The National Green Tribunal Wednesday directed a petitioner, seeking closure and cancellation of environmental clearance to Reliance Power's Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project in Madhya Pradesh's Singrauli area, to approach a monitoring committee on the issue.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said a committee comprising representative of Environment Ministry, Central Pollution Control Board, Singrauli District Collector and State Pollution Control Board has already been constituted.
"In view of above, it will be appropriate that this matter is heard with the pending matter which will stand transferred to the Principal Bench and now listed on December 2. The applicant is at liberty to represent his viewpoint to the said committee through the state pollution control board," the bench said.
The plea filed by advocate Ashwani Kumar Dubey sought closure and cancellation of environmental clearance of the power project for deliberately throwing industrial waste in the Rihand reservoir. It referred to an incident of April 10, 2020 in which the ash dyke of the project was breached due to the "negligent act" of the unit.
The plea claimed that due to the breach, fly ash spread all over the agricultural land and allegedly resulted in the death of six innocent villagers (including 3 minor children) and cattle was swept away with the ash slurry in the "Rihand Reservoir".
Dubey alleged that the breach has led to excessive fluoride concentration in the water, causing tumours and other health hazardous to the residents in the vicinity. District officials had said the sludge has affected crops spread over an area of 25 acre.
The plea has sought removal of all industrial waste from the water bodies, villages, drinking wells, agricultural fields and from the reservoir, also known as Govind Ballabh Pant Sagar.
It has sought NGT's intervention to formulate requisite guidelines and to secure proper checks and balance with respect to dumping of industrial waste by the industries in the area.
In a similar incident on October 6, 2019, ash dyke of NTPC Vindhyachal Super Thermal Power Station in Singrauli was breached and more than 35 lakh metric tonnes of fly ash got into the Govind Vallabh Pant Sagar ''Rihand Reservoir''.