Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

NGT Slaps ₹52 Crore Fine on Adani Thermal Plant For Damaging Environment

June 4, 2022
adani thermal power plant udupi

The National Green Court (NGT) has ordered the Adani-owned UPCL thermal power plant to pay Rs 52.02 crore as compensation for environmental damage and impact on the health of residents of nearby villages and have directed the authorities to take action against the company.

A bench of the NGT’s southern zone led by Justice K Ramakrishnan and comprising two expert members disposed of the original application filed by Janajagriti Samithi through its judgment dated May 31.

The order states that 50% of the compensation should be used to “evolve a scheme for providing necessary environmental infrastructure improvement water supply, sewage, STP, Solid Waste Management, Health facility and skill development programme”.  Noting that UPCL has already deposited Rs 5 crore under an interim order, the NGT said the balance amount has to be paid within the next three months.

The court also appointed a joint committee comprising the Deputy Commissioner, Director of Agriculture and Horticulture and a senior scientist from CPCB to conduct a detailed study on the impact of UPCL’s activities on agricultural land within a radius of 10 km from the thermal power station.

The court ordered state and central pollution control boards (KSPCB and CPCB) to file suit against UPCL or impose additional compensation for persistent tampering with the emission monitoring system. Both the councils may direct UPCL to adopt a zero-liquid drainage system to protect the marine environment.

Udupi Power Corporation Limited (UPCL) has two 600 MW power plants at Yelur village in the Udupi district. The environmental authorization granted to the plant between 2003 and 2004, which has been the subject of protests and lawsuits since 2003 and 2004, was declared illegal and was previously cancelled by the NGT. Adani acquired the plant in 2015 and tried to expand it by installing two units of 800 MW each.