Green panel blocks Mundra power project expansion

New Delhi : The expert appraisal committee of the union environment and forests ministry has declined clearance for the expansion of the Tata Mundra ultra mega power project in the Kutch region of northwest Gujarat for failing to comply with its conditions.

“Some of the conditions like mangrove plantation and green belt for environmental clearance of the ultra mega power project are either non-complied or partly complied,” the panel said after reviewing the status at a meeting held recently,” the ministry said in a release on its website.

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The panel has recommended a site visit by a sub-committee for a spot assessment of the mangrove plantation.

A fishermen’s organisation (Machimmar Adhikaar Sangharsh Samiti) also objected to the expansion as its members were affected by power projects in Mundra.

A fully-owned subsidiary of the Mumbai-based Tata Power, Coastal Gujarat Power Ltd, had sought environmental clearance to expand its 4,000 MW project at Mundra about 340km from Ahmedabad, to generate an additional 1,660 MW.

Investigation by IFC’s compliance advisor ombudsman found a number of policy violations by the company.

Though social and environmental concerns were raised at the group’s annual general meeting last month, its directors did not address these.

In a related development, International Finance Corporation, a co-investor in the $4-billion project, has denied it was considering funding the expansion plan.