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Green activists warn contempt action against Guj power PSU

Environment activists have alleged that Bhavnagar lignite power station was operating sans any treatment plants

Ahmedabad: Gujarat environmentalists Rohit Prajapati and Krishnakant of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS) have warned State PSU Bhavnagar Lignite Thermal Power Station of contempt proceedings for allegedly violating the 2017 Supreme Court order “for non-compliance of the major conditions of the environment clearance”, while continuing with lignite mining.

They have pointed this out in a letter to senior officials of the Union Environment and Forests Ministry and its Gujarat counterparts as also the Central Pollution Control Board and its state counterparts.

They stated that the 500 MW lignite-based thermal power plant at village Padva in Bhavnagar district’s Ghogha taluka has been “doing lignite mining in and around Badi-Padva area without having the requisite effluent treatment plant (ETP) and sewage treatment plant (STP), as directed by the Supreme Court.”

The letter, a copy of which has been forwarded to the local people’s organisation Gam Khedut Sangharsh Samiti, Badi Padva, regrets, the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) has not implemented the Supreme Court order by refusing to issue a closure notice to the plant.

“We are reiterating the facts mentioned in our last letter of February 11, 2021, that you consciously decided not to implement the Supreme Court Order of 2017. Your utter silence raises fundamental questions about the rule of law and implementation of the Supreme Court order.

The Bhavnagar Energy Company Ltd. (BECL), 500 MW lignite based thermal power plant is located at village Padva in Ghogha taluka of Bhavnagar district. In 2019, it merged into the Gujarat State Electricity Corporation Ltd. (GSECL, BLTPS) and the Gujarat Power Corporation Ltd (GPCL), a mining company, doing lignite mining in the area.

The environmentalists have pointed out that the violation of the green laws had been admitted by the respective agencies, but still they are not following the apex court’s directives.

“The admitted violations and contempt of the Supreme Court order have become their main uniqueness in Gujarat.

This fact is not disputed by any of the authorities of Gujarat State and even by both the Government-owned companies.

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