Tag Archives: Power Plant

Relocate Cheyyur power plant, say naturalists


CHENNAI, April 5, 2014

Members of the Madras Naturalists’ Society (MNS) and the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) on Friday appealed to the government to relocate the proposed 4,000-MW power plant and a captive port to an alternative location from Cheyyur in Kancheepuram district.

Ravi Chellam, vice-president, BNHS, said the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests’ Expert Appraisal Committee claimed that “migratory birds are found to be negligible’’ in the lagoon area. However, a joint study by the MNS and BNHS revealed that the lagoon had a rich birdlife.

Read more: http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/relocate-cheyyur-power-plant-say-naturalists/article5874395.ece

Naturalists oppose new power plant at Cheyyur

Times of India. Page 5


Chennai: The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) and the Madras Naturalists’ Society (MNS) have released a study that contests the claims of an environment ministry report that cleared the proposed 4,000MW power plant at Cheyyur off East Coast Road near Chennai.

While giving clearance to the project in September 2013, the ministry said the presence of migratory birds was negligible in the area and there were no reserved forests, mangroves or estuaries.

The latest study by independent experts said that the area has more than 36 migratory bird species, eight of them endangered. Besides, it is a feedingcum-breeding ground for fish and has an estuary, it said.

The report has raised concerns of acidic emissions and air pollution from the power plant, and advised the ministry to shift the location of the power plant to another area.

Ravi Chellam of the Bombay Natural History Society, part of the study team, said, “We are not against the power plant. But it should not be given environmental clearance based on incorrect data and claims” .

Cheyyur Fraud Continues with Police Support

23rd October, 2013

Farmers and fisherfolk today organised black flag demonstrations to coincide with a visit by investors interested in the Cheyyur 4000 MW coal-fired power plant in Kanchipuram district. True to form, masses of unemployed policemen were shipped to the sites of the port and the power plant to intimidate people into shutting up and not posing a hurdle to the free flow of capital. Police forcibly removed black flags from the boats. Investors landed up in a convoy of about 18 cars, according to local people who reported from the site. More than 40 boats were parked at the beach that was described as empty to justify acquisition for the port. Irate villagers blocked the convoy, and an argument ensued. After frayed tempers were soothed, the convoy was allowed to proceed to the power plant site, where more than 300 farmers were gathered with their black flags and their slogans. Markers planted by the Revenue Department to delineate the site had been uprooted by protesting farmers. However, the protestors were held at bay by another large mass of unemployed police that were mobilised to intimidate people into shutting up and not posing a hurdle to the free flow of capital. Power Finance Corporation remained consistent and continued to mislead investors. Investors were shown a patch of uncultivated land (less than 10 percent of the total lands to be acquired is uncultivated) and suggested that this was the nature of land for the project, effectively hiding the fact that more than 80 percent of the project site is agricultural.



PRESS RELEASE Cheyyur UMPP too Risky: Activists Warn Bidders

15 October, 2013. New Delhi – A pre-application Conference organised by Power Finance Corporation for potential bidders for the Cheyyur and Odisha 4000 MW UMPPs witnessed numerous questions on the risks associated with the alleged fraud by PFC, its consultants and officials of the Environment Ministry in facilitating clearances for the project. Prospective bidders were warned that the 4000 MW Cheyyur Ultra Mega Power Project was a risky proposition as the clearances for the project were facilitated by fraudulent statements and false evidence. A coalition of social activists handed out a “Dear Prospective Bidder” letter at the sidelines of a Pre-application conference organised by Power Finance Corporation (PFC) at The Ashok Hotel, New Delhi, highlighting the risks in the project. The letter stated that “The 4000 MW Cheyyur UMPP is unlikely to materialise” and that “The entire site selection and impact assessment processes are fatally flawed as they are based on fraudulent statements and incomplete analyses.” The letter also highlighted an October 3, 2013, order of the National Green Tribunal, Chennai, that restrained PFC from finalising any bids for this project pending the outcome of the court cases. In response to a question on the court injunction, PFC assured bidders that the order will not hinder the process in any way.

The letter which sought to make potential bidders “fully conversant” with the risks associated with this project included a report released in Chennai in September 2013 that documented a dozen “chosen” fraudulent statements used by PFC and its consultants in justifying port licensing and environmental clearances for the project.

PFC has claimed that the project is coming up on barren, undeveloped land with minimum agriculture, and denied the presence of ecosensitive features in the project vicinity. Activists said that even official documents belie these claims. Expert Appraisal Committee meeting minutes from the Environment Ministry note that 82 percent of the site area is agricultural land. The port and a coal storage yard will come atop a healthy sand dune, while the coal conveyor belt and a proposed storm water drain will cut across several dune formations. The power plant and ash pond are bound by the Mudaliarkuppam and Alhambrai estuaries to the North and South. These waterbodies are dotted with mangroves and seagrass beds. Mangroves, seagrass, estuaries and sand dunes are all identified as “ecologically sensitive” in the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, 2011. Both estuaries are important feeding grounds for migratory birds, including near threatened species like spot-billed pelicans.

In its application for CRZ clearance, PFC had claimed that there are no scarce resources like “surface water or groundwater” in the vicinity of the project. According to Tamil Nadu Public Works Department, Cheyyur Taluk has 82 lakes (eris) capable of storing 3500 crore litres of water and irrigating more than 16000 acres. In fact, revenue records reveal that more than 100 acres of waterbodies, including tidal-influenced backwaters, will be acquired for the project.

Given the hydrological and biodiversity importance of the project site, several vigilant citizen groups from Pondicherry and Tamil Nadu are already engaged in the task of collecting baseline environmental quality information, with a view to continuously monitoring the environmental quality. “Any potential bidder must also consider the inevitable risk and exposure arising from lawsuits for loss and restoration of ecology,” the letter warned.

The letter was signed by representatives of various organisations including 350.org, India Climate Justice, National Alliance of People’s Movements, All India Forum of Forest Movements, Delhi Solidarity Group, Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha, Beyond Copenhagen Collective and Chennai-based Community Environmental Monitoring.


Visit: cheyyur.wordpress.com (Report can be downloaded from the blog’s “Resources” section.)

Renuka Saroha350.org: 8800661208. Lakshmi Premkumar (Tamil interview): 9953775643

Heavy metals in (coal) fly ash a cause for concern


Green activists are very much worried over traces of toxic substances

A view of the Narla Tatarao Thermal Power Station fly ash pond as seen from the ghat road to Kondapalli Fort.

A view of the Narla Tatarao Thermal Power Station fly ash pond as seen from the ghat road to Kondapalli Fort.

Along with spewing pollutants into the air is the fly ash being produced by the Narla Tatarao Thermal Power Station (NTTPS) and stored in the ever-growing ash tanks causing surface and ground water pollution that will have devastating consequences for those living in villages located on their edges.

The public hearing mandatory before granting of Environmental Clearance to any new thermal project seems to have stirred the hornet’s nest with green activist, who came to make environmental impact appraisals prior to it, crying foul.

Toxic constituents in fly ash depend upon the specific coal used for power generation.

Traces or percentages of toxic substances like arsenic, cadmium, mercury, lead, beryllium, boron, chromium, manganese, selenium, strontium, thallium and vanadium, along with dioxins and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon compounds are found in fly ash. But it is the heavy metals – arsenic, mercury, cadmium and lead – that are causing concern to green activists here. Nearly 45 per cent of the coal used gets converted into ash. This works out to thousands of tonnes of fly ash.

The fly ash is mixed with water and pumped into huge ash tanks. The heavy metals that get into the water get leeched into the ground water because the fly ash tanks of the NTTPS are not lined, or, they end up contaminating the surface water and get into the food chain. The water is used for drinking by the people and the cattle. Contaminated grass is again consumed by the cattle and humans consume the milk.

The heavy metals, particularly mercury, which are ingested faster then they are excreted, get accumulated in living tissue in small amounts acting like slow poison.

The detection of high levels of mercury in some medicinal herbs collected from the Krishna river-bed downstream the Prakasam Barrage gives credence to the fears of the environmentalist.

The bio-accumulation of mercury causes the ‘Minamata’ disease, named after the place in Japan where it first occurred due to the consumption of fish in which the concentrations of mercury were very high.

Production capacity

Environmental engineer Sagar Dhara, who came to make an appraisal of the environmental impact, said the production capacity of the thermal power station had been increased more then once. It was very important to make a thorough study into the impact of the increase in production on the surrounding environment and community, he stressed.


Power firms say Odisha, Tamil Nadu UMPPs not ready for bidding

NEW DELHI: Private power companies have said the two proposed ultra mega power projects in Odisha and Tamil Nadu, likely to be auctioned by the government within this month, were not ready for bidding as many criticalclearances were pending. Read more…..http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-09-13/news/42041631_1_bidding-norms-ultra-mega-power-projects-coal-blocks

Cheyyur power project: people to move court against MoEF panel approval

Author(s): Srestha Banerjee @sresthab 

Date:Aug 28, 2013

Activists say expert appraisal committee’s clearance to proposed ultra mega power project based on false information furnished in EIA report

In May this year, the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests gave the go-ahead to the Cheyyur Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP) in Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu. Local residents and environmentalists of Cheyyur who have been  opposing the 4,000 MW power project are planning to move court to stop the project proposed by the Coastal Tamil Nadu Power Ltd. (CTNPL)—a special purpose vehicle of public sector unit…..Read morehttp://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/cheyyur-power-project-people-move-court-against-moef-panel-approval