National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Coal India Limited (CIL) and its subsidiaries like Western Coalfields Limited (WCL) besides Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Limited (Mahagenco) to follow the clean coal norm mandated by the ministry of environment and forests.
As per the MoEF notification dated January 2, 2014, coal companies and power companies are banned from supplying and using coal having more than 34% ash content as it poses danger to environment and public health.
WCL is headquartered at Nagpur. A division bench of NGT Western Zone, Pune, consisting of Justice V R Kingaonkar (Judicial Member) and Ajay Deshpande (Expert Member) while hearing an application on July 5 also asked Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) to place on record consent orders, if any, to show compliance of amended Rule 3(8) of the Environmental (Protection) Rules, 1986.
The petition was filed by a social activist Ratnadeep Rangari from Mahadula in the district, alleging violation of the MoEF norm banning use of coal having more than 34% ash content.
MPCB in its fresh affidavit informed the NGT that it had already issued a stern warning to all power plants to strictly adhere to MoEF notification directing use of the clean coal technology and benefaction process to reduce pollution level and fly-ash generated due to use of sub-standard and inferior quality coal.
MPCB said that it had also warned initiation of action if power generating utility fails to follow the norms.
The Mahagenco in its detailed affidavit had slammed the coal utilities for supplying sub-standard coal and described itself as a victim.
Mahagenco had also expressed its helplessness since it has no control over quality of coal received from CIL and its subsidiaries which are enjoying monopolistic position.