Order of the National Green Tribunal on Panki thermal power plant, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, 19/03/2021

  • 19/03/2021

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Pawan Kumar Tiwari Vs Union of India & Others dated 19/03/2021. Grievance in this application is that Panki thermal power plant was set up at Kanpur in the year 1977 and approval for expansion was granted in the year 2017 (construction of a new unit (1x660 MW coal based supercritical thermal power plant) and revamping of ash dykes. The plant is causing air and water pollution resulting in damage to public health and the environment. Remedial measures needed to be taken as Kanpur city is already suffering from air pollution.

The NGT its previous order January 7, 2020 sought a report on the matter from a joint committee comprising the MoEF&CC Regional Office, CPCB, Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board and the District Magistrate, Kanpur (Rural).

The UPPCB in its report on behalf of the Joint Committee stated that though UP Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Limited (project proponent) was taking steps to control the pollution generated during construct activities, more needed to be done and recommended some measures which include:

1. Though the barriers are placed around the site to restrict the horizontal movement of air pollutants, it was breached at several points. And hence adequate steps need to be taken to amend breaches and restrict the horizontal movement of air pollutants effectively.

2. Project Proponent is required to adopt mitigation measures to circumvent the ambient noise below the stipulated limits.

3. Adequate buffer zone may be provided around the ash dykes in the form of greenbelt intensified with broad leafed trees to avoid any adverse impact/ hazard on nearby residential areas. 4. As per the ambient air quality monitoring report of two locations, near the construction area , during December 2019 , the PM10 and PM2 . 5 concentrations reported were within the Norms . However , considering the potential of air pollution by the on-going construction activity, the ambient air quality monitoring is required to be conducted at more locations (minimum four) and more frequently (at least monthly basis).

The NGT in its order March 19, 2021 said that there was no reason for not accepting the recommendations in the report - requiring adoption of safety norms to mitigate adverse impact on the environment. The bench comprising Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice Sheo Kumar Singh of the NGT accepted the report and issued directions to the Panki thermal power plant.