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Human Rights Forum (HRF), a voluntary forum of rights activists, has made certain demands on the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) with regard to the process for issue of environmental clearances to thermal power projects.
Through a press release on Saturday, the Forum has asked for extension of period for filing objections from the present 15 days to 30 days, and a mechanism to scrutinise the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) reports before putting them up for public hearing. Also, the State Pollution Control Board should make all the public hearing information and EIA reports accessible through the website, the organisation has demanded, besides advocating transparency in the process.
HRF had pointed out glaring instances of plagiarism in the EIA report for the 4,000-MW Yadadri Thermal Power Project in Nalgonda district submitted by TSGENCO to the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of the MoEF, based on which the committee has deferred the issue of EC for the project.
HRF Nalgonda General Secretary N.Harinder and city president K.Babu Rao have noted that the quality of the EIA reports has been declining, but there is no process of scientific scrutiny by the regulator before public hearing. There is hardly any case of rejecting environmental clearance based on the poor quality of EIA report, the note said. People’s right to participate in development as recognised by the Rio summit in 1992 has been reduced to mere formality, and dissenting voices are throttled by various means, it alleged.
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