NGT sends notice to Bihar govt on plea against its order on use of fly ash
A plea challenging an office order issued by the Bihar government modifying the use of fly ash in construction-related activities near thermal plants prompted the National Green Tribunal to seek responses from the Centre and the state government.
A bench headed by Justice Raghuvendra S Rathore issued notice to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Bihar government, Bihar State Pollution Control Board, National Thermal Power Corporation and others, seeking their replies. The matter has been posted for next hearing on April 25.
The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by the Association of Fly Ash Industries seeking quashing of a letter issued by the Bihar government to use 50 per cent of fly ash in construction-related project activities within a radius of 300 kilometres from a coal- or lignite-based thermal plant, instead of 100 per cent as per a notification issued by the MoEF.
The petition, filed through advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal, alleged that the state government, under pressure from red brick kiln mafia, had modified the effect of the notification and had issued office order.
“As per the notification dated November 3, 2009 issued by the MoEF, only a committee can modify the fly ash utilisation process after getting the certificate from NTPC.
“However, in the present case, State of Bihar, in violation of the notification not only surrendered before the red brick kiln mafia but also is compromising with the environment and biodiversity of that area,” it said. The plea said that the state government had no power to modify the condition as the same could be done only after the issuance of certificate by NTPC.
“In the present case, NTPC has issued letter to the Bihar government wherein it is stated that its decision to do away with the provisions of notification ‘shall have adverse and impeding effect on ash utilisation and will hurt the environment of the area’,” the plea said.