The Centre has given the green light to Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) for installing a 2x800 MW coal-based thermal power plant in Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu, entailing an investment of ₹12,664 crore.
As per the proposal, Tangedco will set up the power plant with super critical technology at Uppur, Valamavoor and Thiruppalaikudi villages in the Ramanathapuram district. The proposed project requires 6.64 million tonnes of coal a year to be imported and supplied by State-owned MMTC either from Indonesia or other countries.
"The Environment Ministry has given environmental clearance to the proposed power project of Tangedco and also the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance for foreshore facilities (cooling water intake and outfall structures) subject to compliance of specific and general conditions," a senior government official said.
The environmental clearance for the power plant will be valid for seven years while the CRZ clearance for foreshore facilities will be valid for five years.
The total project area is estimated to be 1,013 acres, which includes ash pond and green belt. On obtaining the environmental clearance, land acquisition process will be initiated. The project cost is estimated to be ₹12,664.76 crore, the official said.
Among conditions specified, the company has been asked to ensure sulphur and ash contents of coal do not exceed 0.8 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively.
Tangedco has been asked to identify marginalised sections of society, particularly traditional fishermen communities based on 2011 population Census data and conduct a socio-economic study to assess the impact of the project on their livelihood.
Based on the study, the company has been asked to implement a sustainable welfare scheme and report to the government within six months.
That apart, it has been asked to monitor flow of fresh water into the creek to study the impact on water availability for the mangroves and explore commercial utilisation of brine instead of discharging into sea.
The company has been informed that the employment figures presented for the project seem extremely low and hence, it should relook at it.
Among others, the company has been asked to set up a modern environmental lab at the project site for long-term monitoring of sea water quality and sediment in the impacted zone.
Tangedco has informed the government that the proposed project aims to reduce the gap in the supply and demand of power in coming years and pave the way for industrial and commercial development in Tamil Nadu.
Source- The Hindu