Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding illegal transportation of coal and its dumping in violation of the pollution norms, Hazaribagh, Jharkhand, 06/01/2021

Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Tripurari Singh Vs Ministry of Railways & Others dated 06/01/2021.

The  matter related to illegal transportation of coal and its dumping in violation of the pollution norms through villages Katkamag, Baanadag, Banka, Sultana, Sadampur, Hathamedi and Mayatu in the Hazaribagh district of Jharkhand. It is alleged that such activities have adversely affected the river and ponds in the area and about 8.5 acres of forest land has been encroached upon by the Railways and NTPC for construction of railway dockyard and is being used illegally for dumping of coal and transportation.

A Committee was constituted to look into the allegations.

In its report, the Committee informed the NGT that the Banadag Railway Siding is being operated by M/s Indian Railway with valid Consent to Operate and not by NTPC Ltd. M/s NTPC Ltd. is operating its Pakri Barwadih Coal Mine with valid Consent of Operate. M/s NTPC Ltd. has outsourced the coal transport. No coal transport was going on during the inspection, however coal is transported by covered trucks through dedicated road passing through the conveyor corridor and forest. Only part of the public road is used by empty trucks. No coal transport trucks of M/s NTPC area passing through the habitation of the village.

No forest land is encroached for construction of Banadag Railway Siding. However, MoEF&CC had accorded Forest Clearance for diversion of 6.291 hectare of forest land in favour of M/s NTPC Ltd. for construction of Railway Siding at Banadag.

The Committee also recommended that all the railway siding involved in loading and unloading of the materials which are prone to generate fugitive dust emissions, should install fixed type water sprinklers for effective dust suppression, should install settling pond of suitable capacity with chemical dosing system for treatment of the runoff water, should construct the wind breaking wall of 20 feet high to prevent the dusts to spread and should do tree plantation along the boundary wall. NTPC should complete the construction of the coal conveyor system at the earliest so as the coal transportation by road could be avoided.

The NGT directed that the recommendations be complied with. The State PCB must ensure that the fugitive dust generated are not dispersed indiscriminately and the construction of the conveyor belt must be completed expeditiously but not later than three months.