NGT issues notice to Union Environment Ministry over pollution caused by NLCIL

Chennai, August 10 (IANS): The Southern bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has issued a notice to Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) on reports of pollution risks in villages near to Neyveli Lignite Corporation of India Ltd (NLCIL).

The bench comprising Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana and expert member Dr. Satya Kolarpati also issued notices to Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB), Municipal administration and Water Supply. Notice has also been issued to District Collector, Cuddalore.

The matter is posted for hearing on August 28.

The bench has taken a suo moto cognisance based on news reports on environmental study on quality of effluents from NLCIL and their thermal plants in Neyveli and Parangipettai.

The study conducted by Poovulagin Nanbargal and Manthan Adhyan Kendra found high levels of mercury, fluoride, and selenium in drinking water from more than 20 locations.

It also revealed that the mercury content in borewell water from Tholkappiar Nagar, Vadakkuvelur was found to be 250 times more than the permissible limit.

The study had also revealed that many people in the village were having kidney ailments, respiratory and skin issues. Soil samples near the NCLIL plant also revealed the presence of heavy metals like iron, aluminum, mercury and nickel, the study said.

However the NLCIL in a statement on Thursday said that all its thermal units were complying with environmental standards prescribed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), MoEFF&CC and TNPCB. As per the statement of the NLCIL, in the recent check on effluent quality done on June 30, all the parameters were within the limit.