Indian Express, 21 April 2013
Ahmedabad In a fresh twist in the row over the proposed 6000-MW Mithivirdi nuclear power project, the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has sought a reply from the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) following allegations that the project’s Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report was prepared by a non-accredited consultant and norms for environmental public hearings were flouted.
Dr P B Rastogi, scientific director in charge of nuclear power at the MoEF, has asked the NPCIL to respond to these allegations so the ministry could take “further action”.
The project, to be located near Alang Ship-Breaking Yard in Bhavnagar district, is slated to be India’s first nuclear power plant to be built with American technology, a direct result of the Indo-US nuclear deal.
It has, however, been dogged by protests by locals and environment groups. In fact, a large number of people had walked out of the environmental public hearing held for the project last month.
Rastogi’s communication to NPCIL mentioned that Vadodara-based Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti and others had made representations concerning various issues.
Earlier, the Gujarat Pollution Control Board had asked NPCIL to clarify if the consultant, Engineers India Limited (EIL), it had hired for the project’s Environment Impact Assessment was accredited as demanded by law.
Interestingly, no consultant has been accredited to assess nuclear plants in India.
Later, others alleged discrepancies in the EIA report itself, including the absence of a rehabilitation policy, necessary clearances for diversion of forest land and radiological impact studies, all of which were required as per terms of reference issued by the MoEF.
Subsequent to the public hearing, people had also sent complaints saying procedures were not followed.
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