Andhra High Court dismisses petition against power project

July 29th, 2010 - 8:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, July 29 (IANS) The Andhra Pradesh High Court Thursday dismissed a writ petition against the environmental clearance granted to East Coast Energy Pvt. Limited (ECEPL) for developing a thermal power project in Srikakulam district.
A division bench headed by Chief Justice Nisar Ahmed Kakru dismissed the petition filed by an NGO, which challenged the environmental clearance on the ground that the project site is a wetland.

The court, however, allowed the petitioner to avail the statutory remedy within 30 days.

ECEPL is developing a 2640 MW coal-based thermal power plant at Kakarapalli village of Santhabommali mandal in Srikakulam district.

ECEPL, an SPV incorporated for setting up the project, has already achieved financial closure for Rs.12,000 crore project and so far invested Rs.600 crore, said a company statement.

Forum for Sustainable Development, in its petition, claimed that the project site is wetland and part of Naupada swamp besides being ecologically sensitive. Some environment groups are opposing ECEPL project and a similar one proposed by Nagarjuna Construction Company (NCC) at Sompeta in the same district on the ground that they were coming up on wetlands.

The groups fear that the thermal power projects would destroy the ecology and endanger traditional livelihood of local communities.

The National Environment Appellate Authority (NEAA) had last month quashed the environmental clearance given by the ministry of environment for NCC project on the ground that information on existence of three irrigation projects and wetlands was suppressed.

The NEEA judgement came a day after two persons were killed and several others were injured at Sompeta on July 14 when police opened fire on people protesting against the NCC project.

Both the projects are to generate 2640 MW and involves an investment of Rs.12,000 crore each.

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