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Stop work on Andhra power plant: Environment ministry

Posted by on March 2, 2011 0 Comment

New Delhi/Hyderabad, March 02 (IANS) A day after two people were killed in police firing during a protest against a power plant under construction in Andhra Pradesh’s Srikakulam district, the environment ministry Tuesday ordered suspension of work at the site.

Hours after Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh spoke in parliament threatening to slap another showcause notice on East Coast Energy Pvt Ltd, the ministry issued an order seeking a report by March 6 from the company on compliance with the conditions for environmental clearance.

It ordered that the work on the project be suspended forthwith till the recommendations of the ministry’s expert appraisal committee (EAC) dealing with thermal power projects is received.

The EAC will hear the case on March 7 and the company has been asked to send its representatives.

The panel will look into representations regarding the project being in a wetlands area and also regarding non-compliance of the conditions stipulated in the environmental clearance given by National Environment Appellate Authority (NEAA) on Aug 30, 2010.

Two people were killed in the police firing on villagers protesting against the plant at Kakarapalli village in Srikakulam Monday. The police action raised a huge public outcry and the district observed a shutdown on a call by the opposition Tuesday.

East Coast Energy Pvt. Limited (ECEPL) is setting up a 2,640 MW coal-based thermal power plant at a cost of Rs.12,000 crore at Kakarapally.

Earlier in the day the issue was raised in Rajya Sabha by V.Hanumantha Rao of the Congress. Ramesh had told the house that action would be taken by the end of the day.

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