Andhra Pradesh High Court slams Genco officials on second ash pond works
Finally, the High Court came down heavily on the officials for not following the guidelines of the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Central Pollution Control Board while considering approvals for the second ash pond at Nelaturu in Muthukur.
Nellore: Finally, the High Court came down heavily on the officials for not following the guidelines of the Ministry of Environment and Forests and Central Pollution Control Board while considering approvals for the second ash pond at Nelaturu in Muthukur.
It may be recalled that authorities of the Damodaram Sanjeevaiah Thermal Power Station (GENCO) handed over the works for the construction of second ash pond with Rs 56.50 crore on nomination basis failing to follow the tender process.
D Ramasubba Reddy of Musunuruvari Palem in Muthukur mandal and others filed a PIL in the High Court in 2018 and the Bench consisting of Chief Justice J K Maheswari and Justice K Lalitha directed to book a case on the issue and submit a probe report before January 25, 2021.
Sri Damodaram Sanjeevaiah Thermal Power Station with a capacity of 2X800 MW supercritical plant commissioned in 2015 and the foundation was also laid for the third unit in February 2016. The officials of power plant constructed the first plant as per the proposals in 2007 and completed it in around 2010 and they have proposed the second one initially with Rs 32 crore. Subsequently, they enhanced the project cost to Rs 56 crore without following the mandatory tendering process and technical approvals from various wings. The ash pond constructed earlier with 5 metres, later the officials proposed to increase the height up to 15 metres in two spells. The Ministry quashed the proposals for the second one suggesting going for expansion using 30 acres of land temporarily till works are completed.
For raising the height of the existing bund, officials sought support from the experts from Madras IIT and Delhi IIT who had subsequently completed a detailed study and suggested to stop pumping for some time till a temporary diversion bund has been constructed close to the pond.
Locals demanded a probe by a sitting judge on misuse of money violating existing guidelines for constructing an ash pond.