East Coast Energy plant gets HC relief on green nod

Written by fe Bureau | Hyderabad | Updated: Jul 31 2010, 04:38am hrs
A division bench of the Andhra Pradesh High Court on Thursday dismissed a writ petition against the environment clearance granted to East Coast Energy for setting up a 2,640-mw thermal power plant at Kakarpalli village in Srikakulam district.

The order of the two-member bench comprising Chief Justice Nisar Ahmad Kakru and Justice Vilas V Afzalpurkar summarily dismissed the writ petition, directing the petitioner to avail the statutory remedy, if he still feels aggrieved, available under law, within 30 days beginning next week.

The petitioner, Forum for Sustainable Development represented by advisor and convener of the Committee on water bodies and wetlands, Capt. J Rama Rao IN (Retd), approached the High Court of Andhra Pradesh citing interest of public and filed a writ claiming that the project site is a wetland and part of Naupada swamp besides being ecologically sensitive area.

The courts ruling in the East Coast Energy plant comes two weeks after protests against another thermal power plant in Srikakulam district proposed by the Nagarjuna Construction Company (NCCL), resulted in the death of two villagers in police firing. The incident had created a furore in the Andhra Pradesh legislative assembly with opposition parties demanding a probe.

The high court noted the contents of the affidavit filed by the chief secretary, government of Andhra Pradesh and held that it is clear that the (environment) clearance was granted by the state after due deliberations and application of mind, reversal where of or otherwise depends on the findings of fact in respect of issues, spelt out here in above on the strength of elaborate oral and documentary evidence which is not possible in the writ petition because of technicalities and complexities of the issues.

East Coast Energy is a SPV which is developing the thermal power project at Kakarpalli village at an estimated cost of Rs 12,000 crore. The project has all approvals and has completed several critical processes like finalising the engineering orders. Till now, the project has invested close to Rs 600 crore in its development. Super-critical technology will be used for thermal power project and coal will be primary fuel for this plant. Long term coal linkage with the ministry of coal has been obtained.