NGT Seeks Cancellation of Eco Clearance to Ambuja’s Coal Washery
Down to Earth reported that a joint committee of the National Green Tribunal recently recommended the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to cancel extension to the environmental clearance granted in 2019 to Ambuja Cements Ltd coal washery at Raigarh in Chhattisgarh. The coal washery, spread across 10.366 hectares, is expected to process 1.8 million tonnes of coal per annum. The mine and washery were granted environmental clearance in 2013 and issued to Jayaswal Neco Ltd. Later, following the Supreme Court order on coal mine cancellation and further allotments of the block, the mine was re-issued to Ambuja Cements Ltd in April 2015. Ambuja, since then, has been working to execute the mining lease by acquiring land and transferring clearances in its name.
Following a petition, principal bench of the NGT New Delhi comprising Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, Justice S K Singh and Justice Nagin Nanda ordered an investigation by a five-member committee in March 2021. The five-member committee comprised: Bhim Singh, district collector, Raigarh; R P Mishra, Scientist-D, Central Pollution Control Board, Bhopal; P R Sakhare Scientist-D, MoEF&CC, Nagpur; Paras Ranjan Pujari, senior principal scientist, NEERI Nagpur; S K Verma, regional officer, Chattisgarh Environment Conservation Board. The complaints were thoroughly investigated and the committee recommended cancellation of the extended environmental clearance granted to the coal washery.
The proposed coal washery would supply coal to Ambuja’s captive consumption and will be located on Gare Palma iV/8 coal mine.