faulty scoping process by the Expert Appraisal Committee.

EAC has been directed to make a fresh appraisal on the basis of fresh EIA and the public consultation done, thereupon.

MoEF&CC has been directed to conduct a separate study of E-flow requirement for protection of habitat of the Black Necked Crane and for conservation of the Black Necked Crane through the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun.

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Meera Gopal

Environmental Lawyer

LIFE, New Delhi

NGT directs MOEF&CC to not appraise illegally constructed power project in Telangana

NGT directs MOEF&CC to not appraise

illegally constructed power project in Telangana

In a significant order passed on 7 April 2016, the Southern Zone Bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MoEF&CC) to not appraise Telangana State Power Generation Corporation’s (TSGENCO) much hyped but illegally constructed 4x270MW Thermal Power Plant at Chikkudugunta Village, Manuguru (M), Khammam district, Telangana. The significant order was passed by the NGT in an Application [No. 206 of 2015] moved before it by Human Rights Forum (HRF) in the month of November, 2015 It was contended in the Application that the power project had only obtained Terms of Reference (TOR), and the project works were started and ongoing without obtaining the prior mandatory Environmental Clearance under the EIA Notification, 2006 and Consent to Establish under Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and Air Act (Prevention and Control of Pollution), 1981.

In pursuance of the Application, the NGT on 12.12.2015 had already passed an interim stay order directing the Project Proponent to stop all the project works with immediate effect. The MoEF&CC has thereafter inspected the project site in January 2016 and confirmed vide its Site Inspection Report that major construction works of the project such as construction of Batching Plant, Boilers, Cooling Towers, Electrostatic Precipitator, Ash Pond, etc. has already commenced and were ongoing. In the course of the hearing before the Tribunal later on, the Project Proponent has admitted the fact that the construction works of the project were undertaken by them without obtaining prior mandatory Environmental Clearance and Consent to Establish orders.

Taking  serious view of the matter, NGT has observed that it intends to pass orders in respect of the prayers made in the Application. Further, in view of the fact that illegal construction has taken place which the Tribunal in its order noted as the situation which “virtually prevented the proper appraisal of the project”. NGT has directed the MoEF&CC to not appraise the project until further orders from it.  

NGT Order

D. Suresh Kumar

Hyderabad, India

POSCO Disposed off by NGT

Prafulla Samantray v. Union of India & Ors. Appeal No. 16 of 2014 The Appeal was filed in April 2014 challenging the revalidation of the Environmental Clearance granted to POSCO India Pvt. Ltd. for setting up an integrated iron and steel plant (4.0 MTPA) with captive power plant (4×100 MW) at Kujang, near Paradip, Jagatsinghpur in Odisha on 7.01.2014. On 8th April 2016, the Counsel for the project proponent informed the Principal Bench of NGT that the Environmental Clearance in question is valid only until 2017 and as per 2015 decision of the MOEFCC no further revalidation will be granted to the Project Proponent. In the light of these facts, the PROJECT PROPONENT admitted that the Environmental Clearance has become infructuous as they hadn’t even started land acquisition proceedings, nor have they gotten Section 2 Clearance under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.

Therefore, it was told that under no circumstances would they be able to complete the project within 2017. Hence, the Appeal was disposed off by the National Green Tribunal on the condition that if the project proponent does decide to continue under the Environmental Clearance which is valid till 2017, they would inform the Appellant of such decision, and the Appellant was granted liberty to approach the Tribunal in such a case.

NGT document

Meera Gopal

Environmental Lawyer

LIFE, New Delhi

NGT directs closure of rafting camps from Shivpuri to Rishikesh in Uttarakhand

The Principal Bench of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Social Action for Forest and Environment (SAFE) Vs Union of India & Others (Original application no. 87 of 2015) in its judgement on 10 December 2015 ‘Direct closure and removal of camps along the river Ganga from Shivpuri to Rishikesh in state of Uttarakhand and direct the State Government to frame proper policy for regulating such activities being carried out as recreation facilities for the tourists.’

The Bench comprised of Justice Swatanter Kumar, Chairperson; Justice M.S. Nambiar, Judicial Member; D.K. Agrawal, Expert Member; and A.R. Yousuf, Expert Member. 

SAFE through its president, Vikrant Tongad, raised the issue regarding huge numbers of river rafting camps operating around river Ganga from Shivpuri to Rishikesh without proper guidelines and clearances and causing pollution of the river Ganga and impacting wildlife. 

Read more: NGT directs closure of rafting camps from Shivpuri to Rishikesh in Uttarakhand