Athena Chhattisgarh power station

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The Athena Chhattisgarh power station is a 1,200-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant under construction in Chhattisgarh, India. It is also referred to as the Singhitarai Thermal Power Plant.

Location

The satellite photo below shows construction activity at the site in Bade Dumarpali village.

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Background

The Athena Chhattisgarh power station is a proposed 1200 megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in Bade Dumarpali, Kharsia, Raigarh, Chhattisgarh, India.[1]

On January 15, 2009, a public hearing was held under the authority of the Additional District Magistrate, Janjgir-Champa. At the hearing, members of the group Jan Chetana pointed out that the Terms of Reference (ToR) for the plant required that a study cover an area of 10 km radius around the proposed site, but that the study actually only included an area of 7 km radius, thereby excluding the village of Singhitari. Based on this evidence, the Additional District Magistrate cancelled the public hearing. However, in August 2009, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry approved the project, clearing the way for construction.[2]

At this point, Ramest Agrawal, with help from lawyers with the Legal Initiative for Forests and Environment (LIFE) challenged the clearance before the National Environmental Appellate Authority (NEAA). As a result, in November 2009 the NEAA issued a one-page order stating that the proceedings of the public hearing did not have any validity. The NEAA then quashed the environmental clearance for the project on March 8, 2010. On April 5, 2010, the public hearings were held again 25-30 km away from the project site, and only 10-15 villagers were able to attend.[3]

On June 4, 2010, the project received Environmental Clearance,[4] which was renewed in March 2016.[5]

The power station was planned for completion in 2014,[6] but in April 2015 was still listed as under construction.[7] It is now planned for operation in 2016,[8] later pushed to 2017.[9]

In November 2017 it was reported that work at the site was on hold due to financial constraints. The commissioning date is listed as "uncertain".[10] The power station is one of a number of Troubled Indian Coal Plant Construction Sites.

Citizen opposition

According to the Environmental Justice Atlas, "The ministry of environment and forest (MoEF) had earlier granted approval to the ACPL project. The matter was challenged in the National Environment Appellate Authority (NEAA) by the Ngo Jan Chetanaa. The group challenged the environmental clearance on the ground that the MoEF approved the project without considering the mandates of public hearing. The Public Hearing was held on January 15, 2009 but was later cancelled by the chairperson in view of the documents not being made available to the affected public. However, the National Environment Appellate Authority (NEAA) went through the video recording of the Public Hearing and was convinced that there was discrepancy in what was recorded in the minutes of the public hearing and what was spoken in public by the officials. In fact, it was observed that there was massive opposition of the public to the project. Based on the complaint coupled with evidence, the NEAA stayed the clearance; in November 2009 the NEAA issued a one-page order stating that the proceedings of the public hearing did not have any validity. The NEAA then quashed the environmental clearance for the project on March 8, 2010. On April 5, 2010, the public hearings were held again, but 25-30 km away from the project site. Only 10-15 villagers were able to attend the meeting. On June 4, 2010, the project received Environmental Clearance."[11]

Project Details

Sponsor: Athena Chhattisgarh Power Limited
Location: Bade Dumarpali village, Kharsia taluk, Raigarh district, Chhattisgarh
Coordinates: 21.9067649, 83.1290013 (exact)
Status: Construction on hold
Nameplate capacity: 1200 MW (Units 1&2: 600 MW)
Type:
Projected in service:
Coal Type:
Coal Source:
Estimated annual CO2: 7,096,441 tons
Source of financing:
Permits: Environmental clearance extension, India MoEF, March 22, 2016

Citizen groups

  • Jan Chetana

Articles and resources

References

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External resources

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