Demand To Postpone Public Hearing On IGCC Plant

The Human Rights Forum (HRF) takes strong objection to the manner in which the AP Pollution Control Board (APPCB) is seeking to hold a public hearing on March 11 for the proposed 182 MW Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) power plant of APGENCO at the Dr Narla Tatarao Thermal Power Station, Ibrahimpatnam.

As per norms, any such public hearing must be held only after ensuring that all the relevant information pertaining to the project has been made available to the local people in a comprehensive manner and sufficient time is given to them to discuss and debate the information. This has not happened. Only 12 pages of the gist of the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) report has been put out in Telugu while the report in English runs into 159 pages. Giving truncated information to the local people in this manner is totally unacceptable.

Moreover, the EIA report has not been displayed in the Pollution Control Board’s notice board. Printed copies of the EIA report are also not available at the APPCB’s regional office in Vijayawada and only soft copies are being handed out. Does the APPCB wish that only those who are computer savvy must access the information? Clearly, this is not in keeping with the spirit of the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification, 2006.

HRF believes that the public hearing slated for March 11 must be postponed because the comprehensive EIA report has not been made available in Telugu to the people.  A mere summary cannot do full justice and will not be sufficient for the people to understand the environmental impact and take an intelligent stand in the matter.  It is necessary that a Telugu translation of the full EIA report is made available and officials of the Revenue Department as well as the APPCB make themselves available to the people to explain matters to them and clear their doubts. Only then can a meaningful public hearing be held.

P Amareswar Rao
(HRF Convenor, Krishna district)


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