Chennai: The southern bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT), in its recent hearing, has directed the Tangedco to take all precautionary measures to avoid breach of fly ash slurry from the pipeline in Ennore. The bench has warned the department of environmental and other penal consequences if found violating the orders.
A high-level joint expert committee constituted by the tribunal, in a 466-page report released recently, had come down heavily on polluting industries that are causing large-scale degradation of critical ecology in the region, besides wreaking havoc on the lives of the residents. The report by the committee, headed by former IAS officer Santha Sheela Nair, had also flagged the increase in area with fly ash deposits and reduction in wetlands area in Ennore, there by indicating significant pollution caused by the North Chennai Thermal Power Station in the last 25 years.
Meanwhile in the hearing on Monday, the tribunal ordered that all the damaged pipes to be replaced by new pipes within June this year and asked Tangedco to file a periodical compliance report before it on the same. The bench also ordered the Tangedco to use only the fully completed replaced pipeline (ASDL-3) for carrying the fly ash slurry to the ash pond till the other pipeline work is completed.
The bench further directed Tangedco to file a statement as to how much time is required in replacing the old Electrostatic Precipitator (ESP) and other pollution controlling devices.
Meanwhile, the bench also observed that permission can be granted to the Tangedco to replace ASDL-2 pipeline and halt the usage of ASDL-5, allowed by the NGT to use previously.
“Importantly, among other conditions, the bench has mandated the Tangedco to keep monitoring the functioning of the pipeline so that fly ash leak does not recur,” read the order.