NATIONAL GREEN TRIBUNAL
PRINCIPAL BENCH, NEW DELHI
Appeal No. 20/2011 (T)
Thursday, 31st Day of May, 2012
1. Hon'ble Shri Justice C. V. Ramulu
2. Hon'ble Prof. R. Nagendran
B E T W E E N:
1. Ramesh Agrawal,
Member, Jan Chetena,
Satayam Kunj, Naya Ganj,
Chhattisgarh. .... Appellant
1. Member secretary,
State level Environment Impact Assessment Authority, No. 1, Tilak Nagar,
Shiv Mandir Chowk, Avanti Vihar,
2. M/s. Salasar Steel and Power Ltd.,
Village Gerwani, 13th KM Stone,
Ambikarpur Road, District Raigarh,
3. Chhattisgarh Environment Conservation Board,
Through the Member Secretary,
1-Tilak Nagar, Shiv Mandir Chowk,
Main Raod, Avanti Vihar, Raipur,
Chhattisgarh. .... Respondent
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(Advocates appeared: Mr. Ritwick Dutta and Ms. Srilekha Sridhar for appellant, Ms. Yogmaya Agnihotri for Respondent-1 and Respondent-3, Mr. Ratan K. Singh for Respondent-2)
(Judgment delivered by the bench)
Initially, an appeal was filed under Section 11 of the NEAA Act before the National Environment Appellate Authority, New Delhi, aggrieved by the grant of Environment Clearance for the installation of Steel Melting Shop with a capacity of 97,000 TPA and CFBC-based 65 MW Power Plant at village Gerwani, District Raigarh by M/s Salasar Steel & Power Ltd (SSPL) through letter No. SEIAA-CG/EC/BPP/RGH/15 dated 21.07.2010 by State Level Environment Impact Assessment Authority (for short SEIAA) of the State of Chhattisgarh, and the same was numbered as Appeal No. 24/2010. On repeal of the NEAA Act and disbanding the National Environment Appellate Authority with effect from 18.10.2010, the appeal stood transferred to this Tribunal under Section 38 (5) of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 and the same is numbered as Appeal No. 20/2011 (NGT).
2. The learned counsel for the respondent project proponent, at the outset, strenuously contended that the very appeal filed before the NEAA under Section 11 of NEAA Act itself was not proper and maintainable in law. The said appeal was filed without filing the impugned order dated 21.07.2010. According to him, no appeal could have been filed without there being an order which is supposed to be under challenge. How the grounds were raised in the appeal without looking into the impugned order is not known. This practice is unknown to law and liable to be deprecated. Even after transfer of the appeal to this Tribunal it was not made in proper format. The grounds which were not raised in that appeal have been raised in the present additional affidavit, which is not permissible as per the procedure established under law. It is strange that some of the papers / documents are placed before the Tribunal off-hand which are not certified and/or not authenticated. Such documents should never be received and relied upon. Such a practice causes hardship to the other side and becomes difficult to be answered properly. Merely because the appellant has come up with an environmental issue, the fundamental jurisprudential principles of civil law cannot be ignored. Though Civil Procedure Code is not strictly applicable under the NGT Act the fundamental principles cannot be avoided to be applied for the detriment of fair submission of pleadings and evidence. There appears to be some truth in
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the submission made by the learned counsel for the respondent-but no substantial irregularity has been brought to our notice requiring rejection of the appeal on the ground of maintainability since procedure was not followed. No documentary evidence which is not authenticated or which is disputed and proved to be fake can be relied upon by this Tribunal. The fundamental jurisprudential aspects such as pleadings and evidence are always taken care of by the Tribunal.
3. According to the appellant, he is working in the field of environment and has been involved in raising issues relating to environment. He also asserted that he lives near the project area and his residence is within 10 km of the project area. He had participated in the public hearing (for short PH) conducted on 29.11.2009 and raised issues concerning environment and they were not considered by the SEIAA. Initially, when the appeal was filed before the NEAA, the copy of the EC dated 21.07.2010 was not available; therefore, detailed grounds could not be raised. However, now in the additional affidavit filed, the proper grounds could be raised. According to the appellant the Environment Impact Assessment (for short EIA) report was not in accordance with the Terms of Reference (for short ToR) prescribed by SEIAA. The PH was not properly published and the same was not conducted in a transparent manner. The Member Secretary of SPCB delegated the responsibility to conduct the PH to his subordinate which is not in accordance with law. Measures were not taken to disseminate information about the project before the PH by the SEIAA and local authorities. The Chhattisgarh Environmental Conservation Board (CECB) failed to ensure that adequate information was provided about the project before the PH. The CECB does not have jurisdiction to conduct PH. The draft EIA Report prepared by the consultant of the project proponent was not in tune with the ToR. A lot of information was concealed by the respondent No. 2. The Cumulative Impact of several Steel and Power Plants on ground water has not been considered. Apart from that, the project proponent is operating its existing unit in complete disregard to laws since 2001. Thus, the EC granted in favour of respondent No. 2 is in utter violation of the law and the environment in particular. Therefore, the EC under challenge is liable to be set aside.
4. Whereas, the respondent No. 2 filed a detailed reply denying the allegations made by the appellant as baseless and without any substance. It is stated that the project under challenge is only proposed expansion of the existing unit within the existing plant and premises. No additional land would be acquired for the proposed expansion project. The existing green belt would not be disturbed for expansion of the project. The total land for existing and the proposed expansion would be 68 acres. Nearest habitation is at a
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distance of 1.0 km from the plant. There are no National Parks, Wild Life Sanctuaries, Eco-sensitive Zones, Elephant/Tiger reserves, migratory routes and Bird Sanctuaries within a 10 km radius. No rehabilitation and resettlement is involved. Nearest river is Kelo river flowing at a distance of 3.0 km from the plant. No forest land is involved. The Circulating Fluidized Bed Combustion (CFBC) technology would be used for power generation. EC granting authority also had added several precautionary measures to be adopted by the project proponent under the direct supervision of the implementing authorities. The PH was conducted after taking all the steps as required by the EIA Notification, 2006. Absolutely there is no illegality or irregularity in granting the EC nor there any environmental and ecological threat in view of establishing the expansion project. The entire allegations made are based on mere conjectures and imagination. Not having a good case on merits, the appellant is trying to raise false and frivolous issues which are beyond the scope of these proceedings and trying to mislead this Hon'ble Tribunal. Absolutely no grounds are made out calling for interference of this Tribunal and the appeal is liable to be dismissed.
5. The learned counsel appearing for the respondent No. 1 adopted the arguments advanced by the learned counsel for the respondent No. 2 and the learned counsel for the respondent No. 3 stated that the PH was conducted strictly in accordance with the prescribed procedure under the EIA Notification, 2006. It is their case that all the allegations made by the appellant are imaginary and blown out of proportion.
6. The learned counsel on either side advanced arguments and furnished written submissions. We have given our earnest consideration to the respective submissions made by the learned counsel on either side and perused the material made available on record. The following points arise for consideration in this appeal.
1. Whether the PH was properly conducted following the procedure as prescribed by EIA Notification, 2006
2. Whether EIA report was in accordance with the ToR prescribed
3. Whether the authority granting EC ought to have called for a Cumulative Impact Study of the several Steel & Power plants on the ground water
4. Whether there is any serious environmental lapses committed by the project proponent in relation to the existing unit which would result in environmental threat.
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7. Point No. 1:
Whether the PH was properly conducted by following the procedure as prescribed by EIA Notification, 2006
The learned counsel for the appellant submitted that the PH held on 29.11.2009 was not systematic, time bound, transparent and there was no widest public participation, as required by law. Except publishing the fact as to conducting of PH no further steps were taken as required under EIA Notification of 2006. It was the responsibility of the Member Secretary of the concerned SPCB to finalize the date, time and exact venue for conducting PH, within seven days from the date of receipt of draft EIA report from the project proponent and to advertise the same in the daily newspapers. A minimum notice of 30 days shall be provided for the public to furnish their responses. Instead of conducting the PH all by himself, the Member Secretary, CECB delegated the power to conduct PH to the Regional Officer at Raigarh and further the Regional Officer involved the District Collector in the process which is illegal and contrary to EIA Notification, 2006. No measures were taken to disseminate information about the project before the PH was conducted. Neither the EIA report nor the summary thereof with regard to the proposed project was available on website of Chhattisgarh SEIAA. No adequate information was provided about the project before the public consultation was conducted. The summary of EIA report which was available on the website did not comply with the requirement of EIA Notification, 2006. The CECB does not have jurisdiction to conduct the PH. Nonetheless, the CECB failed to hold PH within the stipulated time of 45 days and if no PH is conducted within 45 days it is for the State Government to engage any other authority for conducting PH. The summary of the PH was not provided at the end of the PH in the vernacular language.
Whereas, according to the learned counsel for the respondent No. 2, the project proponent, the appellant does not reside near the project site or within 10 km radius thereof. He resides at a distance of more than 17 km from the proposed project site and participated in the PH and raised objections. In the PH conducted on 29.11.2009 around 1,200 people participated out of which about 846 voiced their opinion on the project. The opinion of all the people were duly recorded by the competent authority. The representatives of the respondent No. 2 duly explained and clarified their position on all the relevant aspects to the satisfaction of all concerned. Wherever it was felt necessary remedial measures were taken. All relevant and material opinions of all the participants including that of appellant were duly considered and addressed by the respondent No. 2, as well as by the SEIAA and SEAC. All documents which are required to be made available for the public at large, at different stages, were also made available. The appellant had access to all the relevant documents at all times.
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On perusal of the material it came to light that the PH was conducted in a fair and transparent manner. The CECB is the appropriate authority to conduct PH and the general rules speak of conducting of the PH in the presence of the District Collector or his nominee. Therefore, it cannot be said that the entrustment of the PH to the District Collector is either illegal or without jurisdiction. The Draft EIA Report was very much available on the website of CECB of Chhattisgarh even before the PH was taken up on 29.11.2009. It is an admitted fact that wide publicity was given in the local newspapers. As many as 1200 people participated and about 840 people raised their objections etc., and the same has been recorded and at the end of the PH the project proponent gave reply considering the objections raised by the people. Finally, the summary of the proceedings was read over in the local language. Simply because the PH was not conducted within 45 days from the date of receipt of the draft EIA, the PH cannot be said to be vitiated. If for any reason the CECB was not able to conduct the PH, probably it was for the government to entrust conducting of PH to a different agency.
Under these circumstances we are of the opinion that there is no irregularity or illegality in conducting the PH. In fact, while considering the legality or otherwise of the conduct of Public Hearing the material which was placed on the website as a draft EIA alone can be looked into. May be the project proponent is supposed to prepare the draft EIA in consonance with the ToR awarded. If there is any deviation in the preparation of draft EIA and concealment of some information which might result in the environmental and ecological threat the matter must be viewed seriously by the MoEF and the project proponent as well as the consultant shall be punished suitably. Unfortunately there is no mechanism evolved to check as to whether the draft EIA is strictly in consonance with the ToR awarded which gives scope to the project proponent/ his EIA consultant to conceal certain information or furnishing incomplete information which fact was not within the reach of public before the Public Hearing could be conducted. Therefore, merely because the draft EIA was not in consonance with the ToR, the Public Hearing conducted cannot be faulted with.
8. Point No. 2:
Whether EIA report was in accordance with the ToR prescribed
According to the learned counsel for the appellant, the EIA report of the project is not as per the ToR issued vide its letter dated 29.08.2008, by the respondent No. 1. The final rapid EIA report submitted by the respondent No. 2 does not meet the requirements set forth in the ToR in several respects. The following are some of the discrepancies observed in the REIA.
Terms of Reference Final Rapid EIA Report Expansion/diversification activity should The final REIA lacks this required be accommodated within the existing information. Chapter two of the final
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premises without acquiring the existing REIA has a diagram of the plant's greenbelt/plantation. coordinates (on page 2-4) and a topological map of the 10-km radius of
Contour map along with the site plant of the project area of the proposed project the project and project land use area (on page 2-6). statement including land for project
process/operations, such as raw Neither the plant's coordinates nor the materials handling plant, manufacturing topological map in Chapter 2 is a plant, building infrastructure, effluent "Contour map along with the site plan of treatment plant, raw materials, fuel all the project and project land use area solid wastes (such as SMS, slag, ash, statement including land for project bag filter dust, etc.) stock yard, colony, process/ operations." greenbelt, undisturbed area, natural
topographical features (such as existing The absence of this information is very roads, drains/natural water bodies, if any) significant as it is clear from Google to be left undisturbed, proposed Earth images (Annexure I) that the diversion/ rechanneling of natural existing plant site is nearly filled-in and drainage or water courses, if any. there would be little room to add to the existing industrial footprint by 97,000 tpa
billets plant and a 65 MW coal-fired
power plant "within the existing premises"
and "without disturbing the existing
The 'Terms of Reference' makes it
mandatory for the project proponent to
show exactly where the new project
facilities would be located within the
existing premises, and without disturbing
the existing greenbelt/ plantation, but this
has not been done.
Toxicity Characteristic Leachate Test of The final REIA lacks data on leachate all solid wastes (such as SMS slag, bag tests of solid wastes the project would filter dust etc.) and to ascertain these generate. Without providing any wastes not termed as hazardous wastes. information, the final REIA contains no information on the leachate that would be
expected from the solid wastes the
proposed project would generate.
Impacts of raw materials, fuel, solid The final REIA contains a chapter wastes, such as iron ore fines, dust, slag, (Chapter 4.1.2) that predicts the project's ash transportation covering the entire impact on air quality using a computer sequence of supply, transportation, model (the results of which are handling, transfer and storage of raw summarized, but not provided in materials, solid wastes, such as iron ore adequate detail). However, as is clear fines, dust, slag, etc., on air quality from the following statement on page 4-3 showing in a flow chart with specific of the final REIA ("Model Input, points of fugitive emissions generation. Emissions, The emission data from the stacks is shown in Table 4.1.3 [sic]"), the
final REIA does not assess the impacts
of fugitive emissions on air quality
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The final REIA does not contain Table
4.1.3.The information in Table 4.1.1
shows that the only input the REIA
considered when quantifying the project's
impact on air quality were point source
emissions: the kilns, furnaces, boiler and
DG generating sets; but not sources of
fugitive emissions, such as windblown
dust from the handling, transfer and
storage of raw materials and solid
Raw materials stock yard be housed in The final REIA lacks information on how closed sheds in pucca platform above the facility would house raw materials ground level provided with wind shields / and waste in closed areas. The final wind breaking walls. REIA contains no mention of how the project proponent would employ these
All solid waste temporary storage yard be measures, which are necessary to housed in closed area in pucca platform prevent the contamination of air and above ground level provided with wind water. In fact, existing operations at the shields / wind breaking walls. facility already seem to lack these required measures.
Google Earth maps (Annexure B) clearly
show that the areas in the center of the
project site (along the western boundary)
and in the north-western corner of the
project site that are discoloured by piles
of white materials.
It is impossible to discern with certainty
what these piles of materials are, and are
likely to be piles of ash, slag or other
waste), but these materials could only be
raw materials or wastes associated with
The above images make it clear that
these materials are not being housed in
closed sheds or on platforms above
ground level provided with wind
shields/wind breaking walls. Rather,
these raw materials seem to be simply
laid on the bare ground, without any
evidence of liners (for the projection of
groundwater), or berms (for the
protection of surface water) or wind
shields/wind breaking walls (for the
protection of air quality).
If the project proponent is already
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handling raw materials and wastes in a
manner that would violate the Terms of
Reference established by the SLEIAA,
then it is even more vital that the project
proponent detail how it would handle raw
materials and wastes from the expanded
facility in a manner that is consistent with
the Terms of Reference established by
The learned counsel for the appellant submitted that when such important information was not available to the public, it was difficult for the people to participate effectively in the PH process. Further, there is no provision under the EIA Notification 2006 as to publication of the final EIA report, which is causing difficulty in knowing the changes that are made in the final EIA. There shall not be much difference between a draft EIA and final EIA report, except adding something which is necessary for furthering the environmental and ecological interest. Therefore, the very study conducted is contrary to the EIA Notification, 2006.
Whereas, the learned counsel for the respondent No. 2 submitted that the appellant either in the original appeal filed before NEAA or in the additional affidavit or rejoinder raised any plea that there is discrepancy in the final EIA report and ToR. In fact, the entire ToR were addressed and adhered to in the final EIA report. In fact, there is no law which says that the final EIA shall be published and made known to the public. However, there is no discrepancy in the ToR and final EIA report. The allegation of discrepancy is totally false and misplaced. The appellant is deliberately misleading this Tribunal by providing incomplete and factually incorrect data. The required contour map and plant layout form part of the Final EIA report and the same was filed as Annexure VI.
The Final EIA report provides the representative chemical analysis of SMS Slag which clearly shows that the same is not Hazardous or Toxic. The SEIAA after carrying out due diligence, has noted that this is true for the numerous SMS projects installed in the region and accorded sanction correctly in the matter. In fact, the respondent, as a precaution has itself mentioned in the Final EIA that the TCLP test would still be done once the SMS is operational to re-confirm the fact that the slag so generated is Non-toxic in nature. This can be seen at page 461 of the document filed by the respondent.
The fugitive emissions have been recognized as an important aspect in the EIA study. All the proposed measures for control of fugitive emissions such as dust extraction system with bag filters, covering of conveyers, etc., have also therefore been detailed in the Final EIA report. The Industrial Source Compex Short Term 1993 (ISCST-3). Dispersion Model developed by the USEPA measures dispersion of
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incremental Ground Level Concentrations due to both point sources of emissions and for non-point sources of emissions such as area sources (fugitive emissions from sources such as storage piles and slag dumps). It is normal practice to assume the impacts of fugitive emissions at a particular level along with expected impacts from other upcoming plants and their expansion.
In the EIA report also the point and area sources (fugitive emissions) have been indicated for prediction of incremental Ground Level Concentrations (GLC) due to the proposed expansion. The incremental GLC of particulate matter without area source would have been only 0.2 µg/m3 , whereas because of the consideration of fugitive emissions, the incremental increase is coming up to 0.5 µg/m 3 as depicted in the report. It is thus totally baseless and factually incorrect to suggest that fugitive emissions have not been considered in the study. Various fugitive emission control measures such as dust suppression system, dust extraction system with bag filters etc., have been proposed and the details have been furnished in the Final EIA Report. For storage, it is detailed that a pucca platform above ground level will be provided.
In the so called google imagery which brings out the two areas of the location is actually areas which have been filled with AFBC Bed Material. AFBC Bed material is a heavy material which is preferred for filling in top layers as it arrests fugitive dust emission and provides stable and firm strata. It is white in colour and this is being incorrectly pointed out as "waste material such as Fly Ash or Slag".
After perusal of the above submissions and on verification of the original records placed before us, we are satisfied that though there are some discrepancies in the draft EIA report when compared to ToR, all the deficiencies pointed out have been adequately addressed and included with data support in the final EIA report. Thus, the allegation that contour map with the plant site is not shown, plant coordinates not properly marked, TCLP test results are lacking in the EIA report, impact of raw materials, fuel, solid wastes are not given, generation of fugitive emission is not properly projected, storage yards are not delineated properly etc., are baseless and deserves to be rejected. No substantial irregularities were brought to our notice to hold that the EIA report was not in accordance with law or the same conceals any potential environmental threat, due to the implementation of the project.
9. Point No. 3:
Whether the authority granting EC ought to have called for a Cumulative Impact Study of the several Steel & Power plants and the ground water
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Learned counsel for the appellant submitted that as many as 23 Sponge Iron, Integrated Steel and Power Plants are engaged in exploiting ground water to meet their water requirement for industrial purpose without valid consent/permission from the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA) or Chhattisgarh Water Resources Department (CGWRD) which has led to severe depletion of ground water and Raigarh District is facing severe water crisis. The report prepared and submitted by a five member committee to the District Collector also speaks to this effect. Raigarh is the second largest centre of Sponge Iron production having 23 units with a daily production of 10,050 MT and most of the units are located in the Taraimal Industrial Area. In a survey carried out by the Central Pollution Control Board, Zonal office Bhopal it has been observed that the ambient air quality values and fugitive emissions in the area are higher than the standards in the industrial areas which is causing severe air pollution in Raigarh District.
Whereas, it is the contention of the learned counsel for respondent No. 2 that this question is out of context and misconceived as only surface water is proposed to be used for the expansion. Accordingly, the respondent No. 2 proposed to meet its water requirement of the project from the Gerwani Nala by constructing an anicut at a distance of 7 km from the project site. As such there is no ground water extraction proposed and thus conducting a Cumulative Study in this regard does not arise. The ambient air quality values and fugitive emission have no relevance for the purpose of resolving the present issue. The learned counsel further indicated that the 3.8 km distance maintained for establishing monitoring station is only as precautionary/conservative measure.
At the outset, we may notice that there is no plea for conducting cumulative impact study on air pollution and other environmental parameters. The only cumulative study sought for is the exploitation of ground water by the cluster of industries located in and around the proposed project. It is unfortunate that such an issue without any basis has been raised. Firstly, there is no proposal for drawl of ground water. The proponent categorically stated that the surface water alone will be used drawing from the Gerwani Nala by constructing an anicut, that too at a distance of 7 km from the project site. Practically there was no reply to this by the appellant. Therefore, we are of the opinion that there was no necessity for conducting a cumulative study with regard to the usage of ground water. We are in full agreement with the submission made by respondent that this issue is irrelevant and misconceived.
10. Point No. 4:
Whether there is any serious environmental lapses committed by the project proponent in relation to the existing unit which would result in environmental threat
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According to the learned counsel for the appellant M/s SSPL is operating its existing sponge iron plant in complete disregard of laws since year 2001. The CECB had issued warning many times for not installing and/or not ensuring proper functioning of pollution control equipment which is causing severe irrecoverable loss to environment and has become a major threat to health and livelihood of people. CECB has filed cases in the court of CJM Raigarh, against the company and other industries in close vicinity against violations of Sections 44-47 of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974 and Section 37-40 of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981. Given the number of plants in close vicinity of the Project which are not complying with various environmental legal provisions, the environmental impact of these plants is very high. Furthermore, this is a reflection of the inability of CECB to actually control pollution from these plants. Permitting yet another plant in the same area would drastically worsen the situation. The CECB had issued warning letters to the project proponent herein, showing violation of environmental laws by the company.
Whereas, learned counsel for the respondent No. 2 submitted that there is neither violation of any environmental laws nor any warning under the environmental law has been issued in relation to the proposed project or for that matter any case is pending in relation to the proposed project in question. The purported violations mentioned do not have any bearing on the present proposed project. Even according to the appellant they are violations attributable to the existing unit. In fact, against the existing unit also there are no allegations of substantial nature requiring consideration by this Tribunal. The whole issue is baseless and misconceived.
So far as this issue is concerned it is in a way irrelevant for the purpose of this appeal. However, the reply filed by the CECB reveals that a case was registered against the project proponent along with others in relation to the existing unit in the year 2005 and the same is pending. It appears the said case was booked for operating the unit, without the consent to operate and not putting up adequate air pollution control equipment. However, it is admitted in the reply filed by the CECB that all the Sponge Iron Plants located in the area including the project proponent herein have installed adequate air pollution control equipment and bad filters for control of air pollution in the existing unit. Therefore, firstly the allegation has no relevance and secondly it does not relate to the proposed expansion. Even according to the CECB there is no pollution caused by the existing unit, beyond the norms fixed. It appears the appellant is trying to blow the issue out of proportion.
11. From the above discussion and reasons, we are of the considered opinion that the appellant has not made out any substantial grounds calling for our interference into the impugned order passed by the respondent No. 1. The defects/deficiencies pointed out to a large extent have already been rectified by the project proponent through the final EIA. Therefore, looking into those
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defects/deficiencies which are not there as of today does not arise. The appeal is devoid of merits and liable to be dismissed.
However, we cannot ignore certain lapses being committed by the authorities and the project proponent in the preparation of the draft EIA and final EIA reports. Therefore we are of the considered opinion that unless and until the MoEF (the rule making authority) takes steps to follow the suggestions made below, the situation may not improve
1. The MoEF shall evolve a mechanism to check the correctness or otherwise of the draft EIA prepared by the project proponent in consonance with the ToR awarded by EAC.
2. The MoEF shall also ensure that after evaluating the draft EIA and if the same is inconsonance with the ToR awarded, may permit it to be placed on the website for the information of the general public before conducting the PH.
3. If the draft EIA report prepared by the project proponent is not in consonance with the ToR awarded, it may reject the same and ask for fresh draft EIA.
4. After conducting the PH and submission of the final EIA the MoEF may again evaluate the same as to whether the same is in tune with the ToR and the proceedings of the PH. The MoEF may also take care that there may not be drastic variation between the draft and the final EIA except for certain intrinsic technical and/or scientific information relatable to the project.
5. The MoEF may consider displaying the final EIA in public domain before the grant of EC - this may enable in making representations before the EAC in a given case.
Since, the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, is not a party to these proceedings, the Registry is directed to communicate a hard copy of this judgment to the MoEF. The MoEF shall consider these suggestions and take appropriate steps in this regard.
The appeal stands dismissed accordingly. No Costs.
(Prof. R. Nagendran) (Justice C.V.Ramulu) Expert Member Judicial Member
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