The Principal Bench of the National Green Tribunal has ordered the Bihar State Pollution Control Board for an updated status report regarding the action taken in light of the report filed by the State PCB on finding deficiencies in the handling of the fly ash by the Thermal Power Plants.
Earlier the Tribunal had sought a report from District Magistrate, Muzaffarpur, and the Bihar State Pollution Control Board with reference to the allegation of pollution being caused by fly ash dump set up by thermal power plant at Village Kanti Nagar, Muzaffarpur District in Bihar. The said pollution was causing damage to the public health, animal health and ecology in the area.
Accordingly, a report was filed by the State Pollution Control Board on 21.12.2019 finding dearth in the handling of the fly ash by the Thermal Power Plants in question. The said report included observations as well as recommendations by the State PCB.
One of the key observations made in the report was that the thermal power plant which was required to maintain Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) had failed to arrest industrial discharge from mixing with the stormwater in the rainy season. This overflow reaches the land causing concern of the people. Another issue was that the facility for separation of industrial and stormwater was inadequate.
The report also recommended the construction of toe drain and peripheral drain around ash pond/dyke to stop seepage of water into farmers' field and also to ensure that there is no breach of ash pond/dyke in the rainy season.
In addition to the report submitted, M/S Kanti Bijlee Utpadan Nigam Ltd., Muzaffarpur, one of the thermal power plants was served with a proposed direction under Section 33A of the Water (Prevention and Control Pollution) Act 1974 and Section 31A of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981 proposing environmental compensation with regard to the findings during the inspection by the State PCB.