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Press Release- Violation of Norms: 6000 MW Mithi Virdi Nuclear Power Plant

Zemanta Related Posts ThumbnailWe request the Member Secretary Mr. P. B. Rastogi to share the copy of this letter and also all our past letters mentioned in this letter with the chairperson of the committee and other members as we do not have their Emails. 

Rohit Prajapati

 

Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti

c/o 37 Patrakar Colony, Tandalja, Vadodara 390 020, Phone/Fax: 0265-2320399

Email: tokrishnakant@gmail.comrohit.prajapati@gmail.comswati43@gmail.com

 

By Email & Speed Post

Most Urgent – Most Urgent – Most Urgent

6 October 2014

To,

Dr. A. R. Reddy

The Chairman

EAC – Nuclear Power Projects

162, Gautam Enclave, AWHO Colony,

Sector – A, Secundrabad – 500 009, Andhra Pradesh.

 

Mr. P.B. Rastogi

The Member Secretary

EAC – Nuclear Power Projects

Room No. 541, Paryavaran Bhavan, CGO Complex, Lodi Road,

New Delhi – 110 003.

 

Dr. V. Rajagopalan

The Secretary

Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India
Paryavaran Bhavan, CGO Complex,  Lodhi Road, New Delhi – 110 003.

 

Subject: Your meeting dated 6 May 2014 ignored our all crucial main points mentioned in our number of letters sent to you and specifically the detailed letter dated 29 March 2013 with Annexures A to Fabout the violation of the basic procedural norms while conducting the Environmental Public Hearing (EPH) on March 5, 2013 for the proposed 6000 MW Mithi Virdi Nuclear Power Plant to be built by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) with a request to declare the EPH and EIA prepared by non-accredited consultant illegal.

 

Reference: Our unanswered letters dated 22-2-2013, 25-2-2013, 27-2-2013, 28-2-2013 1-3-2013, 2-3-2013, 4-3-2013, 6-3-2013, 29-3-2013, 19-4-2013, 1-5-2013, 28-5-2013 and 7-8- 2013.

Dear Sirs / Madam,

 

Your meeting dated 6 May 2014 completely and deliberately ignored our all crucial main points mentioned in our number of letters dated 22-2-2013, 25-2-2013, 27-2-2013, 1-3-2013, 2-3-2013, 4-3-2013, 6-3-2013, 29-3-2013, 19-4-2013, 1-5-2013, 28-5-2013 and 7-8- 2013 sent to you and specifically our detailed letter dated 29 March 2014 with Annexures A to F about the violation of the basic procedural norms while conducting the Environmental Public Hearing (EPH) on March 5, 2013 for the proposed 6000 MW Mithi Virdi Nuclear Power Plant to be built by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL).

It is unfortunate that we have to write to you time and again about our legal and factual points about the proposed 6000 MW Mithi Virdi Nuclear Power Plant. Inspite of these repeated efforts on our part the very fundamental and important issues are not taken on record of your meeting dated 6 May 2014 of Expert Appraisal Committee (Nuclear) held in Delhi.

Your summary record of the 17th Meeting of Expert Appraisal Committee (Nuclear) to examine Nuclear Projects attracting Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006 held on 6th May, 2014 only states about what NPCIL want to convey you and the point of view of people is not mentioned there.

This is to bring again to your notice some major points about the violation of the basic procedural norms while conducting the Environmental Public Hearing (EPH) on March 5, 2013 for the proposed 6000 MW Mithi Virdi Nuclear Power Plant to be built by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL).

While our earlier representations repeatedly stated that the EPH was illegal as it was held on the basis of an incomplete EIA report and had also serious anomalies, further serious anomalies happened even during and after the EPH was held.

The minutes of the EPH are not in the standard format as they are usually prepared. Instead, they read like a news report, with the proceedings summarized instead of reporting every detail in minutes’ format.

The most glaring omission from the minutes of the EPH for instance is the complete omission of the fact that the Additional District Collector Mr. Jagdish Trivedi was sitting on dais next to the Bhavnagar District Collector Mr. V. P. Patel who had convened the EPH, which is strictly against the rules. Additional district collector can sit on dais and chair the EPH only if the collector deputes him/her in absence of him. The fact that the additional district collector was sitting sharing the dais with the district collector is missing from the minutes altogether. We can understand that presence of police force, private security guards are not mentioned but presence of several other people sitting on dais are also not mentioned in the minutes, e.g. company officials and others who we could not be recognised. Actually, the minutes of the public hearing proceedings should accurately reflect all the views and concerns expressed during the EPH. This is a gross violation of the EIA Notification, 2006.

We would like to raise the issue of enforcement of legal right in relation to non-implementation of provisions of Environment Impact Assessment Notification, 2006 issued under section 3 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, and issues pertaining to the principle of natural justice.

Because the EIA Notification, 2006 requires that the Expert Appraisal Committee should do detailed scrutiny of the outcome of the public consultation including public hearing proceedings while appraising the application for grant of environment clearance. However where the public hearing is not done properly and even elected representatives were not allowed to make their legal procedural representation, the project will not be appraised on the basis of correct facts and will result in grave injustice to person affected by the project.

Also, following our repeated correspondence stressing that the EIA report is illegal since it has been prepared by the unaccredited consultant, there has been till date no official response from your or any other responsible government office. Instead, letters from the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL) were received. A careful perusal of the letter leads to questioning its validity as the letter dated 20 February 2013 by EIL to NPCIL and letter dated 18 February 2013 by NABET to EIL does not have any outward number and it cannot be considered as an official response as it is the party to the case and not the officiating agency replying us.

To reiterate once again, the Supreme Court order dated 6 July 2011 in I. A. No. 1868, 2091, 2225-2227, 2380, 2568, and 2937  in Writ Petition (Civil) No. 202 of 1995 in T. N. Godavarman Thriumulpad v/s Union of India & Ors of Justice S. H. Kapadia, Justice Aftab Alam and Justice K. S. Panicker Radhakrishnan clearly state that 32. … Part II Guidelines to be followed in future cases. (i) … The project proponent under the existing dispensation is required to undertake EIA by an expert body/ institution. In many cases, the court is not made aware of the terms of reference. In several cases, the court is not made aware of the study area undertaken by the expert body. Consequently, the MoEF/ State Government acts on the report (Rapid EIA) undertaken by the Institutions who though accredited submit answers according to the Terms of Reference propounded by the project proponent. We do not wish to cast any doubt on the credibility of these Institutions. However, at times the court is faced with conflicting reports. Similarly, the government is also faced with a fait accompli kind situation which in the ultimate analysis leads to grant of ex-facto clearance. To obviate these difficulties, we are of the view that a regulatory mechanism should be put in place and till the time such mechanism is put in place, the MoEF should prepare a Panel of Accredited Institutions from which alone the project proponent should obtain the Rapid EIA and that too on the Terms of Reference to be formulated by the MoEF. Copy of the order was attached to our earlier letter dated 29 March 2013 as Annexure “B”.

The MoEF OFFICE MEMORANDUM dated 2 December 2009 clearly states that 4. It is decided, in the above factual matrix that no EIA/EMP Reports prepared by such Consultants who are not registered with NABET/QCI shall be considered by the Ministry after 30th June 2010. This issue with the approval of the Competent Authority. Dr. P. B. Rastogi, Director. [http://www.moef.nic.in/divisions/iass/QCI_on_web.pdf] A copy of the OFFICE MEMORANDUM dated 2 December 2009 was attached to our earlier letter dated 29 March 2013 as Annexure C. The letter dated 18 February 2013 of NABET is a simple letter to the EIL and not OFFICE MEMORANDUM. Thus it is very clear from the OFFICE MEMORANDUM of MoEF dated 2 December 2009 and Supreme Court order dated 6 July 2011 that the EIA reports that have been prepared by consultants who are not registered with NABET/QCI should not be considered. In contrast, the procedure followed for the Mithi Virdi Nuclear Power plant, both during the preparation of the EIA report as well as later during the EPH was erroneous with serious anomalies.

The anomalies that were pointed out to the concerned authorities earlier are as follows:

“The Terms of Reference for the MoEF at point no. 7 clearly mention that “The study area should cover an area of 10 km radius around the proposed site for conventional pollutants and 30 km radius for radiological parameters.” Instead the EIA report categorically mentions that 30 Kms for radiological areas of the study will be undertaken in future, the radiological survey is yet to be carried out for 30 Kms area and have not been carried out as stipulated by MoEF in the Terms of Reference (TOR). But this has been clearly violated.

No villager/village Panchayat in the 10-30 kms radius has been informed or served notice for the public hearing as the rules stipulate by the concerned authorities.

The EIA report clearly mentions that the resettlement and rehabilitation (R & R) plan for the project affected families is under making and the details of the same have not been mentioned in the EIA report as per the TOR number 29 of MoEF (detailed R & R plan / compensation package in consonance with the National / State R & R Policy for the project affected people including that due to fuel transportation system/pipeline taking into account the socio economic status of the area, homestead oustees, land oustees, landless labourers.). We believe that with no details available on such a crucial point, the exercise of preparation of EIA report and further that of the public hearing is rendered as a meaningless exercise. Neither there are any details of the ongoing discussions being held with District Collector/Commissioner of the concerned area for compensation for land & landed properties as mentioned in EIA at page number IX.

Furthermore, the forest clearance required for the forest land acquired for the process has not yet been obtained as per TOR number 10 of EIA (10. Forestry Clearance for the forestland involved in the project should be obtained and a copy furnished.). The non-availability of the forest clearance certificate again is a serious anomaly and details should have been made available before the public hearing as stipulated.

The TOR number 1 clearly states that “A note on site selection should be given in the EIA. But the EIA only states that “The site selection committee appointed by Govt. of India comprising members from MoEF, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), Central Electricity Authority (CEA), Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), DAE, and NPCIL have recommended Mithi Virdi as the suitable site for establishing the nuclear power plant (6 X 1000 MW) capacity Light Water Reactor. The site selection committee has considered various site selection criteria as specified by AERB/MoEF such as location, land availability, transportation accessibility, source of cooling water, meteorology, population, seismic zones, flood analysis, sustainability of the project, other environmental aspects etc. before recommending the suitability of the site for establishing NPP.” But a copy of the said report is not annexed with the EIA.

The proposed plant site is falling under irrigation command area identified by Gujarat State Irrigation Department. An application for seeking no objection certificate for development of the proposed project is submitted to irrigation department, Government of Gujarat. Yet again copy of a no-objection certificate to develop the project in an irrigation command area application are not to be found in the EIA report as required by TOR of MoEF.

While the TOR also clearly states that “6. b) All documents to be properly referenced with index, page numbers and continuous page numbering. C) Where data are presented in the report especially in tables, the period in which the data were collected and the sources should be indicated. But the EIA violates both at many places, which we can represent if we are called for the meeting on the issue of cancellation of EIA.

The TOR item number 34 (on page 15 of volume I) states that “Detailed risk assessment and disaster management plan should be given.” Against that TOR compliance on same row, states “Detailed risk assessment and disaster management plan is mentioned in Chapter-7. However, in chapter 7, there is only a discussion on what needs to be included in the disaster management plan, but no real plan is given. In addition, on page 314 of volume I of draft EIA, “The manual on Off-site Emergency Response Plans would be issued by State Level Emergency Response Committee”. However, no such plans are available.

The EIA report mentions (on page 319 of volume I) that “7.4.9 VOLUME-II: PROCEDURE FOR OFF-SITE EMERGENCY: This volume will provide guidelines for handling off-site emergency at Mithi Virdi NPP and deals with emergency management organization, emergency equipment and facilities for handling the situation up to 16 km radius.” One look at the index of Volume II shows that there is no discussion of Off-site emergency in that volume. This is a clear violation of the TOR no. 6 (c) [6. Besides the above, the below mentioned points will also be followed: – […] b) All documents to be properly referenced with index, page numbers and continuous page numbering.”

The judgement of Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjay Karol dated 4 May 2012 of the High Court of Himachal Pradesh in ‘Him Parivesh Environment Protection Society v/s State of Himachal Pradesh’  clearly states that “109. We also are of the view that certain guidelines need to be issued to ensure that such events do not re-occur in future and accordingly issue the following guidelines:

a) The H.P. State Pollution Control Board shall ensure that consent to establish is not granted just for the asking. Even at the time when consent to establish is granted the H.P. State Pollution Control Board, MoEF/EAC shall verify the facts stated in the project report and they shall also indicate to the project proponent what are the para-meters and the laws which the project proponent will have to comply with keeping in view the nature of the project.

b)  The statement made by the project proponent shall not be accepted without verification. It shall also be made clear that if any statement made by the project proponent is found to be false the permissions granted shall automatically stand cancelled. 

c) The Pollution Control Board shall ensure that whenever any public hearing is held, the people of the area are well informed about the public hearing and they are also informed about the benefits and the ill effects of the project. The Pollution Control Board must have its own machinery and own scientists who should give an independent opinion on the pros and cons of the project. These shall also be placed on the website of the PCB. 

d) In future whenever any studies are being carried out by any project proponent while preparing the EIA reports, the study shall be carried out only after notice to the State Pollution Control Board, MoEF/EAC in case the project requires clearance at the central level and also to the inhabitants of the area where such studies are to be carried out and project has to be established. Notice to the public shall be given in the same manner notice of public hearing is given.”

The copy of the judgment was attached to our earlier letter dated 29 March 2013 as Annexure “D”. As per the judgment, the notice to the public is not given ‘in the same manner notice of public hearing is given’, before preparing the EIA. Even in this EIA the 24 villages of 10 Kms. areas are only informed and no information to the remaining 128 villages of the 10-30 Kms. area is given. There is serious violation of the 109 of (b), (c), and (d) of the judgement.

This is to put further on record several violations of the basic procedural norms while conducting the EPH on March 5, 2013 at Navagam (Nana) for the proposed 6000 MW Mithi Virdi Nuclear Power Plant.

Mr A. V. Shah, Gujarat Pollution Control Board, Regional Officer,  had reassured Rohit Prajapati and Swati Desai, who were representing on behalf of the villagers just before the EPH proceedings that the Sarpanches of ten villages (Jaspara, Mithi Virdi, Paniyali, Khadarpar, Mandva, Sosiya, Navagam (Nana), Goriyali, Rampar (Garibpura), Bharapara.) would be allowed to raise procedural issues after the opening remarks by the collector who chaired the EPH proceedings and the GPCB’s opening remarks on the issue.

The Sarpanches had already prepared the written submission for the procedural lapses in the EPH as directed by the authorities. However, when the EPH proceedings started, the first violation of the norms happened, when authorities reneged on their assurances to Rohit Prajapati and Swati Desai.

Jaspara village Sarpanch Mr. Shaktisinh Gohil started making the point on procedural lapses soon after the opening remarks, but was prevented by the collector himself saying that Mr. Shaktisinh Gohil could hold the floor on the lapses only after the NPCIL presentation. This was the second violation because the collector should have first read the written submission on the procedural lapse and opined on it before going ahead with the hearing.

The main points of the written submission of the Sarpanches were “The EIA Report for NPCIL has been prepared by Engineers India Limited. According to EIL’s own admission it does not have the requisite Ministry of Environment and Forest accreditation to undertake the Environmental Impact Assessment. The EIA Report is therefore illegal.

The EIA Report has not been prepared as per the Terms of Reference (TORs) determined by MoEF. The EIA Report is therefore incomplete. Any public hearing based on such incomplete report would be illegal.

Only 24 villages in a radius of 10 km. from the project have been considered “affected” by the project. A total of 128 villages falling in the 10 to 30 km. radius have not been considered “affected”.

The entire exercise of the illegal EPH was further rendered futile as the collector did not even go through the basics of the procedural norms and did not give ear to democratic representations. The NPCIL presentation should have been held only after the collector had read the Sarpanch’s representation, opined on it, and not otherwise as it had happened.

The third violation happened with the collectors’ complete disregard for the Delhi High Court Judgement, which he was informed through Mr A. V. Shah in oral discussions. This is in clear violation of the Delhi High Court order dated 28 May 2010 in the case of Samarth Trust and Other v Union of India & Others W.P. (C) 9317 of 2009, where it has opined that “11.. From the terms of the Notification dated 14th September, 2006 it seems, prima facie, that so far as a public hearing is concerned, its scope is limited and confined to those locally affected persons residing in the close proximity of the project site. However, in our opinion, the Notification does not preclude or prohibit persons not living in the close proximity of the project site from participating in the public hearing – they too are permitted to participate and express their views for or against the project.” Copy of the order was attached to our earlier letter dated 29 March 2013 as Annexure E.

The fourth violation happened when the collector did not again read the Sarpanches’ written submission on procedural lapses, which included the Delhi High Court judgement during the entire EPH, even after the villagers’ decided not to be part of illegal EPH, and neither did he express any opinion on it. The collector thus ignored the Delhi High Court judgement, which was a vital point in Sarpanches’ representation during the entire EPH.

This is also to put on record the coercive and terror filled environment in which the EPH was held, to prevent the villagers’ from making free and fair representation.  Not only heavy posse of police force but also private security guards were hired at the EPH site, frisking and checking every entrant, and at places questioning villagers and participants about their antecedents.

Also, we put on record the unnecessary barricades and iron wire fencing between the collector’s dais and the participants area, a first ever arrangement during the EPH in recent times in Gujarat.  The barricades and iron wire-fencing while might have been put for the safety and security of the collector and officials; they created an atmosphere of coercive tactics that invoked state control and fear over the proceedings of grave public concern.

Also, the collector allowed songs and recordings in favour of the NPCIL and benefits of nuclear power plant to be broadcast from the public address system arranged by the collectorate. These recordings continued to be played till the EPH proceedings began formally. This is a clear violation of the neutral approach that the collector should have taken on the issue and instead made clear his predisposition on behalf of the NPCIL. On the contrary, the villagers were not only prevented from making free and fair representation; their representations on procedural issues were also ignored during the EPH.

Also, the NPCIL made an audio-visual pre-recorded presentation during the EPH, with no NPCIL official making any opening remarks officially except for switching on computer and other accessories.

Also, there were at least thirty odd people sitting on dais on both the sides of district collector during the EPH, whose presence and background went unaccounted with no one introduced or briefed about who they were and in what capacity they sat there. The villagers and their elected representatives on the other hand got no such chance and instead were frequently frisked and subjected to irritating queries.

This is to reiterate that while the EPH was illegal to begin with as it was held based on incomplete EIA report, prepared by non-accredited company, the procedural lapses point out that the manner in which it was conducted is also illegal and unconstitutional.

This is to put on record that the collector, GPCB regional officers as well as those on dais who were overseeing the proceedings and representations are responsible for these illegalities and rather acted hand in glove by violating Environment Laws and the Constitution of India.

We have received the reply from NPCIL. We want to give you our clarification on their replies that are non-serious, casual, ambiguous, do not have any proper technical details and at best it states that it is typographical error.

 

Query The company ‘Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited’ which is planning to install 6,000 MW Nuclear Power Plant at Mithi Virdi area of Bhavnagar district, Gujarat and the consultant who is not accredited to prepare EIA for Nuclear Power Plants, ‘Engineers India Limited’ both are undertakings of Government of India. The authorities responsible to implement the Environment laws are MoEF and the Gujarat Pollution Control Board; both are Central and State Government’s concerned authorities.The Government’s non-accredited consultant, the Gujarat Pollution Control Board and the Collector / Chair-Person of the Environment Public Committee of Bhavnagar district of Gujarat State are keeping silence by not replying our letters dated 22-2-2013, 25-2-2013, 27-2-2013, 1-3-2013 and 2-3-2013 violating the letter and spirit of Environment Laws and the Constitution of India.

It appears that you are going ahead with the Environment Public Hearing by violating letter and spirit of Environment Law and the Constitution of India which renders it illegal.

We remind you that by violating Environment Laws and the Constitution of India you are inviting action against yourself as an individual and the authorities involved. We have repeatedly contacted you through phone, but no proper reply was given to us and the crucial issues raised by us were deliberately avoided.

If  the Environment Public Hearing dated 5-3-2013 of proposed Nuclear Power Plant at Mithi Virdi is not cancelled as well as the incomplete, illegal EIA prepared by a non-accredited consultant be rejected, we will be left with no choice but to take legal action against you as an individual and the concerned authorities.

 Our Response
NPCIL Response All the queries raised Shri. Rohit Prajapati are replied from NPCIL. However the consolidation of the same is presented below for the ready reference and needful. The letter on this regard was sent to MoEF and GPCB prior to EPH and reply was expected from them. All the replies are sent by NPCIL after 5 March 2013 not before that.
Query NABET Accreditation of EIL in Nuclear Sector
NPCIL Response Accreditation of M/s EIL for Nuclear Sector is under active considerations by NABET since 15/3/2010. As the requirements for accreditation in this sector are being discussed with the experts in the field and are not yet finalized by NABET, hence M/s EIL has not provided in the EIA report, valid NABET accreditation certificate for Nuclear Sector.Also, it is submitted that M/s EIL has carried out the updated EIA for Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project unit 3 to 6 (KKNPP 3 to 6) in the year 2011-12, which was reviewed by CRZ Expert Appraisal Committee, MoEF and based on their recommendations, MoEF granted CRZ clearance for KKNPP 3 to 6. Considering their overall capabilities in the field of EIA, NABET has suggested to EIL to carry out the EIA study for Nuclear Power Projects in consultation with AERB/BARC/NPCIL. In this respect, the latest communication received from EIL/NABET is attached as Annexure for ready reference. NPCIL is relying on the letter dated 18 February 2013 which is sent to them by NABET after the EIA is prepared. Kindly note that the letter of NABET cannot over rule the Supreme Court Judgement dated 6 July 2011 and MoEF OFFICE MEMORANDUM dated 2 December 2009. Any way the NABET gave a letter on 18 February 2013, which is after the rapid EIA was prepared. Even therefore, this EIA cannot be considered as valid.
Query 01 The concerned authority should immediately reject the EIA of Mithi Virdi Nuclear Power Plant of NPCIL prepared by EIL.
NPCIL Response The EIA report for NPP at Mithivirdi, Gujarat is prepared in line with MoEF approved Terms of Reference (vide letter no. J-14011/7/2010-IA.II(N) dated 14th March, 2011) and in line with EIA Notification 2006. The letter in this regard was sent to MoEF and GPCB prior to EPH and reply was expected from them.
Query 02 The concerned authority should immediately cancel the EPH.
NPCIL Response The scheduled public hearing for the NPP at Mithivirdi, Gujarat should be organized as notified by GPCB in line with the requirements of EIA Notification 2006. The letter in this regard was sent to MoEF and GPCB prior to EPH and reply was expected from them.
Query 03 The concerned authority should apologise to the people of Gujarat for such a grave mistake allowing EPH on an illegal EIA.
NPCIL Response The EIA report for NPP at Mithivirdi, Gujarat is prepared in line with MoEF approved Terms of Reference (vide letter no. J-14011/7/2010-IA.II(N) dated 14th March, 2011) and in line with EIA Notification 2006. The letter in this regard was sent to MoEF and GPCB prior to EPH and reply was expected from them.
Query 04 The concerned authority should pass stricture against NPCIL and consultant EIL for such an illegal action on their part.
NPCIL Response The EIA report for NPP at Mithi Virdi, Gujarat is prepared in line with MoEF approved Terms of Reference (vide letter no. J-14011/7/2010-IA.II(N) dated 14th March, 2011) and in line with EIA Notification 2006. The letter in this regard was sent to MoEF and GPCB prior to EPH and reply was expected from them.
Query The study area should cover an area of 10 km radius around the proposed site for conventional pollutants and 30 km radius for radiological parameters.”Instead, the EIA report categorically mentions that 30 Kms for radiological areas of the study will be undertaken in future, the radiological survey is yet to be carried out for 30 Kms area and have not been carried out as stipulated by MoEF in the Terms Of Reference (TOR).
NPCIL Response As per MoEF approved TORs, the EIA study has been carried out for the NPP at Mithivirdi, Gujarat. Accordingly, the baseline Environmental status has been carried out in10 KM radius from the project site for conventional parameters & 30 Km radius area for the radiological parameters survey. The details are given below:Conventional parameters Monitoring:

Air Monitoring- In Section 3.4 & figure of 3.6 Vol-I of EIA report

Water Monitoring –Section 3.5.3 & Figure 3.9 of Vol-I of EIA report

Noise Environment Monitoring – Section 3.5.5 & Figure 3.10 & 3.11 of Vol-I of EIA report

Land Environment Monitoring – Section 3.5.6 & Figure 3.12 of Vol-I of EIA report

Biological Environment Monitoring – Section 3.5.7.1 & Figure 3.14 of Vol-I of EIA Report

Marine Environment Monitoring – Section 3.5.11 & Figure 3.18 of Vol-I of EIA report

Socio Economic survey – Section 7.5 of Vol-I of EIA report

Preoperational radiological survey – Section 3.5.12 of Vol-I of EIA report & the detail report is provided in the Annexure- VIII (Volume – II of EIA report).

In view of the above, it is submitted that the study areas covered in the EIA report for conventional and radiological parameters are in line with MoEF approved TORs.

TOR is talking about baseline data for the Radiological impact. NPCIL has done sampling for some villages at some points in 30 Kms. areas but no methodological issue is mentioned regarding why only those locations and only particular villages are selected for baseline data. According to us for Radiological impact baseline data of all the villages are a must.
Query The study is incomplete, villages in the area 10-30 kms not notified about public hearing.
NPCIL Response The notification of public hearing was published in the local daily news papers SANDESH DAINIK SAMACHAR dated 01/02/2013 & The Indian Express dated 01/02/2013 in line with the requirements of EIA Notification – 2006, also the hard and soft copies, of the draft EIA Report along with the Summary EIA report were submitted to the Gujarat Pollution Control Board and to the following authorities. Which are available for inspection by the members of public since the date of the notification of the public hearing:(a)  District Magistrate/District Collector/Deputy commissioner/s

(b)  Zila Parishad or Municipal Corporation or Panchayats Union

(c)  District Industries Office

(d)  Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) / PRIs Concerned/ Development authorities

(e)  Regional Office of the Ministry of Environment and Forests

Besides, the above, NPCIL on their own submitted the Summary EIA report in English and Gujarati to the gram panchayats in the vicinity of the project site.

Notification clearly states that “the hard and soft copies, of the draft EIA Report along with the Summary EIA report were submitted to the Gujarat Pollution Control Board and to the following authorities. Which are available for inspection by the members of public since the date of the notification of the public hearing:… Zila Parishad or Municipal Corporation or Panchayats Union” but NPCIL has considered only 24 villages as affected villages and not the 152 villages and that is why they have not provided the information to 128 villages of 10-30 Kms area.
Query De-commissioning of the plant is not explained in Section 4.3.11 of Chapter – 4.The study is incomplete; section mentioned is not in the report.
NPCIL Response Yes, it is typographical error, inconvenience is regretted.However, the decommissioning aspects are provided in Section  4.3.10, Chapter – 4 of EIA, Vol-I The reply is vague and ambiguous does not have any proper technical details even in Section 4.3.10.
Query The EIA report clearly mentions that the resettlement and rehabilitation (R & R) plan for the project affected families is under making and the details of the same have not been mentioned in the EIA report as per the TOR number 29 of MoEF (Detailed R & R plan / compensation package in consonance with the National / State R & R Policy for the project affected people including that due to fuel transportation system/pipeline taking into account the socio economic status of the area, homestead oustees, land oustees, landless labourers.). We believe that with no details available on such a crucial point, the exercise of preparation of EIA report and further that of the public hearing is rendered as a meaningless exercise. Neither there are any details of the ongoing discussions being held with District Collector/Commissioner of the concerned area for compensation for land & landed properties as mentioned in EIA at page number IX.
NPCIL Response As per the Khasara map, there is no physical displacement of any of the villages. However the land going to be acquired for the project belongs to the Jasapra, Mandava and Khadarpar – Mithivirdi villages. On this land there are some scattered houses which will be surveyed and confirmed by the district administration. The affected families will be compensated as per R&R Policy of Govt. of Gujarat. The reply is vague and ambiguous. Accepting the points raised by us.
Query The forest clearance required for the forest land acquired for the process has not yet been obtained as per TOR number 10 of EIA (10. Forestry Clearance for the forestland involved in the project should be obtained and a copy furnished.). The non availability of the forest clearance certificate again is a serious anomaly and details should have been made available before the public hearing as stipulated.
NPCIL Response In Annexure XVI of EIA (Volume – II), Copy of the letter for diversion of 21 hectares forest land for the project made to the Deputy Conservator of Forest, Bhavnagar, has been enclosed. Forest clearance is under process with the forest department. Accepting the points raised by us.
Query The TOR number 1 clearly states that “A note on site selection should be given in the EIA. But the EIA only states that “The site selection committee appointed by Govt. of India comprising members from MoEF, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), Central Electricity Authority (CEA), Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), DAE, and NPCIL have recommended Mithivirdi as the suitable site for establishing the nuclear power plant (6 X 1000 MWe capacity Light Water Reactor. The site selection committee has considered various site selection criteria as specified by AERB/MoEF such as location, land availability, transportation accessibility, source of cooling water, meteorology, population, seismic zones, flood analysis, sustainability of the project, other environmental aspects etc. before recommending the suitability of the site for establishing NPP.” But the copy of the said report is not annexed with the EIA.
NPCIL Response As per MoEF approved TORs, “A note on site selection” is provided in the Section 5.2, Chapter -5, EIA report Vol-I of NPP at Mithivirid. For the Site Selection Committee report, policy of the government of India are applicable, hence the same is not attached with EIA report. The word “A note” is read mechanically. The information in the name of “A note” does not contain very crucial information like the name of the chairperson, name of the members, when they visited, their Terms of Reference, time period of investigation, date of the report and major points of findings.
Query The proposed plant site is falling under irrigation command area identified by Gujarat State Irrigation Department. An application for seeking no objection certificate for development of the proposed project is submitted to irrigation department, Government of Gujarat. Yet again copy of the no-objection certificate to develop the project in an irrigation command area application are not to be found in the EIA report as required by TOR of MoEF.
NPCIL Response In Annexure XIV of EIA (Volume –II), Copy of the communication made to the Secretary (Water Resources), Gandhinagar is enclosed for issuing No Objection Certificate under irrigation command area around the project. The same is under considerations by Gujarat State Government. Accepting the points raised by us.
Query While the TOR also clearly states that “6. b) All documents to be properly referenced with index, page numbers and continuous page numbering. C) Where data are presented in the report especially in tables, the period in which the data were collected and the sources should be indicated. But the EIA violates both at many places which we can represent if we are called for the meeting on the issue of cancellation of EIA.
NPCIL Response The main EIA report Volume – I is in line with TOR requirements with proper references, index and continuous page numbers along with the period in which the data’s were collected with sources. Whereas EIA volume – II consists of annexure and specialized studies reports from reputed institutes/ agencies. Therefore the page numbering is not continuous. We regret for any typographical/ missing links if, any in the reports, however the EIA report will be revised incorporating the observations of public consultation/ hearing. Accepting the points raised by us.
Query Detailed risk assessment and disaster management plan should be given.” against that TOR compliance on same row states “Detailed risk assessment and disaster management plan is mentioned in Chapter-7. However, in chapter 7, there is only a discussion on what needs to be included in the disaster management plan, but no real plan is given. In addition on page 314 of volume I of draft EIA, “The manual on Off-site Emergency Response Plans would be issued by State Level Emergency Response Committee”. However, no such plans are available.
NPCIL Response The draft-EIA report presents the Emergency Response system. Based on this a detailed plan will be prepared, which will be put up for approval of AERB and State Government before the consent for operation of the plant is granted by AERB. For all operating stations of NPCIL, approved off-site emergency plans exist and are also available with respective District Authorities. The coordinating agencies, in case of emergencies, are mentioned in the emergency plans. Accepting the points raised by us.
Query The EIA report mentions (on page 319 of volume I) that “7.4.9 VOLUME-II: PROCEDURE FOR OFF-SITE EMERGENCY: This volume will provide guidelines for handling off-site emergency at Mithi Virdi NPP and deals with emergency management organization, emergency equipment and facilities for handling the situation up to 16 km radius.” One look at the index of Volume II shows that there is no discussion of Off-site emergency in that volume.
NPCIL Response In Chapter -7, Section 7.4.7 the salient features of “Emergency Preparedness System for Mithi Virdi NPP” is discussed, it consists of two Volumes namelyVolume –I – Plant/Site Emergency Procedure.

Volume-II – Procedure for Off-site Emergency.

However as the document needs to be approved by AERB.

In this case volume – II refers to Procedure for Off-Site Emergency and not the Volume –II of the EIA report.

We regret for any typographical/ missing links if, any in the reports, however the EIA report will be revised incorporating the observations of public consultation/ hearing

The reply is vague and ambiguous does not have any proper technical details.Accepting the points raised by us.
Query This is a clear violation of the TOR no. 6 (c) [6. Besides the above, the below mentioned points will also be followed :- […] b) All documents to be properly referenced with index, page numbers and continuous page numbering
NPCIL Response The main EIA report Volume – I is in line with TOR requirements with proper references, index and continuous page numbers along with the period in which the data’s were collected with sources. Whereas EIA volume – II consists of annexure and specialized studies reports from reputed institutes/ agencies. Therefore the page numbering is not continuous. We regret for any typographical/ missing links if, any in the reports, however the EIA report will be revised incorporating the observations of public consultation/ hearing. Accepting the points raised by us.
Query The notice to the public is not given in the same manner notice of public hearing before the preparing the EIA. Even in this EIA the 24 villages of 10 Kms. areas are only informed and no information to the remaining 128 villages of the 10-30 Kms. area is given.
NPCIL Response The notification of public hearing was published in the local daily news papers SANDESH DAINIK SAMACHAR dated 01/02/2013 & The Indian Express dated 01/02/2013 in line with the requirements of EIA Notification – 2006, also the hard and soft copies, of the draft EIA Report along with the Summary EIA report were submitted to the Gujarat Pollution Control Board and to the following authorities. Which are available for inspection by the members of public since the date of the notification of the public hearing:(a)  District Magistrate/District Collector/Deputy commissioner/s

(b)  Zila Parishad or Municipal Corporation or Panchayats Union

(c)  District Industries Office

(d)  Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) / PRIs Concerned/ Development authorities

(e)  Regional Office of the Ministry of Environment and Forests

Besides, the above, NPCIL on their own submitted the Summary EIA report in English and Gujarati to the gram panchayats in the vicinity of the project site.

NPCIL has considered only 24 villages as affected villages and not the 152 villages and that is why they have not provided the information to 128 villages. 

 

The National Green Tribunal, Principal Bench; New Delhi’s order dated 2 May 2012 in Application No. 18 of 2012, Marimuthu V/s Union of India and ors clearly states that … As a special measure and by way of natural justice, in view of the aforesaid anomalies, an opportunity may also be given to the Applicants to appear in person before EAC and be heard before a final decision is taken in this case.” The Copy of the order was attached to our earlier letter dated 29 March 2013 as Annexure F.

As this was not enough On 11 June 2013, while giving the so-called CRZ clearance /  recommendation for CRZ clearance to the NPP,  the Gujarat Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA) stated that “The Authority deliberated the proposal of Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited and after detailed discussion, the Authority decided to recommend to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India to grant CRZ clearance for construction of intake, outfall facilities, jetty and Desalination plant at Village: Mithi Virdi, Dist: Bhavnagar by M/S Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited, only after submission of the following details to this Department :

1. Detailed note regarding the safety aspects and site selection criteria along with its advantage for this site and submit to this Department.

2. A site visit should be carried out by GCZMA Member.”

This clearly means that the Gujarat Coastal Zone Management Authorities is not serious about the CRZ clearance because they have casually given this clearance / recommendation for CRZ clearance without asking for and reading the note on safety aspects, site clearance report and without undertaking the site visit. GCZMA has not taken in account the basics, for instance eventualities like population increase in the immediate vicinity of the proposed plant.

It is unclear if the GCZMA is a victim of the non-transparent and secretive approach of NPCIL, which has not attached the report dated 28 June 2007 of Site Selection Committee even in the EIA document.

We demanded that the Ministry of Environment and Forest should reject and review the non-serious so-called CRZ clearance / recommendation for CRZ clearance given to the proposed NPP of Mithi Virdi by the Gujarat Coastal Zone Management Authority (GCZMA). A letter dated 7 August 2014 was sent to you.

The NPCIL continued to resort to the illegal practices by keeping silent on the issues raised by the villagers. This is evident from its application and presentations for Costal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance to the authorities in Gujarat without submitting adequate documents and information.

NPCIL needs 81 hectares of forest land in addition to the other land for the nuclear power plant. To facilitate this the Taluka Development Officer (TDO) of Gujarat State sent a letter dated July 15, 2013 to Sarpanch of Jaspara directing him to pass a resolution on the lines of the copy that he had sent, so as to have the village body’s stamp of approval for the state government transfer of forest land to the NPCIL. In this letter the TDO instead of seeking the opinion of Gramsabha as per the law for the land transfer, illegally and unconstitutionally orders the Sarpanch to pass the readymade resolution. This is the new way of getting the consent from the villagers by the Gujarat State’s concerned authority.

The Gramsabha of Jaspara unanimously condemned and rejected such an unconstitutional letter of TDO. The Gramsabha unanimously resolved not to hand over the forest land for non-forest use to the NPCIL.

To reiterate again, the said agency, the EIL does not have necessary accreditation to conduct EIA for Nuclear Power Plants and also other anomalies bear serious reconsideration, therefore we once again demand the following:

1.    The concerned authority should immediately declare the EPH proceedings as null and void.

2.    The concerned authority should immediately reject the EIA of Mithi Virdi Nuclear Power Plant of NPCIL prepared by EIL.

3.    The concerned authority should pass stricture against Chairperson of EPH, Bhavnagar, NPCIL and consultant EIL for such an illegal action on their part.

We again request you to give us date and time to explain in detail our above-mentioned points and other related points in the interest of justice.

Expecting your positive response.

 

Krishnakant               Rohit Prajapati          Swati Desai

Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti

Copy to:

  1. The Chairman, Central Pollution Control Board
    Parivesh Bhavan, CBD cum Office Complex,

East Arjun Nagar, Delhi – 110 032.

 

  1. The Director General
    Indian Council of Medical Research, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi – 110 029.

 

  1. The Director, Health, Safety and Environment Group
    Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai – 400 085, Maharashtra

 

  1. Dr. A. A. Khan
    Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Uppal Road, Tarnaka,

Hyderabad -500 007, Andhra Pradesh.

 

  1. Dr. K.K.S. Bhatia
    Modinagar Institute of Technology, MIT, NCR Knowledge Park,

Niwari Road, Modinagar – 201204.

 

  1. Prof. C. K. Varshney
    88, Vaishali, Pitampura, Delhi – 110 088.

 

  1. Prof. U. N. Gaitonde
    Department of Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology,

Powai, Mumbai – 400 076, Maharashtra

 

  1. The Secretary
    Atomic Energy Regulatory Board, Niyamak Bhavan,

Anushakti Nagar, Mumbai – 400 094

 

  1. The Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development
    NBO Building, Nirman Bhavan, New Delhi – 110 011

 

  1. Shri A. R. Sundararajan
    301, Raja Lakshmi Apartments, 24th Main,

J.P. Nagar, 6th Phase, Bangalore – 560 078

 

  1. Shri R. K. Garg
    4, Vikram Jyoti Cooperative Society,

Opposite Telecom Factory, Deonar, Mumbai – 400 088.

 

  1. Shri S. Krishnan
    NPCIL, RH-4, E-7, Sector-6, Vashi, Navi Mumbai – 400 703

_________________________________
Rohit Prajapati / Trupti Shah
37, Patrakar Colony, Tandalja Road,
Post-Akota, Vadodara – 390 020
GUJARAT, INDIA
Phone No. (O) + 91 – 265 – 2320399
Email No: rohit.prajapati@gmail.com

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