In a move that could help ease long-term power woes in Mumbai and the state, the National Environment Appellate Authority on Thursday gave a go-ahead for construction of Reliance Power Ltd’s 4,000-Mega Watt power plant to be built at Shahapur in Raigad.
Reliance Power, through its wing — Maharashtra Energy Generation Ltd, had in 2005 signed a memorandum of understanding with the state government for construction of the thermal power plant.
As the project was located in a coastal area, the company in
2007 also sought environment clearance, which was granted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests for activity in a Coastal Regulation Zone.
Subsequently, a farmers' body, Shetkari Sangharsh Samiti, filed a petition claiming that the environmental clearance was against the principles of the Coastal Zone Management Notification (2008) and contravened the existing Environment Policy.
In July 2008, the samiti moved its case to the National Environment
Appellate Authority (NEAA), a government body formed to address cases where environmental clearances granted by Ministry of Environment are challenged.
On Thursday, a three-member bench of the Authority gave a verdict stating that the project does not violate CRZ regulations.
“The project proponent has made it very clear that a major part of the project and the power house and its allied activities will be located in the area falling outside the Coastal Regulation Zone and only certain activities dependent upon waterfront and foreshore facilities are proposed to be located in CRZ and these activities are permitted,” the appellate said in its verdict.
The appellate also stated that the environment clearance didn’t violate any provisions of the CRZ Notification, 1991.
A Reliance Power spokesperson said that the clearance would help in swift implementation of the project, which is likely to cost Rs 12,000 crore. Reliance Power is distributor of power for Mumbai’s suburbs and far western suburbs.