A day after two persons were killed in police firing on protesters demanding the scrapping of the 1,200-megawatt power plant in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh, the environment clearance to the project was quashed on Thursday.
The National Environment Appellate Authority (NEAA) in New Delhi nullified the clearance given to the project by the Environment and Forests Ministry in December 2009.
"The authority is convinced that the environment clearance accorded by the ministry based on wrong information is bad and is liable to be quashed," JC Kala, NEAA member, said in his order.
The ministry suspended its environment clearance for the plant to be constructed by Nagarjuna Construction Company.
The ministry asked its Bangalore office to conduct a site inspection and submit a report in two weeks.
"Once the report is received, it will again be considered by the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC)," a ministry statement said.
The ministry said that the clearance for the project was given on a reported carried out by the National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, which said that the area has no mangroves and wetlands and is also not a marshy land.
The EAC also inspected the site and confirmed that the location of the plant didn't fall under coastal regulations.
The authority, which visited the site two weeks ago, had a different take.
"On inspection, the authority found the area to be "a typical wetland of great ecological importance" and source of water for nearby villages," the order said.
The situation remained tense in about dozen villages in and around Sompeta in Srikakulam district. Despite Wednesday's police action, local people violated prohibitory orders and crowd of protesters damaged the car of an elected local representative and heckled former Telugu Desam Party (TDP)
MLA G Shivaji, accusing them of supporting the power project.
The police firing on protesting fishermen and other villagers rocked the Andhra Pradesh assembly, leading to the suspension of 56 TDP and BJP legislators.